UK landlines to be fully switched off for good in huge digital switchover
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The digital age is ever-reforming the way we communicate - and it’s now the landline’s turn for a little switch-up. Anyone else getting major Déjà vu from the analogue to digital TV switch?!
The old landline system relies on what's known as the copper network, or the public switched telephone network, as it's known officially.
In 2025, this old system will be completely switched off forever. I'm feeling very old right now...
But worry not, as the trusty landline isn’t totally vanishing off the face of the earth just yet, though some people have raised concerns over what the big switch will mean.
Following the system’s switch-off in 2025, landlines will convert to becoming solely reliant on broadband.
This means that, if you don’t have WIFI in your house but still want to make landline calls, you’re going to need a WIFI box/hub/router fitted.
The new system will be called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), but your provider will likely have its own name for it.
For those currently without broadband, your supplier will come to your house and install it.
But will it come at an extra charge?
The good news is that both BT and Virgin have pledged to not charge customers any extra for landline-only broadband connections.
If you already have a broadband connection? Even better - the switchover should be fairly easy.
The phone is simply plugged into your router, and away you go.
The deadline for the switchover is December 2025, but providers have been making moves to switch their customers over already.
The old network dates back to the 19th century…so we were really due an upgrade, to be fair.
Providers say that digital lines also provide better quality and clearer calls.
However, reactions to the upgrade have been a mixed bag, with some questioning how the elderly - who don’t currently have broadband - will be affected.
One user said: “It’s the elderly and the people without technology who will suffer again!”
Another said: “I don’t like the idea of the landline PSTN network being switched off in 2025.
“Digital landlines will *not* work in a power cut, you’ll need a mobile phone or backup device with batteries etc, which you cannot charge if there is a power cut.”