All providers of telephone services (residential and business) operating over the current Openreach copper infrastructure will no longer be offering a standard telephone service as we currently know it. Customers are being moved from the old analogue public switched telephone network (PSTN) to the future of IP digital telecommunications in 2025 known as Digital Voice, VoIP or Voice over IP.
For over 100 years telephone calls have been transmitted over copper infrastructure from home to home traversing telephone exchange to telephone exchange via overground and underground cables. With the advancement of IP telephony, along with more reliable broadband with ever increasing bandwidth the time has come to put a line in the sand and cease the old system.
The way in which the new digital telephony will work, is to use your broadband connection to make the call. This is generally known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and simply turns your voice from analogue to digital which is then in turn broadcast over your internet connection to the recipient. You can call any number as you usually would, the only difference for local numbers is that you need to dial the full telephone number rather than just the last few digits.
It’s happening right now! With the ever increasing rollout of fibre to the premises (FTTP) Full Fibre when it is installed, comes with a brand new cabled connection from the telegraph pole or via the underground network to your home. They will also give you a new router and in my current experiences cut off your old analogue line.
How do I make calls?
A new Digital Phone is provided with BT’s service and additional phones and adaptors are available at a price, however If you have just the one phone, or use a wireless phone system with a docking station (sometimes called DECT phones) then all is good. There is a telephone port on the new BT and SKY routers that I have seen, and they can connect to any standard analogue phone. Calling out and receiving calls is exactly the same as it was before so nothing will change!
What about my telephone sockets in other rooms?.
From experience in the field, the analogue line will be ceased, meaning no calls can be made from your existing telephone sockets once the analogue system is cut off.
Will the phone work in a power cut
In short – no, if your home has a total power outage then there will be no power going to your broadband hub and no calls are able to be made. Backup power systems can be bought although not yet commonplace. Cellular emergency calls can be made over 999, these calls are carrier agnostic meaning even if your mobile coverage is poor they switch to use another provider to make the emergency call.
I want a wired phone in my study but the router is in the living room
BT do give you the option to purchase new IP phones which can be paired to your router, or you can purchase a Digital Voice Adapter, pair that to your router and you can plug your existing phone into that device.
My elderly parents have upgraded to full fibre broadband and use a care alarm system, will it work over the new BT/Sky VoIP line?
Yes it will if you plug directly into the rear of the BT or Sky Hub. Simply remove the Telephone connection from your old analogue socket and plug that into the rear of the new router – remember to remove the ADSL filter if one is present.
What about if the broadband has a fault
A broadband fault/outage will cause your digital voice phone to stop working until broadband is restored
The new Fibre router is not in a convenient location, can it be moved?
Can my existing phones work in the old telephone sockets?
We are currently investigating the complexities of this along with the technical limitations but we believe that we can tap into the old sockets via the master router. Use our contact details to send us a message for more information.
My Security alarm is wired into the phone system, what do I do?
If your current alarm system is one that uses your fixed line to dial out to a specified number in the event of your alarm going off then potentially yes. For monitored systems it’s still very early in the switchover phase to have encountered this in a real life scenario. Call us for more information.
Are there any other options to make and receive calls
Yes, you can sign up to a completely separate VoIP supplier. Gaining lots more functionality like having an App on your phone to make and receive calls from your Landline Number. You can keep your current number and you can port it into the cloud and keep it forever. This is a fantastic solution also for businesses who can take advantage of securing a business number without losing it if you move to another location. No longer are telephone numbers bound to a telephone exchange – you can be in Aberdeen or Ashford, and make and receive calls from the app on your phone as if you were calling on your home or business landline number – at no extra cost.
The additional benefit of Porting your number and taking out a service with a Hosted VoIP provider is that you will not be reliant on your broadband connection as these apps work over Wi-Fi or your mobile 3/4/5G network.
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