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proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

Devongirl
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proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

Hi, I've just joined the community - hoping for some help.  I called Plusnet a couple of weeks ago about what I can see as a forthcoming problem for me and I;m sure there must be others like me.  I am profoundly hard of hearing, but do not use BS language.  I need my landline for emergencies.  I cannot hear people on mobiles (I do not own a mobile for that reason), speaker phones, internet phones or non-corded phones, frequencies are just wrong for me.  I was told 2 weeks ago, by Plusnet, when I went through a struggling phone call with them, that when the times comes, exceptions can be made.  I was happy with that, but have since been talking to friends, one who works for BT, and am told that this will not be possible as copper wires will be discontinued altogether.  Does anyone know for certain what will happen please?  I've just turned 70 years young and am obvioulsy concerned .... Thanks in advance Smiley

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G6JPG-0
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

Although the copper wires will remain if that's how you currently get your internet, the ability to make 'phone calls over them will cease (though the cessation may be 2027 rather than 2025). For most people, it will just be a matter of unplugging your 'phone from the 'phone socket and plugging it into your router, via an adapter device ("ATA") if necessary. An added complication for we PlusNet customers is that they are not going to supply this service (known as VoIP), so you'll either have to move your whole service (broadband and 'phone) to someone who does supply both (such as BT or Zen), or just take out a separate VoIP contract (e. g. with voipfone, A&A, or others).

As for special provision: it is my understanding that that's only for people who _only_ have 'phone, not those who have broadband as well. _Hopefully_, you will be able to use your existing 'phone - or, find a different one you _can_ use. Sorry to appear to be putting that on you; the industry _ought_ to be helping people with limited hearing like yourself; I _hope_ they do.

As a side question, have you looked into (I think it is called) the textphone service? I don't know much about it, but I understand it is there, at least for the profoundly deaf. Might be worth asking - not sure who - about it, partly because of the coming change, partly in case your hearing deteriorates further.

G6JPG-0
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

For what it's worth: I'm looking (for my own reasons) at the manual for one (actually two) of the common ATAs (the device that goes between your 'phone and your router), the Grandstream HT801 and 802 (manual at https://www.grandstream.com/hubfs/Product_Documentation/ht80x_user_guide.pdf), and I see (page 21 of 38) that you can choose between 7 different vocoders; I don't know if that might help you. They are: • PCM U / PCM A • iLBC • G-726 • G-723 • G-729 • OPUS • G722. I don't know if that helps.

(This - the HT801 - seems to be one of the options lots of the VoIP providers sell.)

Baldrick1
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

@Devongirl 

The important thing is not to panic or worry over this. Landlines are not disappearing, you will still be able to use the same handset as you have at present, it's just that the connection will be carried over the Internet

The switch off date for the old system will occur at some time before January 2027 (the final switch off date has recently been pushed back). You will be advised by Plusnet when your line has to be transferred, whatever you do don't take any notice of local publicity relating to BT/EE, they are working to a different time scale. In the meantime, you can continue to renew your existing Plusnet contract for phone and Internet by ringing the Customer Options Team on 0800 013 2632.

When you are given notice of the end of your phone service by Plusnet, my advice is to transfer to BT making sure that they are aware that you are a vulnerable customer. I have no doubt that you will be released from any existing contract as Plusnet will be unable to provide the contracted product. BT have processes in place to transfer your Internet/phone and provide help to vulnerable customers, such as back up facilities during power cuts.

 

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G6JPG-0
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

you will still ne able to use the same handset as you have at present, it's just that the connection will be carried over the Internet - note that @Devongirl says "I cannot hear people on mobiles (I do not own a mobile for that reason), speaker phones, internet phones or non-corded phones, frequencies are just wrong for me". So it may require a little tweaking: using the same handset, but with a different codec, may not be completely transparent.

Obviously even the present system will be using a codec of some sort at the telephone exchange or cabinet: the days of direct analogue connection ceased decades ago, so she is using a codec on her landline even now. It would be useful to know which one BT Openreach use (assuming it is always the same one), so we can see if it's one of the list I've found for the Grandview HT801/2 ATAs, or some other ATA.

Though as you say, don't panic; there's a reasonable amount of time to get things sorted.

Baldrick1
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

@G6JPG-0 

I think that you are over complicating this issue.

There are customers who have technical knowledge of codecs and are quite capable of setting up their own ATA with a third party VoIP provider.

There are others who are not technical who simply want a working phone plus an Internet connection. To them this technical jargon means nothing and just adds to their anxiety. There is no evidence that I have seen to counter the suggestion that all @Devongirl  needs to do when the time comes is to move to a supplier who provides a combined phone/Internet service, and plug her existing phone into the socket on the new router.

