Broadband & the PSTN switchoff, any advice welcome

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toady
toady Member Posts: 2,123

Hi all

I'm moving my broadband provider shortly and thought it would be a good time to look into the options for getting a digital landline, rather than leave it til the last minute, bit confused about some of my options & just wondered if this is anyone's specialized subect by any chance 😬

..I would post on a tech forum but I find people often either give advice that assumes a higher level of knowledge or else ask pointless questions like 'why do you want a landline, just get a mobile' etc.

Ta if you can help :)

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  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 698
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    Hi @toady

    I think things are still up in the air with many providers. I'm with Plusnet and it appears that they will only offer broadband after the PSTN switch off on 31st December 2025 - no home telephone service. Some providers will offers telephone line service via a broadband router. That's called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). So the telephone plugs into a socket on the router and any voice calls are digitised and sent over the internet - there is no physical telephone line. That's a real issue for people who need a landline for systems like telecare - fall alarms etc - since VoIP won't work in a power cut as your router needs power. Telephone network providers appear to be passing the buck to the telecare service providers to come up with a different system.

    So the best suggestion I could make would be to look for a provider that will offer a telephone service as VoIP after December 2025. BT, Sky and Virgin have already said they will offer this service and I'm sure there will be others.

  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 2,123
    edited 19. Feb 2024, 22:36
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    Thanks for the reply :)

    I definitely want to keep a landline to use with an 'ordinary' handset, partly for arthritis reasons (easier than fiddly mobiles) but I also just prefer it anyway. I currently have FTTC not FTTP and I'm not that bothered about full fibre. I understand the principle of the 'replacement' for FTTC, Single order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA), I'm hazy though about whether you can have SoGEA and a VoIP bundle from anywhere or would need a 3rd party VoIP. Someone would have to come and install either SoGEA or FTTP in any case I believe so can't get around having an engineer in (ugh..)

    What I've been looking at so far is what you mention, providers who offer a digital voice type option ie plug your existing phone into router (not sure if this is even possible with a FTTC connection which would have been a short term solution).

    I'm not 100% sure if these are my main options or if there is anything I'm missing.

    Good point about providers that won't offer a home telephone service at all, thanks, that's something I hadn't thought much about & need to look into further. It's a lot to wade through when your concentration isn't all that 🙄.

  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 2,123
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    Just a couple of bits of info I've picked up as I go along, in case of interest to anyone -

    If you want to keep your existing landline number after the switchoff, ie 'port it' (transfer it) to a new service, be aware it can be quite tricky apparently if like me you still have an ADSL connection for some reason.

    As jamieA mentioned, some ISPs won't offer any form of home telephone service after the switchoff (which may be sooner than 2025 in your area as it is being rolled out on a quarterly basis) so probably worth thinking ahead in case you do need to move providers when the time comes.

    I do wish providers would use less ambiguous terms for their types of connection because it took me a long time to distinguish between fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and fibre to the premises (FTTP, or 'full fibre') because the names are often simply things like super fibre, fab fibre, fast broadband etc, which you have to get into the small print to clarify.