Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The End of Analogue Phone Lines: 2025 - be advised!

Analogue Phone Service in the UK - It's switching off soon! In 2025, Openreach will be switching off their analogue phone service ("POTS"). If you still have an analogue phone plugged into a regular 'BT' socket on the wall, it will no longer work.  By June 2021 Openreach will already no longer install or accept new analogue line orders for lines at 120 exchanges around the UK, with that number increasing over time.

For some people, this will make no difference at all. Many of us only have a landline analogue phone service because we are 'forced to' in order to have DSL service - you have to have an analogue line before your ISP will provide broadband on that line.

According to Ofcom, only 5% of household do not have mobile phones however, that doesn't mean that every member of the other 95% have a mobile phone or that they don't still need their fixed line.

Those who do use their landline now, given the choice of saving a little line rental subscription in the future, might welcome this change. However, even with analogue phone service discontinued, it's unlikely you will actually see any reduction in line rental as the copper line still needs to be provided for broadband, and that's the costly part for Openreach - the actual phone service is a revenue generator.  If line rental is combined with your broadband ISP bill, you won't get a separate bill from BT.

Many people in the UK do not use a mobile phone either 'at all' or for most of their calls. Many don't have broadband or any other digital communication service. Even of those who do, there are many people who like the comfort of a phone line which continues to work even during a power cut or other emergency. Analogue phone lines are powered from the exchange which normally has battery or generator backups.  

There are many other devices still relying on analogue lines. Most of those will not be compatible with VoIP so will have to be replaced by pure IP solutions. Openreach are urging suppliers and service providers to upgrade their systems or test them on the new network provisions.

VoIP is the method of using IP networks - your Internet connection - to carry voice calls. It's what Skype, DrayTEL, WhatsApp and other such services use for voice calls and is also how most modern businesses' phones are now connected. Under Openreach's analogue switch-off plan, VoIP will be used to replace all analogue voice services.

Read more & be prepared: www.draytek.co.uk

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