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FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

Jorvik
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FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

It's great news that Plusnet have soft-launched their Full Fibre FTTP product (at last!).

 

It's currently only available to existing Plusnet (FTTC and ADSL) customers - and as some are realising, taking FTTP from Plusnet means losing their existing landline number, as Plusnet are not offering a 'digital voice' (VoIP) service... at least not yet.

 

So, is a Plusnet 'digital voice' service on the horizon? My guess would be that it is, as when PSTN switchoff comes in 2025 Plusnet have two options as to what do with existing FTTC and ADSL customers with bundled landlines - either:

(a) offer a 'digital voice' service, or
(b) inform them that if they want to keep their landline service and number, they need to migrate to another provider.

 

Scenario (b) seems unlikely, though I suppose it's not impossible - arguably it could be said to fit in with the BT Group's ongoing direction for Plusnet as a no-frills 'value' brand, but it'd also be in danger of losing Plusnet quite a few customers - and in this scenario, whilst some might then switch to a BT Consumer product (so their money stays within the BT family), others would go elsewhere.

 

Regardless, in the meantime I hope that the Plusnet sales advisors are making clear the loss of the landline service and number to people calling up to upgrade to FTTP - for many it won't be much of an issue, but for others it will matter.

38 REPLIES 38
pint
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

As it is at the moment you can migrate to another provider and keep your landline - but lose your plusnet email ( advice if you already use plusnet email then start migrating away ASAP)

 Or you can get plusnet FTTP and lose your landline number

Townman
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

There seems to be a strong sentiment from the youngsters making the decisions around here that users do not need landline numbers these days (everyone has a mobile) so the loss of their copper borne number is not that much of an issue.

What that does not respect is that not everyone has the same outlook and many users live in mobile not spots.  I was in Craster recently on holiday, disappointed to find zero mobile service, but delighted to find that the holiday cottage was a Plusnet subscriber!

Marketing really need to review this space, whilst many might not want a land line phone service, many others do and to them it is essential.  It is one thing to give the option of having no voice service to those who do not want one, but it is an entirely different matter to have a service provision model which has no voice service delivering the options of...

  1. remaining with Plusnet and losing the existing voice service and phone number
  2. needing to find an alternative provider for both broadband and voice (losing email)

If Plusnet does not want to offer voice services here then needs to be a "third way" which allows the user to migrate the voice service elsewhere without losing the existing Plusnet account and migrate then to upgrade the broadband service to FTTP.

 

I find the fickle business models in the industry confusing ... recall the mad rush to be "triple or quadruple players"?  The one purveyors of everything in the communications space - voice+broadband+TV(+mobile) - now seem on an equal mad rush to be single product providers - FTTP only broadband connect.

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: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?


@Townman wrote:

 

I find the fickle business models in the industry confusing ... recall the mad rush to be "triple or quadruple players"?  The one purveyors of everything in the communications space - voice+broadband+TV(+mobile) - now seem on an equal mad rush to be single product providers - FTTP only broadband connect.


I find them confusing, but fortunately never fell for them. My land-line phone and FTTC are with one ISP (as seems to be logical and practical, to me), my mobile is with a 'mobile' provider and my TV just gets whatever channels my STB will pick up - many of which I never watch.

If I'm still around and with the same ISP when FTTP finally gets our way - we are in the last tranche in 2025 as it stands at the moment, I probably won't worry about a land-line as there are only about three people who use it, and all have mobiles anyway - just prefer the fixed line for various reasons.

John
pint
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

The issue with landline numbers is that many people have had the same number for a long time, and that number will be the contact number that distant relatives/friends etc have.

 The landline number is seen as being important by Government, so much so there is legislation in place to ensure you can keep your landline number when moving provider Regulations that were enhanced by Offcom a few years back, see here :

 

"You will have more power over your landline provider if it tries to stop you taking your phone number when you switch, thanks to a new process in effect from today.

People and businesses have the right to keep their telephone numbers, regardless of which phone company they are with.

Under Ofcom rules, phone companies must allow customers to take their telephone number with them to a new provider when they switch. This is known as ‘number porting’."

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/new-protections-stamp-out-switching-fr...:

 

Dan_the_Van
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

@Townman 

There seems to be a strong sentiment from the youngsters making the decisions around here that users do not need landline numbers these days (everyone has a mobile) so the loss of their copper borne number is not that much of an issue.

Not disagreeing with you but those same youngsters could see us old folk an obstacle to change. Harking back to the good old days it's not really the way forward, if we didn't evolve we'd still be living in caves.

The older you get the harder change gets, evolution can not be put on hold because someone doesn't get or like it.

Dan   

Townman
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

Evolution should not be revolutionary and preclude inclusive options for all. The reference to generational outlooks was to crystallise discriminative thinking, which ignores the needs of those dismissed. I suspect that all of the shakers and movers in the decision making space all live in inner city urban areas having zero understanding that not everyone has access to reliable 5G mobile services. If such understanding existed, the decisions made … would not have been made.

