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PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

OnThePhone
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PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

I read in Which? that BT will completely cease providing analogue landline phone services in the UK by the end of 2025 and some areas have already started to convert to VoIP. I understand that all new landline connections are already VoIP.

1. I guess that the roll out is by BT exchange rather than by end service provider? Do we have any idea what the rollout plan is?

2. Will I hear via Plusnet (who currently provide my landline) that I'm being converted or direct from BT (although I know PN is part of BT)?

3. Will PN be issuing new routers with a phone connection socket for me to plug in a base station for my cordless phones?

This conversion seems to be creeping up on us. The Which? survey says 91% of people are unaware of it. Can we have a statement from Plusnet please?

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bmc
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

@OnThePhone 

It is OpenReach who are carrying out the work (I know they are part of the BT Group but they are separate from BT Retail).

 

There is some information here

https://www.openreach.com/locations/mildenhall

 

Brian

Baldrick1
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

@OnThePhone 

There’s a whole load of hype about this.

At present your analogue phone is converted to digital at the exchange. All that is happening is that this conversation is being undertaken at the home. There are two ways of doing this:

1. You change your phone for a digital phone. The new Plusnet Hub Two has a socket into which this will connect.

2. You keep your analogue phone and use an analogue telephone adapter (ATA) and connect this between your phone and one of the hub LAN connectors.

In other words, don’t worry about it.

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RichardB
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

The Hub 2 has an internal ATA and an analogue phone can be plugged into the phone socket on the router.
https://www.bt.com/help/landline/digital-voice--will-my-existing-phone-and-fax-machine-still-work

The hub 2 is also a DECT base startion, so existing handsets can be wirelessly connected to the router.
This would stop answering machines or call blockers built into a DECT base station from working.
I see no reason that a DECT base station could not be plugged into the router phone socket.

BT's digital voice also provides better call quality (wider audio bandwidth) if a digital handset is used.

Richard
Cliff_g
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

What happens where there's a power cut?  I had heard that the supplier had to ensure a 999 call can be made.

Baldrick1
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

@Cliff_g 

Read a all about it here. https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/123118/guidance-emergency-access-power-cut.pdf

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Cliff_g
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

Thanks @Baldrick1 

I can't say I am impressed with this guidance.  The technical issue is I think the least of the problems.

1. It entirely puts the onus on the provider layer, and that's a part of the industry not known for excellent dustomer service (Plusnet excepted - and I mean that).

2. Providers will end up with a completely new part of their business involving the customers' premises where to date they have merely been able to fire a router at the customer, from afar.  This facility will be required to meet the guidance that the provider must do this and that and the other, and of course will involve them in costs for equipment etc they have to provide free. So the overheads will increase.

3.  The Guidance is almost entirely "should" and not "must".  Not a great way to ensure providers meet the requirements - I can see a team in each provider looking for loopholes and ways to get out of the requirements. Call me cynical, but that's business these days.

4. The one hour minimum was clearly written by someone who has never experienced a proper power cut. Power cuts (as opposed to dips) are rarely less than several hours.  1 day is quite common, 2 days not uncommon, 7 days far from impossible (viz Storm Arwen). The hour seems to be from the start of the power cut, not from the point at which the emergency call has to be made.  IF you have a mobile, what happens when the battery runs out, which might be 30 minutes from now?  What happens if, like us, there is no mobile signal and you depend on wifi calling?  If you're reliant on another technology to mobile, how long will it take to get to the point you can pick up the phone and call for an ambulance, for example?  Currently, it's no longer than the walk to the phone.  If there's some sort of backup battery with a limited drain time, are you going to have to turn it off and then back on when you need to make an emergency call? etc etc

5. Being able to call 999 only is totally inadequate in the case of a power cut. What about being able to call your power company, or your local GP, for example, or a friend to get them to come round and help?  What if you live on your own and are vulnerable and simply need to make contact with someone or a service to let them know you need something?

Not impressed.  I'd be interested to har how these issues have been dealt with in the countries where they've already made the move

Baldrick1
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

@Cliff_g 

Maybe you need to take it up with Ofcom and/or your MP.

