Home Latest news Make sure you’re ready for the telephone line digital switch over!
Infographic with purple background. Text reads: What is the #digitalswitchover? The UK's old analogue phonelines are being replaced with a digital network. Find out how this effects you.

Make sure you’re ready for the telephone line digital switch over!

by Guy Murphy

Between now and 2025 telephone providers across the UK will be moving customers from old analogue landlines over to new upgraded services that use digital technology.

The switch over to a new network will provide a much more reliable and dependable broadband service that is future proof and can support the UKs needs for decades to come.

This means that services that rely on the old landline system, such as home phones and healthcare devices, will be switched over. This is important because it might impact some Knowsley residents and so it is important that we take steps to make sure we are all ready for the digital switch over.

Why do we need to switch to a digital telephone line?

The old PSTN network is privately owned by the telecommunications industry. The industry has taken the decision to upgrade to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology which carries voice calls as date using the internet.

Operators such as Openreach, BT and Virgin Media O2 are replacing the old services with VoIP technology in a phased approach of the next two years. However, unlike the switchover of analogue television, the switch will be happen on an exchange by exchange basis not by region.

How will it impact me?

For the majority of residents, the switch over will be seamless. Many operators are already switching customers over when they change internet provider or upgrade their package. Your provider should contact you before the switchover to ensure your service isn’t affected.

If you have devices connected to your phone line, such as alarm systems you might also need to upgrade your device. If you’re unsure, speak to the supplier or device manufacturer.

If you receive telecare cares services, it is important that you check with your provider to find out how it will affect you and what you need to do to ensure your care isn’t disrupted.

The type of services that might be impacted include fall alarms, portable ECG or oxygen monitors, lifeline or community alarms.

Importantly, digital landlines cannot carry a power connection, so in the event of a power cut they will not work. Mobile phones can still be used, but if you don’t have any other means of calling the emergency services your provider will offer a solution to allow calls to be made to emergency services.

What do I need to do?

If you have any questions about when your line will be switched over, contact your service provider who will be able to help.

Residents who have devices connected to their phone line or receive telecare services, should speak to the manufacturer/provider as soon as possible to ensure that their service is not interrupted.

You can find out more on the switch over here: UK transition from analogue to digital landlines – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)