cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

FIXED
Schiehallion
Grafter
Posts: 48
Thanks: 7
Registered: ‎07-08-2016

PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

My fathers Plusnet broadband and phone contract expires at the start of June. Think this is the time to move the phone service (including number) away from Plusnet, as they won’t be offering VOIP.

 

I have looked at various options:

  • Move both phone and broadband to BT. Cost £46.99 a month (including anytime unlimited minutes call plan). Seems quite expensive.
  • Move both services to Zen. Cost £41 a month (including 1000 minutes call plan). However 1000 minutes a month equates to 33 mins a day, this might not be enough, and calls outside the call plan are quite expensive.
  • Keep broadband with Plusnet and move phone service to Andrews & Arnold. No call plan, but calls are cheap plus A&A offer free calls to other A&A numbers. If I moved my phone to A&A too, this would help a lot with the costs.

 

The last option looks like it could be the most suitable.

He is currently on ADSL broadband (20 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload).

 

Now for the problem bit. When I put his details into both the Zen and BT websites, he is only being offered FTTP (ie Full Fibre). When I log into his Plusnet account, he is only being offered to recontract his existing service or move to FTTP. It would be inconvenient to have a Fibre service installed into the house.

If he stayed with Plusnet, would it be possible for him to keep ADSL (or change to FTTC), while transferring his phone number to A&A?

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

55 REPLIES 55
HPsauce
Pro
Posts: 7,059
Thanks: 184
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

I think the answer to your final question is a definite no. Moving the number elsewhere will terminate the whole contract.

You could probably negotiate an extension to the current contract with PlusNet though it sounds like you don't want to do that.

Rock and Hard Place?

Mark63
Rising Star
Posts: 72
Thanks: 25
Registered: ‎15-11-2017

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

Out of interest, what is the out of contact price for the current Plusnet ADSL service ? If you do nothing in June, nothing (apart from the price!) will change in the short term. There is still the end stop date of December 2025 for the landline phone of course.

I'd be inclined to get FTTP installed as a 'new' service, NOT as an upgrade, get the A&A VoIP service running and working properly, then port his number to that VoIP service, thus killing the present ADSL service.

Make sure you are at his house on the FTTP installation day to direct activity etc
Batfrog
Rising Star
Posts: 98
Thanks: 52
Registered: ‎13-06-2023

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

@Schiehallion another option which is cost effective especially if you make a lot of calls is to have FTTP or SOGEA from Plusnet when there is a good offer on (currently £26 for 74Mb) and port the number to ‘Virtual Landline’ on their unlimited calls (inc Mobiles) for £8.75 pcm so £35ish in total. This is what I did a few months ago and so far all is working very well. A&A are excellent but not cheap if you make a lot of calls, particularly mobiles. My ‘children’ all use mobiles and don’t have landlines so calling them would be quite expensive on a non-inclusive package.

Most VOIP services are on a rolling monthly contract so if you don’t like the service you can change very quickly.

The downside in porting your number to any VOIP service is that it takes a couple of weeks to complete, so no phone service during that period.

Another anomaly with VOIP, particularly for older folk is that even if you’re only ringing your next-door neighbour you have to dial the area code as well. An elderly friend of mine who did much the same as me can’t get his head around the fact that the local exchange becomes irrelevant and he has to dial all 11 digits when ringing locally to numbers he’s called for decades.

My plan was, and is to ditch VOIP and go mobile only on a handset that never leaves the house if VOIP doesn’t work out which is probably the cheapest option anyway.

Edit: I should have added DON'T port your number until FTTP or SOGEA is up and running or you will lose your broadband and your number.

Baldrick1
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11,787
Thanks: 5,243
Fixes: 420
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal


@Schiehallion wrote:

My fathers Plusnet broadband and phone contract expires at the start of June. Think this is the time to move the phone service (including number) away from Plusnet, as they won’t be offering VOIP.


Why is this the time? If you ring the Customer Options Team on 0800 013 2632 I expect that they will offer to renew the current broadband and phone contract for at least 12 and perhaps 18 months. The PSTN is not programmed to be switched off until the end of next year.