Push it too far and I would guess that some budget ISPs will decline to provide a service to locations where there is poor mobile reception and/or the householder does not have a mobile.

PSTN is obsolete, we will have to accept the lower availability of its replacement.

In the old days those who could afford a telephone had to give up the friendly interface with the telephone operator in thir local exchange and dial numbers themselves. I bet there were complaints then as well.

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flanzm
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

I agree PSTN is dead - killed off by constant SPAM callers, and providers who view it as a cash cow and charge 20p/minute for calls plus a connection charge when the actual cost is less than 1p/minute.  The younger generation also don't want to be called anymore - they use instant messaging as it's much more convenient.  We have to face the truth that usage is now at the point where it just doesn't make economic sense to run the infrastructure anymore. 

For vulnerable customers I think we need to look at mobile(s) possibly in GSM Desk Phones with a UPS as an emergency alternative - unfortunatly even if you run a UPS within your own premises for VoIP that isn't always god enough.  Last year we had a power outage that lasted 8 hours, my UPS was still powering my router when the batteries in the local cabinet died after about 4 hours, whereas I am fairly confident a GMS Desk Phone connected to a UPS would have kept on running...

 

Cliff_g
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

@Baldrick1 Your last paragraph is condescending.  This is not an issue of being a Luddite.  And who is the we in "we will have to accept the lower availability of its replacement"?  This is a real life problem as this article shows.  Openreach are benefitting from the upside of a move to all digital, they need to share in the downside they are creating but have managed to pull off the masterstroke of sloping shoulders to the ISPs.  This is not an issue of technology, but one of people who live in towns and cities making all the rules, and ultimately, an issue of cost. The article linked confirms all the points I made, and more.  90% of the UK doesn't even realise this is happening, right now.  I have friends in a local town being moved over who have not even been told by their IPS about the problem with loss of power - Ofcom "should" guidance in action.  Only some have an adequate mobile signal, but no means of recharging them, of course, without power.  People in that town were affected by a minimum of 24 hours without power, up to 8 days.

Baldrick1
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

@Cliff_g 

This topic is quickly descending into the sort of discussion best posted on the General Chat board. Don't accept the situation by all means. That is a personal choice and why it would be better taken up with your MP. I have little doubt that Plusnet as a company will comply with Ofcom gudance.

 

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flanzm
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

Looks like you can get GSM Desk Phones with inbuilt battery backups and some can also connect to an external antenna for improved reception.  Just pop in a cheap unlimited calls SIM and for less than a fiver per month you can have unlimited calls, with a similiar experience to a landline.  I accept the reliability probably won't match the current PSTN solution, but it's probably better than VoIP when you factor in power cuts.

One other thing about the change over that hasn't been mentioned is people will no longer be able to dial local numbers; even local numbers will need the full number including STD code. 

MisterW
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

One other thing about the change over that hasn't been mentioned is people will no longer be able to dial local numbers; even local numbers will need the full number including STD code.

Not neccessarily , most voip phones have the ability to preset the local area code and to automatically insert it it when a local ( not starting with 0 ) number is dialled 

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: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

Unfortunately 'most VoIP phones' seems to not apply to BT Digital Voice, and I guess PlusNet using the Hub Two, assuming it's a similiar service that PlusNet give to customers.  BT Digital Voice is a proprietary system rather than being normal SIP based VoIP, so I doubt you can just swap to another phone that allows users to preset the local number.

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2020/11/isp-bt-change-digital-voice-calling-for-local-uk-numbe...

Reading the article it suggests that there are plans for numbering changes in the future that will stop local dialling being possible.

 

 

Baldrick1
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Re: PSTN switch off - can we have a PN update?

 


@flanzm wrote:

Unfortunately 'most VoIP phones' seems to not apply to BT Digital Voice, and I guess PlusNet using the Hub Two, assuming it's a similiar service that PlusNet give to customers. 


I assume that it will not be mandatory to use BT Digital Voice?

I'm hoping/assuming that when it gets to me that I will be able to to use an analogue telephone adapter (ATA) with my current 4 handset wireles set up and if necessary a VoIP provider of my choice.

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