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Digital Switchover 2025

TiptreeJam
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Digital Switchover 2025

By 2025, analogue telephone services accessed by the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will be switched off as the UK'’s telecoms infrastructure is upgraded to all digital connectivity. Because calls will be carried over the same network as broadband, the cost, complexity, and energy consumption will be lowered for providers, while customers should benefit from higher quality voice calls and lower volumes of scam calls.

This will have repercussions for customers as some existing equipment connected to the phone system will no longer work and I was wondering what PlusNet's plans are for ensuring a smooth changeover for its customers?   

39 REPLIES 39
jab1
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

Which existing equipment are you referring to? If you mean alarms (care/burglar), it is up to the providers of those services to make sure it will work.

John
corringham
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025


@TiptreeJam wrote:

... I was wondering what PlusNet's plans are for ensuring a smooth changeover for its customers?   


Currently Plusnet do not offer any VoIP solutions - other than allowing customers to migrate away to BT. Given the lead time for Plusnet to introduce anything new (e.g. FTTP) I don't think they have time to change that.

bmc
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

@TiptreeJam 

Like most ISP's PN have not announced what their plans are for the PSTN switchoff. Until they do, customers will be in the dark.

 

In some respects the switchoff is already happening. It's being done an an Exchange by Exchange basis where new orders for services over PSTN are declined.

 

Brian

davidj66
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

It'll be "interesting" to find out what will happen to PN customers who have agreed an 18/24 month contract for broadband/telephone and then find that their exchange is to switch off PTSN services.

jgb
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

I renewed my 18 month FTTC Unlimited Fibre contract very recently. FTTP is not yet available on my exchange and so the exchange is not yet  "stop sell" one for broadband over the copper network. The BT Openreach website suggests that whilst they are currently building the full fibre network here the only date they give for completion (presumably throughout the whole exchange area) is December 2026. They also say that the PSTN copper line switch off will be by December 2025! Go figure that one out! It seems to infer that they might be in the position of switching off the PSTN without having fibre fully deployed.

Meanwhile there are two other companies building their networks on these streets - Cityfibre (who I believe resell their product via several ISPs) and YouFibre (who appear to sell directly to the end user). The technician testing for Cityfibre at the new small local cabinet just down the street said a few days ago that their product should be available very shortly as everything was ready to go at that point. YouFibre are a bit further behind as the cables have yet to appear on our street according to their technician.

Anyway, I decided to renew with Plusnet as the current product meets my needs and I want to make sure that any full fibre product is working reliably after the switch on hereabouts. It also means that I can postpone any decision regarding my landline to see what transpires over the next few months. I read somewhere that, from April, OFCOM have stipulated that ISPs will have to allow a month for a customer to port their landline number to another provider (as long as they express the wish to do so at the time of cancelling the existing service). So that might be an option if we decide we do want to keep a landline. The Plusnet COT staffer said that if FTTP becomes available (via the Openreach network, presumably) Plusnet will tear up my new FTTC contract if I want to move to FTTP as that is regarded as an upgrade. Also, some very early flyers distributed by one or other of BTs competitor FTTP networks suggested they might buy you out of existing contracts if you moved to them. 

We shall see what happens over the next few months or years!

Incidentally, as part of the recontract I negotiated a Hub2 (with no p&p charges). Plusnet now seem to have adopted the BT model of requiring its return if you leave them, if I read the T  and c's of my recontract correctly, (or they may just be trying to improve their green credentials). The Hub2 will, of course, be suitable for FTTP in due course, but I noted that it connects at a slightly lower maximum data rate over FTTC that its predecessor Hub1.

MisterW
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

It seems to infer that they might be in the position of switching off the PSTN without having fibre fully deployed.

very likely, pstn  switch off does not mean copper line removal. PSTN switchoff means that phone services will be voip  based. Where full fibre is not available, voip can be provided over a broadband.connection via the copper line ( fttc or adsl ) 

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.

Townman
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

Indeed, so many people are confusing and conflating the switch off of PTSN with the demise of copper circuits.  They are not one and the same.

Switch off of PTSN is the ending of analogue transmission of voice services through exchange switches, to be replaced by VoIP services carried over any internet (data) connection service.

The fun and games will come when service such as ADSL / FTTC are predicated on their being a "phone number" within either of BT or the ISP's business systems ... and there is no alternative FTTP service / business model!!

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.

Browni
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

It seems to infer that they might be in the position of switching off the PSTN without having fibre fully deployed.

Yup!

Received this from Openreach last week :-

Hi IAN,
 

You let us know you're interested in Ultrafast Full Fibre, and we wanted to touch base with some good news – your area is in our build plans, and Full Fibre should be available at xxxxxxx Street by Dec/2026. 

December 2026!

Mustrum
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

This article from Age UK may help some people understand what is going on. Alas many of the ISP's have not declared their plans.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/consumer-issues/changes-to-landline-telephon...  

jgb
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

@Mustrum 

"Alas many of the ISP's have not declared their plans.".... including Plusnet who have only said that they will not provide a telephone service over FTTP. What is their intent in the intervening period for many exchanges where the copper will be retired in December 2025 bur FTTP might not be available until a year later (see comments above). Will customers merely be able to plug phones into the router (as various organisations suggest will happen) or is this when Plusnet effectively cease land lines? Just so....

@Townman 

"The fun and games will come when service such as ADSL / FTTC are predicated on their being a "phone number" within either of BT or the ISP's business systems ... and there is no alternative FTTP service / business model!!"

 

Townman
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025


@jgb wrote:

What is their intent in the intervening period for many exchanges where the copper will be retired in December 2025 bur FTTP might not be available until a year later (see comments above). Will customers merely be able to plug phones into the router (as various organisations suggest will happen) or is this when Plusnet effectively cease land lines?

 


Copper is not being retired - the analogue voice service (POTS/PTSN) is being retired.  Where FTTP is not fully deployed xDSL services will continue to be delivered over copper and voice will need to be delivered over VoIP.  Who provides that VoIP service is a moot point.

Across the industry the exit plans for analogue voice are at best ill conceived, both in terms of replacement voice services and how business and infrastructure systems (which are fundamentally predicated on telephone numbers as service identifiers) will work when there is no longer and UNDERLAYING phone service for xDSL broadband services delivered over copper.

As things stand the VoIP interfaces in the Plusnet Hub 2 are not configurable - users wanting to use VoIP will need a device to plug into the router.  Such might also offer a "standard" phone port for existing handsets.

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: Digital Switchover 2025

This might be a bit 'off-topic'' - I haven't read it all - but my ISP has sent a 'general' end-of-year/the future email where this subject is mentioned. Although I don't foresee a need for me to have a 'landline' number, that email invites us to contact them and discuss the situation.

the hub/router they supply has inbuilt VoIP capabilities, but I am unsure as to whether, as an FTTC customer, I can take advantage of them as we stand. I will be contacting them over the coming days to explore possibilities -maybe if I can pre-empt the mass switch-over easily, I shall do so.

John
Townman
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Re: Digital Switchover 2025

John,

There is ZERO reason why VoIP cannot be delivered over FTTC (or for that matter ADSL) ... so long as one has a VoIP provider and the right telephone kit.

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: Digital Switchover 2025

Thanks, @Townman  - I thought that was the case. As I said, I know my hub/router is already suitable, and Zen do 'supply' VoIP - all I need for the purposes of making my mind up is to know how this will affect me/my contract with them.

Unless something dramatic happens, I can't see me moving ISPs again,

John