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being moved to Digital Voice

stuck
Rising Star
Posts: 141
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Registered: ‎21-05-2009

being moved to Digital Voice

I'm probably being a bit premature and possibly this isn't the right place for me to ask this question...

I have a landline with BT but my broadband connection is with Plusnet.  The connection is simple copper but its speed ( typically 18 mbps) is more than adequate for my simple needs.  I don't use Plusnet's router, I have my own, a now very old Netgear one.

I got a letter from BT yesterday telling me that the UK's phone network is past its sell by date and so at some point in the near future I will be moved to Digital Voice, but there's nothing to worry about because all I need to do is plug my existing phone into my router.  Except, simple searches tell me that BT's Digital Voice only works with their Smart Hub 2 router, which I don't have.

I may have misread the letter but if they are killing my landline and replacing it with their VOIP service it seems to me that means I MUST take their broadband in order to maintain my landline.  I don't want that.  I like Plusnet's broadband offering.  I've been with them for so long I've got legacy webspace (both regular and ccgi).

Is there anyone here that's faced this sort of situation already?

96 REPLIES 96
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

I would imagine that BT are doing this to pre-emptively try and encourage you to sign up for their 'Digital Voice' service and get you tied into another 12/18/24 month contract, before you realise you can get more flexible VoIP service elsewhere.

 

I suggest keeping your internet with Plusnet (because of the reasons you've given),

however to avoid BT automatically transferring you to 'Digital Voice', I would recommend moving your landline rental and calls to Pulse8 (follow the link and click on the "Home" tab).

Pulse8 are great, only have 30 day rolling contracts, and I suspect you will save some money too.

 

I have the same legacy Plusnet features as you (since 1999), and have landline and calls with Pulse8 (since 2018).

 

It will be a few years yet before the old analogue telephone system will get switched off and phone customers forced to transfer to VoIP, so being with Pulse8 you will have plenty of time to consider your options, and your choices will be clearer when the time comes when everyone is forced to go digital.

 

If you do choose to transfer to Pulse8 or any other landline supplier, I recommend that you simply sign up with the new service and let them take over your line. DO NOT give notice to BT or speak to their retentions department, as they will try 'dirty tricks' in an attempt to stop you from leaving.  Just let the process complete, and BT will send you a final bill, and you won't get any hassle.

😉

stuck
Rising Star
Posts: 141
Thanks: 19
Registered: ‎21-05-2009

Re: being moved to Digital Voice


@Anonymous wrote:

It will be a few years yet before the old analogue telephone system will get switched off and phone customers forced to transfer to VoIP, 😉


Really?  This letter implied it was happening soon in my area.  I guess I must re-read it.

 

Meanwhile, thanks for the hint about Pulse8, I'll look into their offerings.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

I have some questions -

    1)  What telephone exchange are you connected to ?

    2)  Do you actually use your landline telephone, or does your household use mobiles instead ?

    3)  Your 'copper' internet, is that old ADSL or fibre FTTC ?

    4)  Is FTTP 'full fibre' available to order at your address ?

 

Baldrick1
Moderator
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Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

@stuck 

The switch off of the PSTN has started in some areas already, whether yours is one?

People get confused with the 2025 date, but that’s the date by which all lines are planned to be transferred, not the start.


 

Moderator and Customer
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If it fixed it,  help others - select 'This Fixed My Problem'

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

The 31st December 2025 anticipated analogue landline phone switch off date is still 29 months away, so plenty of time to make alternative plans,  but seems an unlikely timescale in which BT would need to physically convert EVERY landline to being digital.  Then there are the unresolved issues, such as not being able to make VoIP phone calls during a power cut, and alternatives don't yet exist for various house alarms, elderly people's personal fall alarms, and utility metering services, etc that rely on the old analogue signals.  It also makes you wonder if the switchover is even being taken seriously, when many ISPs (including Plusnet) either don't have plans for existing phone customers to be moved to a VoIP service, or even have an ordering process to convert landline to VoIP without risking losing the associated broadband service on the same connection.

 

31st December 2025 was also supposed to have been the date when all broadband lines in the UK were intended to have moved from copper to full fibre FTTP (and the copper wires removed),  but that project is way off schedule. Where I am, the plans show work starting sometime after 2027 !.  

EDIT - I've just checked the full fibre plans for my area and found that scheduled dates have now been removed, and it says there are no plans to provide FTTP for premises within my exchange area.

Protech
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: ‎26-09-2017

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

Full fibre roll out and PSTN switch off are two separate projects with different timescales.
PSTN switch off, for everybody, is 2025,and full fibre roll out around 2030 ish on current projections.
The confusion stems from the misunderstanding, by some, that full fibre is needed for "digital voice". It is not, "digital voice" or Voip is a software comms protocol and is independent of the underlying physical infrastructure and has been around for a long time.
It is not helped by ISPs using variants of the term Fibre for all their products these days!

