By the end of 2025, the UK’s analogue network (the PSTN, Public Switched Telephone Network) will be switched off. This means BT’s Copper Network will be switched off.
BT copper switch off means copper phone lines that form the foundation of the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure will be disconnected.
There’s no need to worry about this upgrade, as it will mean faster broadband speeds and higher quality service for the nation but there are some things to consider around your planning as the date gets nearer.
What Types of Phones and Services are Affected by BT Copper Switch Off 2025?
The types of phones affected by copper switch off include:
- Copper-based landline phones (which is essentially all existing phone services)
- Red telephone boxes
- Emergency phones in lifts
In addition to phones and voice services, there are many other services and equipment that you may not even realise rely on copper phone lines and the PSTN. These include:
- Payment terminals in shops
- Cash machines
- House & Business alarms
- London Underground light signals
- Traffic lights
When are things starting to change?
Providers are already starting to speak to their customers about the changes and some customers have already moved to “full fibre” & “digital voice” services that don’t rely on copper lines. You might expect that anytime from now onwards customers may be contacted about the changes.
What will happen to my phone and broadband at the end of 2025?
At the end of 2025, your phone and broadband will no longer work over copper based services, unless there is no alternatives available (such as highly rural areas).
All connections will need to be Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) or Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) which is replacing Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC). SOGEA stands for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access. It enables providers to order broadband without a phone line – so you’ve got everything you need within a single order.
Before this date your supplier will either offer for you to go over to “full fibre” services or Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) connections.
Once you’ve moved to a digital phone line, anything else plugged into the old telephone wall socket may stop working. Any existing telephones may require new routers or adapters to work or you may even need new telephones. Your existing supplier will assist in this.
With digital voice will my telephone work without power.
No. Because it is a digital network and it relies on internet connectivity then your phone won’t work without power.
Why is Digital Voice better than traditional phone services?
Digital Voice or VoIP (voice over IP) offers higher quality calls, more features and more flexibility than traditional telephony.
Will i keep my existing phone number when things change?
Yes you will be able to keep your existing number.
Is it as complicated as it sounds?
No. Most of the work will be done by your phone or broadband supplier – the only thing you may need to do is plug in new equipment. Our only advice is be prepared and start having conversations with your supplier over the next 12 months if you haven’t heard from them.
What do I need to do?
In most circumstances, your existing phone provider will be in contact ahead of this date, and will offer the opportunity for you to move over to similar digital services (with your agreement). With 2 and a half years to go before the final switch off date, it may be sensible to start planning any contract renewals with the supplier in question over the coming months. For instance it may not be sensible to commit to significantly long term contracts to your existing supplier in case what they are offering to you around the replacement of the current PSTN services will not work for you or is not best priced in the marketplace.
For individuals and businesses, clearly the humble telephone and broadband connection may be the first things you think about we particularly recommend paying attention to things like emergency phones in lifts, house and business alarms which may not be at the forefront of your mind. Speak to your existing provider about what options there are to provide alternatives to the existing copper line network.
If you’d like any advice around these areas then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01473 345321