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Talk Talk And Landline

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fruitsalad | 20:00 Mon 19th Feb 2024 | Technology
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I have just contacted talk talk to ask about broadband and landline and they told me they are phrasing landline out, strange.



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are you sure they said/meant landline & not mobile?

Traditional landline services ARE ending.

Everyone will have to switch to VoIP, thousands have already.

Convention copper-wired landlines are set to disappear altogether. 

BT Openreach (which provides the cabling used by all phone service operators, except for Virgin Media) is ripping out the copper cables and replacing them with fibre ones.  Every home will then need a broadband router (even if they don't need a broadband service, per se), with their home phone being plugged into that router (via an adapter, if necessary).

The new service is technically known as 'VoIP' (Voice over Internet Protocol) but BT are calling it 'Digital Voice' (with other providers free to choose their own names too).

So all phone service providers will only be offering internet-based services in the future.  Some parts of the country have already switched to using VoIP, with everywhere else due to make the change by the end of next year.

From Ofcom:

Not sure I understand. If the phone line from outside into my home is copper, will it have to be replaced with fibre?

We recently got stung with this by BT, we got changed to the new system without realising it

If we have a power cut we are up s-it creek without a paddle as we cant get a mobile signal at all and the landline would be useless as its through the wi fi. 

Just a few days earlier we had had to dial 999 when my son collapsed and died. God knows what we would have done if the same thing had happened now.

You cant switch back to the old system either

^^^ No, Dave.  It's the cabling to the cabinet in your street (or nearby) that's being switched to fibre.  

In practice, it almost certainly is already, as nearly every home in the UK now has access to an 'FTTC' (= 'fibre to the cabinet') broadband service, whereas only a minority can use a much faster 'FTTP' (= 'fibre to the premises') one.  It's simply that the old copper cables are being withdrawn from service everywhere (except between the cabinet and your home), meaning that your landline phone calls will then need to go via the internet.

Please read the 'Making phone calls in a power cut' section in my Ofcom link above.

Rosetta, many landlines have never worked in a power cut.  A lot of folk don't realise until they have a power cut.

My 8 year old phone needs electricity to make/receive calls

THank you Chris, something else to pursue, everything is a nightmare at the moment

Barry , we had an additional very old button phone that we could plug into the phone line which did work in a power cut.

Chris should we phone BT or EE about a back up power thingy ?. BT are crap so hopefully EE are better

^you'll be delighted to know that EE is now part of the BT group!

Kevin Bacon sez EE is the best 😉

^ and,of course, over-paid celebrity endorsements are always trustworthy (and all that Bacon stuff was before EE joined BT).

As has been indicated above, Rosetta, BT, Plusnet and EE are basically all now the same company.  

However, if your contract is with EE, that's probably who you need to try to contact in the first place.  Try calling 150.

Thanks again Chris

We ditched our landline years ago and haver never missed it. No one called us any more and all converstions with the kids aere now Whatsapp or phoning through Whatsapp.
Now we are on Full Fibre therte is no phone line. Its simply old tech and not needed now.

There is one other equally important and perhaps more significant aspect to this.

As well as the copper/fibre transition perfectly explained by Chris, BT’s “Digital Voice” conversion programme also includes the abandonment of the “Public Switched Telephone Network” (PSTN). However your voice signals get to your local telephone exchange (whether via copper or fibre) they have to be routed to their destination. This is achieved initially by your “home” exchange and, if the number you are calling is outside your home area, by a number of intermediate exchanges until its destination is reached. This happens between the time you key the last digit until you hear ringing tone.

There are around 5,500 local exchanges and about 350 “trunk” switching centres across the UK and these make up the BT’s PSTN. There are similar networks abroad which come into play when callers make international calls.

Up to a few years ago, the PSTN was the only way that voice calls could be switched. However, as Internet technology developed, voice calls became possible using internet protocol (hence Voice Over Internet Protocol – or VOIP).

Most of BT’s PSTN exchanges are now getting on for 40 years old. The modernisation programme which saw the replacement of the earlier electro-mechanical exchanges with digital versions (“System X” and “System Y”) took place from the early to mid 1980s. Technology has advanced, spare parts are no longer available so they need replacing.  

The internet is now perfectly capable of handling all of BT’s voice traffic. So the decision has been taken not to replace the PSTN but to abandon it entirely. Internet Protocol can only handle digital signalling so an internet router (or its equivalent) must be used between the telephone handset and the outside network. 

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