When are analogue phone lines being turned off?

Your telephone provider will let you know when this is happening, and you won’t need to do anything about your phone service until then. Telephone landlines will still exist, and you can still have a landline telephone at home. It is the network that the phone uses that will be different.

Why is this upgrade happening?

The existing analogue phone lines (or copper lines) are now old and becoming increasingly unreliable and expensive. The switchover is happening due to the demand for faster networks and connectivity. Alongside this, broadband connections rely increasingly on fibre optic networks. As well as the infrastructure benefits, it also offers benefits such as clearer calls, the ability to make multiple calls at the same time and the possibility of accessing your landline in other locations. In time, it will also allow telephone providers to develop tools to better protect their customers against scam and nuisance calls.

When will my phone line be replaced?

This depends on your telephone provider. There are over 14 million lines in the UK that need to be upgraded so it’s going to take a while. For homes that already have a telephone line, your service provider will contact you when they’re ready to do your line. If you want to find out more, you should contact your telephone provider.

Will I need the internet to make a phone call?

The new digital telephone network will be internet-based (called an ‘IP network’). This means you won’t be able to make calls without an internet connection at home. If you already have broadband, then this network will be used. If you don’t have broadband, then your telephone provider will provide a simple internet connection just for making calls.

What new equipment will I need after the digital upgrade?

Your telephone provider will send you a digital hub (if you do not already have one) that you will need to connect your phone to. Any other equipment, like a personal alarm (for example, a Carecall pendant alarm), will also need to be connected to the digital hub. You may also need to replace your telephone handset, although your telephone provider can advise on this. 

Will I be able to use my old phone?

This will depend on your handset. Many people will simply plug their existing phone into the new digital hub or broadband router. If your telephone is an old model, you may need to replace it. 

If I have digital installed will my telephone number change?

No, your telephone number will remain the same. 

Do I have to change over to digital?

Telephone customers who are considered vulnerable can be excluded from the upgrade, however analogue lines will no longer be maintained after 2025 so this should not be considered a permanent solution. You would need to contact your telephone provider to arrange this.

How can I tell if I already have a digital phone line?

If you have been upgraded to a digital phone line, your telephone provider will have notified you in advance. Your telephone will be connected to a broadband router or digital hub, rather than directly into a telephone socket.

Do digital phones work in a power cut?

No, because digital phones work off your home electricity supply, if there’s a power cut you won’t be able to make calls. If you are vulnerable your telephone provider may be able to provide you with a battery backup so that you can make emergency calls during a power cut.

Will I need a new router?

You may need a new or upgraded router but if that is the case, it should be provided by your telephone provider. 

Do I need strong Wi-Fi for a digital call?

No, digital calls are not impacted by Wi-Fi strength because the telephone handset is connected to the digital hub / router. 

What does PSTN mean?

PSTN stands for ‘public switched telephone network’. It’s the copper phone network that delivers analogue landline phone services. The plan is for it to be switched off at the end of 2025 and for all landline services to be offered digitally.

Will cordless phones that have extra handsets which plug into electric sockets, will these still work the same?

Yes, your cordless phones extra handsets should work the same as they do now.