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Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

Ratchete
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Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

I'm currently on an 18mth contract for broadband and line rental which expires 22nd Oct 2025. I use the plusnet broadband for emails and light browsing; the speed is truely awful so not any use for anything else (long copper wire to a fibre enabled exchange).  What is important is my landline number which is used for contacting elderly relatives, for them to contact me and for business calls ie I wish to retain that number. I also have fixed wireless broadband from another company which is fully utilised by other members of the family for gaming/streaming. 

What I really would like is FTTP and to retain my landline number. I also like having options and not having to rely on solely one provider for everything. This applies to many aspects of my life, we have 2 cars (surely both won't be broken down at the same time); we have a variety of ways of heating/lighting our home (coal/wood/electricity/solar panels/generator), our own water supply.

I've attached a snapshot of the BT Broadband Availability Checker but I don't really understand what it's telling me.

What I want to know is what are Plusnet's plans/procedures to manage the end of copper lines. I'm struggling to find any information from them re this matter. There's been a few indicative posts in the forum that have helped my general understanding of the situation but not really specific enough. If this means limping on with Plusnet forever, well I suppose that's what'll happen. The FAQ's of Simple Telecoms is far more helpful than those of Plusnet.

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HPsauce
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

@Ratchete has raised a very important point that I've been pondering for some time and potentially awaiting the time to comment.

I think their post raises the issue very well. PlusNet seem to have a "head in the sand" attitude to what is going on, and that includes the way they are ceasing all their other "add-ons" too. They really do need to have some VERY PROMINENT guidance for both new and existing customers. There are a lot of complex issues that affect people in different ways.

Instead they seem to be largely relying on the goodwill of an assortment of customers on these forums to explain to those who ask what is going on and what their options are. It's just not good enough! 😠

bmc
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

@Ratchete 

Copper lines themselves are not coming to an end - just the phone service.

 

PN appear to have no policy regarding the end of the PSTN service, other than not offering a phone service to new customers. For existing cutomers on FTTC they are not being offering a continuation of their phone service when recontracting unless they phone in. This is presumably to reduce numbers when the time comes to pull the plug.

 

For FTTC lines internet will continue to be provided over he copper line from the cabinet to the premise using an OR product called SOGEA. There is an equivilant product for ADSL (SOADSL) lines which I'm not familiar with. It's more complicated as the line runs from the Exchange and not a FTTC cabinet though according to the Checker results it is available for your line..

 

The image you posted basically shows no better speeds available. However, given your speeds you may be eligible for the OpenReach USO obligation of a minimum 10 Mbps down. I have no information on this.

 

You could look at www.openreach.com and check for any full fibre plans.

 

For an on going phone service you'll need to use as VOIP provider - you already appear to have power backup. Thre are many providers out there but A&A get good reviews on this Forum.

https://www.aa.net.uk/voice-and-mobile/voip-information/

 

Finally, you could phone the PlusNet Customer Options Team on 0800 013 2632 to have a chat about what may or may not be available. If you do, ask about the Universal Service Obligation.

 

Brian

 

 

 

 

Baldrick1
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

@Ratchete 

I have no more information than you, but based on what happened with the mobile phone service, assume that when the crunch comes there will be two official options:

1. If you want to keep your phone then transfer the combined Internet access and phone service to BT/EE..

2. Take an Internet only service from Plusnet and either lose the landline phone number or transfer it yourself to a third party VoIP company.

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Ratchete
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

Brian,

Unfortunately the USO is a very bad joke. You have to be very persistent to even get BT to consider your request, they try and fob you off by trying to persuade you that as there is  4G/Satellite available they don't want to offer a USO quote. I didn't really want to go back to BT in any case given what a shower they are. However a neighbour in a next door postcode but similarly situated to us did get a quote of circa £140,000. Turns out you have a right to ask for fibre under the USO but they don't have to provide it at reasonable cost, they are obliged to cover costs up to a certain amount, from memory it was about £3,500 so if the cost of fibre installation was going to be £4,500 you'd have to pay £1,000. There was a community initiative to try and get fibre to the nearby village but the village is the meeting place of 3 different area codes and in order to have enough premises to make it viable a lot of people would have had to sign up, I think there was mention of there having to be a new exchange. The initiative went nowhere. BT were spectacularly unhelpful all along.

