The digital switchover

Due to higher demands, the current digital network we know and use is struggling to keep up. This is why in 2017, BT announced the digital telephone switchover. This means that over the next few years, the UK will move from analogue telephone to a faster digital system with the old network being switched off for good in 2025.

This change will affect homes and businesses as well as Lifeline equipment. Although this may sound daunting, it’s worth remembering that we have already switched from analogue to digital for television and everything was ok! The new system will not only be faster, but also cheaper and more convenient to use.

Your telephone line provider will let you know when this change is happening in your area.

How it will affect you

If you don’t have broadband, Ofcom has said that providers must offer basic internet connections for phone calls only. It may be that you own a mobile phone but are not confident using it or relying on it as a means of contacting the emergency services. If customers request this solution but are not identified as at risk, charging for the solution will be at the discretion of the provider.

If you do have broadband, you will no longer be able to plug your landline phone into its own socket on the wall – it will be plugged into your Wi-Fi router or an analogue telephone adaptor (ATA) and will work off your internet connection.

Lifeline alarm users

Your telephone provider can supply you with an ATA which converts analogue signals to digital. This will allow you to continue using your Lifeline alarm as normal. If this isn’t an option, we can re-connect the Lifeline via your router. 

Please contact us if you need any help.

Once we change over to digital, the battery back-up in the Lifeline unit won’t work if there is a power cut. For vulnerable people, we understand that providers such as Sky, BT and Virgin will provide a battery back-up unit that is separate to your router, which will allow you to call the emergency services during a power cut. Your provider should take steps to identify at risk customers

GSM units and GPS alarms won’t be affected by the switchover. If you wish to upgrade to either of these devices, please get in touch.