The Digital Switchover

What is the digital switchover? 

Between now and 2025 telecoms companies such as BT, Openreach and Virgin are replacing old telephone lines with a newer and faster digital network. This means services which rely on the old landline systems such as home phones, alarms and healthcare devices will be switched over. 

Why is it happening? 

The old phone system, called PSTN, is getting hard and expensive to keep going. The new digital network is better and more reliable. Telecoms companies like Openreach, BT, and Virgin Media are leading this change.

What do I need to do? 

Your telecoms provider (such as BT, Sky and Virgin Media) should contact you beforehand to ensure your service isn't affected. However it is important you know what to expect ahead of the switchover. 

What should you know?

For most people, the change will be easy. If you have the internet, you might just need to plug your phone into your broadband router. If you have special devices linked to your phone line, like alarms, your telecoms provider should make sure they work with the new system. If you are not sure, ask your telecoms provider.

Remember, during a power cut, digital landlines will not work. You can use a mobile phone instead. If you cannot call emergency services, ask your phone company for help. 

This switchover is free, and your service provider should not charge you for this. As we move to the new digital network It is important to be careful of scams asking for money or personal information. If you are not sure, always hang up the call and contact your phone company for help. 

Do you use telecare devices? 

If you use telecare devices (like emergency call buttons), they might need to change to work with the new system. If you are getting help from Adult Social Care and use a telecare device, we will help you to change to digital devices. If you pay for your own telecare device, contact your provider to upgrade it. 

More information

For more information, visit your telecom provider's website. They will have more details about this switchover.