Ratchete
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

I realise that I have plenty of time to make decisions/plans, but not knowing what Plusnet it up to is making it harder/stressful. I'd only signed up to them for another 18 months because there weren't any other alternatives. If I'd stayed with Plusnet out of contract, I would have been fleeced.

We moved to this farm in 2009 and had a new phone line put in by BT for free; there was a special offer on. The had to run a couple of miles of copper wire, rather more than they were expecting because the bundle of wires had reached capacity. My grandfather-in-law who died in 1976 had lived there and was one of the 1st people in the area to have a phone albeit a shared line with a neighbour. After he died the phone was disconnected and the number recycled. But this got me thinking what would be the position be if we'd moved in this year? Would anybody have been willing or able to re-instate the phone/broadband line, copper or fibre? It wasn't that easy to get fixed wireless, we had to fell quite a few trees, fortunately some were blown over by various storms but there is still annual pruning along the sight lines. We did get a grant otherwise we couldn't have afforded it. Whilst I could have worked away with satellite (but not a fan) or 3G/4G, there is a gamer/streamer in the family and neither of those options were good enough; EE and Starlink were tried and discarded. I tried signing up to a voip service a while ago but didn't follow through when I couldn't get a number that I wanted; there was no mention of porting my old landline number.

bmc
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

@Ratchete 

Given that SOADSL appears to be available you can move at a time that suits you. PN will happily change your line but probably at the cost of a new contract.

 

As I understand it you only need about 0.5Mbps for a VOIP line but, given your likely speeds at the best of times it would probably mean no internet work during phone calls.

 

Somewhere deep in the back of my mind is a thought that you could sign up for a new, voice only account (second line) but not with PN. If allowed this would be your phone and leave the current line for internet only. Others may know more than me.

 

Brian

Baldrick1
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines


@Ratchete wrote:

EE and Starlink were tried and discarded. 


I can understand that Starlink is expensive, but why EE? Did you try using a MiFi unit with a high gain external antenna?

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jwsg
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

Right now the switch to digital voice might seem to be something only to worry about in the (not too distant) future and for now just a source of confusion - e.g. "end of copper lines" rather than changing from analogue to digital over copper or fibre.

But when it does finally happen and if PN stick to a policy of no "landline" unless you switch to EE/BT there's going to be some 1m fairly annoyed customers - the reason we're PN customers is about cost not a willingness to lose a basic service they could easily provide. 

jab1
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines


@jwsg wrote:

But when it does finally happen and if PN stick to a policy of no "landline" unless you switch to EE/BT there's going to be some 1m fairly annoyed customers - the reason we're PN customers is about cost not a willingness to lose a basic service they could easily provide. 


I keep saying this: PN are now merely the cheap, basic brand of BT Consumer Division, nothing more/nothing less, and BT Consumer Division decide what they will, or won't provide under that brand.

John
MisterW
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

There is some merit in what John says but there are other considerations

a basic service they could easily provide. 

Its not easy to provide a voip service, you need infrastructure and support. Plusnet has always provided the phone service using the BTw/Openreach WLR (wholesale line rental) service. As such they have little involvement in the provision of the service other than processing call & charging information from OR. In terms of support they use Openreach testing facilities and arrange Openreach engineers to fix faults.

Now BTw/Openreach have decided that they will not provide a similar Digital voice service in the future and that, if they wish to, then ISPs must provide their own infrastructure and support to provide such a service. Some ISPs have decided to so do, others have not.

 

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

jab1
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

Thanks, @MisterW , but is it not a fact that Plusnet is merely a BTCD 'brand', with all the decisions as to what they provide emanating from that Division?

John
MisterW
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

@jab1 as I said there's merit in what you say, but noone outside of the organisations really knows what and how such decisions are made. Such things are commercially sensitive.

I'm looking at the voip issue from a technical / support aspect and pointing out that its not as simple as people believe.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

jab1
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

Obviously they are 'commercially sensitive', but it is possible to do a little deduction, based on known facts. I don't want to get into an argument over this - just had a very enjoyable holiday 😀 - so I will just beg to differ.

John
Dan_the_Van
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Re: Is there an official Plusnet specific guide to the end of copper lines

When I joined Free-Online back in 2003 included on my package I had a VoIP product. Can not recall the year (been a few) plusnet discontinued the service and transferred the VoIP customer base if I recall correctly to Vonage.

I gave using VoIP at that time as it didn't seem to work very well on a slow ADSL connection.