UK Landline changes

We have all relied on our landline phones for many years. The ingenious design of the UK PSTN phone system has meant that, even in a power cut, our landline phones have continued to work. We don’t give it a second thought but, in future, we may need to. BT plans to completely remove the UK’s landline infrastructure by 2025, replacing it with “Digital Voice”. This is simply “voice over ip” – a method of transmitting voice calls over your internet connection. At first glance, this seems fine. But what happens in a power cut? Your internet connection goes down and you can no longer make phone calls. BT is assuming that you can simply use your mobile phones to make emergency calls during such power cuts, but, being in a rural area and having no mobile signal, you probably can’t do that either. You might use “wifi-calling”, to make your mobile phone use your wifi connection to the internet. That won’t work. You may not even have a mobile phone. You should be aware of BT’s plans and their impact on you. BT has to take your issues into account. The groups below are already receiving special consideration:

  • Customers with a healthcare pendant
  • Customers who are over 70
  • Customers who only use landlines
  • Customers with no mobile signal
  • Customers who have disclosed any additional needs

We’ll publish further updates here as we become aware of them. We are experimenting with the use of small domestic Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) to maintain wifi signals during short power outages. We’ll let you know the outcome.