By then the mechanism to move a Plusnet supplied PSTN phone service to a third party VoIP provider will hopefully be simplified compared with the current tortuous process.

Unless there are problems with the current PSTN phone service it is worth considering what the advantages are of moving to VoIP, which does not work during a power cut. I accept that it can have some trendy features that many, especially the older generation, will never use.

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

MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 15,082
Thanks: 5,732
Fixes: 408
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

Another anomaly with VOIP, particularly for older folk is that even if you’re only ringing your next-door neighbour you have to dial the area code as well. An elderly friend of mine who did much the same as me can’t get his head around the fact that the local exchange becomes irrelevant and he has to dial all 11 digits when ringing locally to numbers he’s called for decades.

Some voip devices, the Gigaset ones for instance (there may be others?), will allow you to configure a 'local area code'. The device then detects when you are dialling a local number and automatically inserts the area code.

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.

Batfrog
Rising Star
Posts: 98
Thanks: 52
Registered: ‎13-06-2023

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

@MisterW I agree, one of my phones has a similar function but I guess most people just want to continue using the equipment they’ve got.

In years past when everybody had a VCR there were some very sophisticated machines the functions of which never got used. Most people just wanted to time shift programs to a more convenient time for them.

Likewise I guess most people just want to continue to use the telephone to make calls when it suits them as they've always done rather than all the ‘bells and whistles’ VOIP services provide.

bmc
Hero
Posts: 3,351
Thanks: 1,113
Fixes: 51
Registered: ‎28-02-2017

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

@Schiehallion 

Why is it inconvenient to have FTTP installed (if we may ask)?

 

In terms of VOIP FTTP is far better - it's got more resiiance during power cuts (if you have back up power for your equipment).

 

Brian

Mark63
Rising Star
Posts: 72
Thanks: 25
Registered: ‎15-11-2017

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

It might require digging in the garden, it might require having ladders and the such like. It will require holes being drilled, and people inside the house.

All that stuff would give my 93 year old mother anxiety.

Actually she's in a similar situation as the OP's father, except her Plusnet service is FTTC and still has a year to run.

Ironically while I continue to wait for Openreach to fibre up our road, and I'm poised to 'take their arm off', totally surprisingly (to me ) Giganet have turned up in my mother's village, and there's now a roll of fibre gaffer taped to 'her' telegraph pole 🤬
Schiehallion
Grafter
Posts: 48
Thanks: 7
Registered: ‎07-08-2016

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

Hi. Thanks for the replies everyone.

 

@HPsauce Yes, it seems to be that if we transfer the number out, then the only option is to go FTTP.

 

@Mark63 Don't know what the out of contract price for the existing service is. He is being quoted for recontracting his existing service, via his Plusnet account, £30.99 a month (12 months), £28.99 (18 months) & £23.50 (24 months). Don't know how the 24 month option would work, as that lasts well beyond PSTN switch off! Thanks for the recommendation to get a new FTTP service and not to transfer the existing service to FTTP. I fully understand your reasoning.

 

@Batfrog Thanks for your recommendation of "Virtual Landline". I just counted through my dad's call logs for last month and it totalled 600 mins. It may be that the Zen 1000 minute limit won't be an issue after all.

I get your point that it might be better just to have a house mobile and forget about VOIP, It's just that we want to keep his existing landline number. Also his landline phone is amplified.

 

@Baldrick1 I meant this could be the time to change, as his contract is up for renewal and another 2 year contract takes things past the PSTN turn off date. Also was thinking that it would be better not to leave any changes till the last minute. I do hope that Plusnet makes the change process simpler too.

You are quite correct in that the existing phone service is fine and any addition features of VOIP are of no use to my father whatsoever.

 

@MisterW @Batfrog Needing to dial the area code for local numbers won't be an issue. He does want to keep using his existing landline phone as it's amplified (he's hard of hearing).

 

@bmc I quite accept that FTTP is more suitable for VOIP (and better in general).