 

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Devongirl
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

Hi everyone

Thanks all for responding to my query, very kind.

It's quite right to assume that I have no techno knowledge and some of the talk is over my head Smiley and all I am in need of is to continue using my landline as it is at the moment.  I have a friend with an internet landline and I cannot hear her speaking, comes across as 'noise'.  This is why I'm trying to 'do something' before it all kicks off.....

Without my laptop I'd be totally isolated so cannot give that up - there was one reply about vulnerable customers being taken care of if they ONLY have a landline.  Quite rare I'd imagine?  So despite Plusnet telling me that exceptions wil be bale to be made, it does not soud to be true, sadly.  I was actually told byt this gentleman to call back around November 2025 to request an exemption .....

I find it quite disgusting that nobody is considering vulnerable people - who can be any age! - but iinstead ploughing ahead with the agenda.  Very sad and upsetting.  I am also EMF sensitive so turn my router off at night.  Once the internet phones come in, I am totally without outside contact, unless I turn on my system.  Not good in an emergency, but then they don;t seem to care about those any more ....

Thanks again to all x

Devongirl
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

PS, it is important to remember for all hard of hearing that yes, I would still have my landline, but the sound changes - that is the problem ..... as they are different frequencies - else I could hear my friend on the internet phone.

bmc
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

@Devongirl 

Couple of things.

 

Have you registered with PN as requiring additional support?

 

How is your internet connection supplied? Put your number in the following and post a screen image of the results, hiding your details. To post the image click on the icon above the reply box that looks like a rectangle with a mountain in it.

https://www.broadbandchecker.btwholesale.com/#/ADSL

 

Brian

Devongirl
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

Hi Brian, no I haven't registered, didn't know that was possible.  I keep telling them though to email, not phone :).  Thanks for advice - do you have a link to where to register please?  So grateful.

Also did that check with BT and here is the image of what I got - obviously means nothing to me .....

THANK YOU

 

bmc
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

@Devongirl 

Not entirely sure where the link is but if you login to your PN Portal and look through the Legal section I think you'll find it there.

 

The results show Full Fibre is available to your house. As you still have your telephone I'll assume you are on either an ADSL or FTTC connection.

 

You can choose as and when you move to an Internet only connection with PN, transferring your phone to an independant VOIP provider or you can choose to switch ISP to a provider who offers both - BT being the obvious one.

 

One thing not mentioned so far is VOIP doesn't work during power cuts so you need back up power for the router and any digital phone. If and when you go to FTTP you need power for the ONT as well.

 

FTTP is actually better during power cuts as the fibre cable runs all the way to a major Exchange which will have better back up than FTTC cabinets (the batteries in them can run out in as little as 30 minutes).

 

You have time to research what you want to do regarding your phone. If you'e a member of any Support group for the deaf I'd be surprised if they don't have information regarding the switch over. Other than that there's the good old internet to go searching for phone ideas for the Deaf.

 

Brian

 

 

bmc
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

@Devongirl 

OK, had a quick look. Login to your PN Portal and then

https://www.plus.net/help/legal/accessibility/

 

Look at both the Additional Support Form link and

https://www.plus.net/help/legal/support-for-customers-with-disabilities/

 

Brian

 

Edit : The support form is acutally under "My Account" on the PN Dashboard

 

Devongirl
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

Thank you Brian for all your feedback, lots over my head, but I'll at least start with the forms :).  Be well

Baldrick1
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025


@Devongirl wrote:
...  I have a friend with an internet landline and I cannot hear her speaking, comes across as 'noise'. 

Is this the case with all Internet based calls, or just this one contact? Has any-one with normal hearing listened in to a call from this person and confirmed that they can hear it clearly with no noise on the line? I ask in case you are be judging the quality of all Internet calls on the basis of a fault on this one connection.

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Devongirl
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Re: proposed switch to internet phones in 2025

Hi, hard to describe/explain, the voice itself is a like a noise, there is no actual noise as far as I know, language is distorted, unidentifyable, elongated.  I am told by my hearing aid provider that digital voices vary a lot and often give problems.  I have the same problem with watching webinars for example, male voices being better than female (I have severe high frequency loss). It's all down to frequencies sadly.  Could it be because there is no 'hard wire connection' to carry the sound?  I.e. I struggle hearing mobiles, cordless, speaker phones?  Thanks for patience :), but there must be loads of people like me and maybe this could end in 'something' of a result for all?  I don't want to just give in and up.