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Are Landlines being phased out? What to do before 2025

Published date: December 2023

man using landline phone
In the UK, a new era of communications is on the way as the longstanding copper network is currently undergoing a full retirement process to make way for digital voice and full-fibre Broadband. 

This may sound a little daunting when wondering what may happen to your Broadband and Landline, however there is time and solutions to ensure your home or business isn't left in digital darkness. 

What will replace Landlines in the UK?

Due to the age and health of the current infrastructure, the UK's copper telephone network is currently being upgraded, which means that landline services are being phased out. 

VoIP phones will replace your current landline, though you can still have a landline-style telephone in your home, but the technology providing the service will differ. 

For most UK residents, switching to new VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) will be straightforward and be a direct replacement for a landline telephone. Still, some people may need new equipment as it may not be compatible with their Wi-Fi router or Hub. VoIP directly connects to your Broadband router, as opposed to a phone socket for a landline. 

Switch to VoIP phones without worry

The Big Switch Off may bring some change to your home broadband service and the end to your traditional landline, but this is a future-proof upgrade to last for generations, just as the existing copper network has. 

Our Senior Product Manager here at Your Co-op Broadband, Lee Thomson, explains why VoIP should be welcomed and not made into a worry. 

"The style and user familiarity of a landline isn't going anywhere, even after 2025 when the copper network is officially retired. VoIP technology will pick up and improve where your landline left off, with a variety of lower-cost options and solutions, we can ensure your Broadband and home phone are reliable, fast and a long-term fixture". 

"For many people, their home will already be equipped with one of Full-fibre, or SoGEA, which now allows them to plug in and use a VoIP Phone. However, if you are currently a part of the Openreach network (Copper ASDL) or have Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC), you will require an engineer to fit fibre cables to your home, so you have Full-Fibre Broadband to support VoIP's digital system". 

"In the meantime, continue using your traditional landline and broadband as normal as there's still over a year before it is officially retired. But don't let winter 2025 arrive without switching to Full-Fibre, or SoGEA, with a VoIP phone service. Otherwise, you may end up with no Broadband or Landline connection, with no working Wi-Fi or home telephone".  

How to set up a VoIP phone at home

To make calls using a VoIP phone (like a landline), it must be able to plug directly into your Wi-Fi router or Hub. The point of connection will be to a spare LAN port on the back.

Once you have connected your new VoIP phone which uses the digital technology system, your landline will mainly work as it always has, although there will be some differences. For example, if there's a power cut to your home, you won't be able to use your VoIP phone, so you'll need an alternative solution such as a mobile phone or battery backup unit for emergency calls. 

A difference you may be thankful for is the likely lower costs and ease of use, VoIP phones are designed for simple and functional calling and with minimal wiring. They are also more reliable during calls and have improved audio quality, for clearer conversations. 

To find out more about Landline changes, please visit the Big Switch Off 2025.

*Last lines for the copper network will be retired in 2027


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Are landlines actually being phased out?

Yes, traditional landlines that use copper wires are being phased out entirely by December 2025 and will be replaced by full-fibre cables that require newer technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). This means your landline phone will eventually use your internet connection instead of a separate phone line.

When will the 2025 Big Switch Off happen?

The exact date varies depending on your location and service provider, but most countries and companies aim to complete the transition by December 2025.

What do I need to do before the Big Switch Off 2025?

Most likely, your service provider will automatically switch your landline to VoIP before 2025. They will typically notify you in advance and provide any necessary equipment or instructions.

Do I need to buy a new phone for the Big Switch Off?

No, your phone number should remain the same even after switching to VoIP.

Will my phone number change after the Big Switch Off?

In most cases, you can continue using your existing landline phone with an adapter provided by your service provider. However, some older phones might not be compatible with VoIP, so you might need to upgrade.

What are the advantages of VoIP?

VoIP offers several advantages over traditional landlines, such as:
  • Potential cost savings
  • Clearer call quality
  • Additional features like voicemail and call forwarding

What are the disadvantages of VoIP?

VoIP requires a stable internet connection, so it might not be suitable if you experience frequent internet outages. Additionally, some emergency services might not work correctly with VoIP if you don't have proper backup power for your equipment.
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