With effect from September no one will be able to get any new copper based services (ADSL, VDSL, POTS etc) installed due to the openreach stop sell, and for many who are already in a fibre priority area this is already the case.
So anyone thinking of changing or getting a new provider for a copper based service needs to move quickly.
There is a good guide to the landline transition here
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-transition-from-analogue-to-digital-landlines
HTH
You can check out but you can never leave ( easily)
Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

I can see the point for doing a September 2023 "stop sell" for POTS and exchange terminated ADSL,

but I can't see the logic of "stop sell"ing cabinet terminated ADSL or VDSL where there is no FTTP alternative,  otherwise in areas like mine where FTTP might not appear for another five to seven years, are you suggesting that nobody in my village will be able to change ISP or order any new phone(VoIP over DSL) or VDSL broadband service until the end of this decade because we have been left behind with our obsolete copper lines ?

MisterW
Superuser
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

The September 'stop sell' is for Wholesale line rental (WLR) i.e copper based phone service. You will still be able to order SoGEA ( copper based FTTC without phone ) and SoADSL ( copper based ADSL without phone ) . The exception being that in areas that are marked as 'fibre priority' and where FTTP is available to the premises , only FTTP can be ordered.

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.

stuck
Rising Star
Posts: 141
Thanks: 19
Registered: ‎21-05-2009

Re: being moved to Digital Voice


@Anonymous wrote:

I have some questions -

    1)  What telephone exchange are you connected to ?

    2)  Do you actually use your landline telephone, or does your household use mobiles instead ?

    3)  Your 'copper' internet, is that old ADSL or fibre FTTC ?

    4)  Is FTTP 'full fibre' available to order at your address ?

 


1) I'd rather not give details of my location but I will say it is rural, though my exchange is only about 450 m from my house.

2) Yes, I do use the landline.  My mobile is an ancient Nokia brick.

3) My 'copper' internet is ADSL.

4) I don't know but when I check at Plusnet, I'm offered their 'unlimited fibre' and their 'unlimited fibre extra'.  Does that answer your question?

stuck
Rising Star
Posts: 141
Thanks: 19
Registered: ‎21-05-2009

Re: being moved to Digital Voice


@Baldrick1 wrote:

@stuck 

The switch off of the PSTN has started in some areas already, whether yours is one?


Searches show my area is one of the first three regions where, "...BT customers will be encouraged to upgrade to Digital Voice..." and, "...Customers in these regions will be contacted by BT at least four weeks before being upgraded to help ensure they’re ready to make the switch..."

Having re-read the letter, there is this, "...If you don't have a broadband connection and only use a landline, we'll be in touch with details about which service you'll be switching to...".  That will be 'interesting', since as I said in my OP, I do have a broadband connection but it's not with BT, it's with Plusnet.

Could I end up with two broadband connections?  One supplied by BT, to provide their Digital Voice, the other my existing connection with Plusnet.

RealAleMadrid
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,751
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Registered: ‎07-07-2009

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

@stuck  You need to shift your phone line to a different supplier ASAP or BT may assume you have no Broadband and put you on a low rate 0.5/0.5 Mbps service purely for digital voice. They will not be putting in a new copper line for this and as you can't have 2 services on a single line your Plusnet broadband would be cancelled.☹️

Why not get a new Plusnet Broadband and phone contract, it would be cheaper that what you have now.

stuck
Rising Star
Posts: 141
Thanks: 19
Registered: ‎21-05-2009

Re: being moved to Digital Voice


@RealAleMadrid wrote:

...BT may assume...


They might, but they have already said,"...we'll be in touch with details about which service you'll be switching to..." so I'll wait to see what they say.

Jonpe
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Re: being moved to Digital Voice

@Anonymous

I also chose Pulse8 for my phone service when I left PN in 2018 and have had no problems with their service.  Their prices are substantially lower than BT/PN; during the first month with Pulse8 I paid 79p for calls which would have cost £12.76 with BT/PN.  One odd thing is that they advice potential customers to let their current provider know that they are migrating to Pulse8 which is not the advice given by anyone else, including experienced contributors to this and other forums.

Davey76
Grafter
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Registered: ‎20-11-2022

Re: being moved to Digital Voice

I am getting very annoyed with this issue. I have been told that I can have BT Digital Voice with the Plusnet Router and account., but there seems confusion amongst the advice from BT and Plusnet. I currently have both Broadband and landline with Plusnet. I was told today by Plusnet that I can have Digital Voice with Plusnet Broadband but did not go into detail at that stage as I thought I would need to speak to BT., Which I did by Chat - screenshot attached. In essence BT are saying that Plusnet can add Digital Voice to your Plusnet Broadband Account. I am awaiting a phone call back from Plusnet to verify that this is the case.