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.

helvellyn
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

I've been waiting for FTTP to turn up for a while, and now that it has the lack of a landline option to go with it is making me think about looking elsewhere, even though having to change email would be almost as much hassle as changing phone number. I've no interest or desire whatsoever in getting a mobile.

RobPN
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?


@Townman wrote:

 

Marketing really need to review this space, whilst many might not want a land line phone service, many others do and to them it is essential.  It is one thing to give the option of having no voice service to those who do not want one, but it is an entirely different matter to have a service provision model which has no voice service delivering the options of...

  1. remaining with Plusnet and losing the existing voice service and phone number
  2. needing to find an alternative provider for both broadband and voice (losing email)

If Plusnet does not want to offer voice services here then needs to be a "third way" which allows the user to migrate the voice service elsewhere without losing the existing Plusnet account and migrate then to upgrade the broadband service to FTTP.

 


Based on the 'losing email' element of the above I've taken the first steps to free myself from other peoples decisions by doing what many others have already done - purchased a domain and set up a new email account.

The most difficult part of the process so far was thinking of a domain name which hasn't already gone!

Leapy
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

@RobPN I totally agree with you, PN needs to look again at the landline issue with digital voice, and keeping the same phone number. Last year, I switched to BT 100 FTTP, keeping my landline number, with digital voice and it's brilliant with no outages.

This is the current WIFI speed (and its even better plugged in)BT 100 WIFIBT 100 WIFI

 

Will I stay with BT? I'm not sure as Community Fibre is coming to my area next month, with fantastic speed and value for money, 

Current Community Fibre offerCurrent Community Fibre offer

Jorvik
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?


@Townman wrote:

There seems to be a strong sentiment from the youngsters making the decisions around here that users do not need landline numbers these days (everyone has a mobile) so the loss of their copper borne number is not that much of an issue.

[...]


 

@Leapy wrote:

@RobPN I totally agree with you, PN needs to look again at the landline issue with digital voice, and keeping the same phone number. Last year, I switched to BT 100 FTTP, keeping my landline number, with digital voice and it's brilliant with no outages.

[...]

 

 

OP here - well this thread has gone off in a slightly crazy ranty direction, which wasn't my intention.

 

Perhaps I didn't emphasise it enough in my opening post, but I fully expect Plusnet to launch a 'digital voice' (VoIP) service sooner or later - I'd think Plusnet have too many existing customers who continue to value their landlines to suddenly ditch them all when PSTN switchoff comes.

 

(For smaller ISPs the equation may be different, and they might consider offering a 'digital voice' service to be more hassle than they regard as being worthwhile.)

 

It's worth bearing in mind that Plusnet's new Hub Two router is a rebadged BT SmartHub 2, which offers support for 'digital voice' services.

 

Essentially I'd say it's just a matter of time until Plusnet launch their own 'digital voice' solution, and really the reason I started this thread was to try and pick up any clues or gather any hints as to when that might be.

 

For whatever reasons related to issues with their backend systems, Plusnet have been slow to launch their FTTP service - and I wouldn't say they have actually properly launched it yet, rather they have soft-launched it and only made it availble to existing customers. My guess is matters reached a stage when Plusnet became able to offer a 'naked' (voiceless) FTTP service, and have decided they'd go ahead and make it available, rather than waiting for the accompanying 'digital voice' service to be ready.

 

When the 'full' launch happens (and Plusnet FTTP is offered to new customers as well as existing ones), I'd expect this to be with a 'digital voice' service.

That said, perhaps I'm wrong and the world is in fact conspiring against you...

Townman
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

I indeed do hope that we will all be surprised and a voice option which retains a user's existing land line service will be offered to those who want such.  However I fear that there is thought to be a limited market for this ... not dissimilar to the historical position on FTTP itself.

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.

flanzm
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

If you look at PlusNets major competitor, TalkTalk - they don't provide a VoIP service, all of their 'Full Fibre' products are 'Data only'.  I think PlusNet will use this to reinforce their position as a value provider; if customers want voice as well then they will need to look at BT etc.  Whilst I accept there is still a need for landlines in rural areas I would expect these to be a small proportion of the overall customer base, and if you are focusing on the value market it's something you can do without.

I think not porting people onto 'digital voice' is actually doing people a favour, it's a perfect opportunity to move to a much cheaper SIP based VoIP provider and therefore access really cheap call prices (0.5p/minute is fairly standard, with no call connection charges).  Once ported most people don't need expensive call packages and can just PAYG for calls.

I do accept the migration process is pretty poor though, but again from PlusNet's perspective if they don't offer a voice product then it's perfecly understandable. 

Townman
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

Not offering a voice service on FTTP in its self is not an unreasonable commercial decision. What is unreasonable is giving users no means of migrating away their existing phone number, without losing all existing account functions.

The only options in town are lose your email or lose your number - neither are entirely reasonable for those long-standing loyal users who use both.

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.

flanzm
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Re: FTTP (and FTTC / ADSL) - Plusnet 'digital voice' coming?

I do agree with you, but I would imagine the situation with TalkTalk is similar. Not justifying it just trying to highlight an emerging pattern here.
One other side effect of this I guess is referrals. If you set up a new account for FTTP then I guess all referrals will die with the old account.