It's just as @Mark63 said, it's not straight forward to run another cable to a suitable location in the house tidily. Can't get under the floor at all. Could lift carpets and flooring, but the carpets are relatively new, and they never go back down properly. Also don't want cables running along skirting boards or around door frames.

 

If going for FTTP, am I right in saying that the ONT has to be on an outside wall, at the point where the Fibre enters the property? Or, if we had the flooring up, would OR install it about 8' inside the property?

bmc
Hero
Posts: 3,351
Thanks: 1,113
Fixes: 51
Registered: ‎28-02-2017

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

@Schiehallion 

Three things. First check the following Checker. You're looking for any narrative below the results window about FTTP. It should say if any problems are expected for an install.

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

 

Is the property fed by an overhead or underground connection?

 

Finally, the installer usually has a bit of leeway as to were the external box on an outside wall and where the ONT is sited. It can be possible to run a cable from the outside box around the house to bring it some on another wall. The ONT is usually sited at the entry point but can be elsewhere in the room, but this would involve stapling cable to the skirting board. It's the art of the possible against the desirable.

 

Brian

 

HPsauce
Pro
Posts: 7,059
Thanks: 184
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

This article from BT is labelled as being for business FTTP, but I think domestic would be the same. How is Fibre to the Premises installed | BT Business

I see no reason why you can't prepare things by drilling the hole in the wall yourself if you decide where you want it; I did that for a recent installation (admittedly FTTC not FTTP) and the engineer was totally happy. The internal box is powered so needs to be near a power point. The router is also powered and connected to that by Ethernet cable, BUT remember that can be as long as 100 metres! (I wonder if anyone has ever tried to do that using Homeplugs, i.e. ethernet over mains? - Yes, I've seen comments online of people who've done this!).

Finally, depending on what ISP you go with there will probably be a separate VOIP box (also powered) that connects to your router, again by ethernet and your phone handsets will connect to, by cable or wireless (DECT). I know from my own experience that can (certainly for Gigaset kit) be over a Homeplug type of link and presumably a WiFi access point with Ethernet output if preferred. (I use the latter to provide a wireless connection to two printers that only have wired networking).

So, in summary, there's a fair bit of flexibility in locating the assorted items you need, worth thinking about.

Baldrick1
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11,787
Thanks: 5,243
Fixes: 420
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal


@Schiehallion wrote:

Hi. Thanks for the replies everyone.

@Baldrick1 I meant this could be the time to change, as his contract is up for renewal and another 2 year contract takes things past the PSTN turn off date. Also was thinking that it would be better not to leave any changes till the last minute. I do hope that Plusnet makes the change process simpler too.

You are quite correct in that the existing phone service is fine and any addition features of VOIP are of no use to my father whatsoever.


As your father is currently on ADSL then it sounds like he does not need high bandwidthe requirements. If you go FTTP then you may get adequate signal strength by installing the hub on an outside wall alongside the ONT and use wireless, if necessary mesh units are coming down in price.

With respect to preparing for VoIP, what I did was get an ATA and set it up with a monthly contract with A & A, taking one of their numbers. I set this up with a spare handset and fully familiarised myself with it before cancelling the contract. This was not the cheapest way to do it but I now have all the kit 'in stock' ready to go when the fateful day comes.

Remember that VoIP is not location related so you can do this at home.

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

HPsauce
Pro
Posts: 7,059
Thanks: 184
Fixes: 3
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

@Schiehallion I concur with @Baldrick1 about advance preparation, I did the same migrating from BT landline with PN ADSL to FTTC (new PN line) and VOIP from A&A.

You're probably going to have to buy (after deciding what/when/how) some sort of ATA unit and the monthly cost of a VOIP number is tiny. And remember, even if you choose one supplier for "familiarisation" you can always use another one to transfer the landline number to. Most ATAs can support multiple VOIP accounts/numbers (but check the spec!).

MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 15,082
Thanks: 5,732
Fixes: 408
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: PSTN Switch Off and Contract Renewal

Most ATAs can support multiple VOIP accounts/numbers (but check the spec!)

@HPsauce you've been spoiled by the Gigaset N300😀

the commonly used Grandstream HT series of ATAs only support a single account on each phone port.

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.