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The Big Switch Off - Landlines Are Ending

Landlines, PSTN and ISDN Services Are Ending. The Big Switch Off is happening in 2027. What to do when landline (PSTN) and ISDN services are phased out.

 

When will landines be phased out?

It's the end of landline phones in 2027 - Major changes are coming to the way broadband and voice services are supplied in the UK

Updated on - New cut-off date in 2027

In order to give ISP's, Telecare providers and consumers more time to adapt, BT have now rolled back the end date for landline services from December 2025 to January 2027. This is due to some complications and issues particularly with health care services such as telecare alarms, and also partly the slow take-up for IP based alternatives such as VoIP. A recent BT report included the following:

"Following the industry-wide pause to non-voluntary migrations in December 2023, we now expect to have migrated all customers off the PSTN by the end of January 2027, allowing us to align the programme with full fibre broadband customer upgrades where available."

It should be noted that, although delayed, the migration to digital (or IP-based) solutions is still happening, and users should move to the newer options where possible. In the meantime, BT and Openreach will be rolling out a new SOTAP product, which is a basic phone line service that works without broadband. This will not be available for new provisions, just vulnerable customers, and is only intended to be a temporary solution to allow people and networks to adapt.


The withdrawal of fixed telephone line products is due to be completed in 2027. This means that all services currently dependent on a copper line will cease to operate, and customers using traditional phone lines (PSTN) or ISDN lines will need to find alternatives.

This change will affect the whole of the UK, so businesses and home users that currently connect over copper line services will need to be prepared.

What do I do when my landline (PSTN) or ISDN service is turned off?

Many exchanges are already being switched to "stop sell", so it's not just a case of switching supplier to continue with a traditional landline. You'll need to change your existing service to one of the newer "single order" options instead - these include FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) or SoGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access). More familiar services such as ADSL, FTTC and landlines will be redundant and no longer available.

Scheduled to be implemented shortly is One Touch Switching, a system designed to make switching broadband and phone services between providers quicker and easier. This is due to go live by September 2024, and should mean that the whole process is simpler and more informative for customers.

FTTP and SoGEA connections don't require a landline to operate. SoGEA uses your existing phone line and is a data-only connection that should be available wherever Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is available, and FTTP doesn't use any phone line whatsoever.

An IP compatible service such as Freeola Voice, our Home VoIP service, which runs over an internet connection and can be easily configured, will provide the same service as a traditional landline. You may even be able to use your existing number.

What you need to know about landlines ending in 2027

The copper line switch off and Openreach Stop Sell explained

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