Do I need to do anything now?

Not immediately, unless your telephone provider has already contacted you about it. The changeover is happening over a number of years and your provider will contact you at the appropriate time.

If you are considering switching providers, or taking a new contract with your current provider, you should be told if any telephone service will be provided over IP.

What will be different after the change?

After you move across to the new system you may need to connect your phone differently. For example, your phone might have to be plugged directly into a hub or a router. An engineer may need to reconnect your wall socket.

Your phone provider will be in touch to arrange for you to be set up with a hub or router, so you’ll be able to continue to make calls over the new network. This will happen when the move you across to the new system. It doesn’t mean you have to take broadband or need to access the internet.

You may also need a new telephone, but your provider will be able to advise you.

Special equipment and services

There will be changes to the way some equipment works with the new technology. If you use devices that are connected to your home phone line such as telecare alarms, emergency pendants, dialysis machines and telemetry devices, contact the provider of those devices to check whether they will be compatible.

Textphones and the text relay service

Several models of textphone have been tested at the BT Digital Services lab. This testing showed that it is possible to make both textphone-to-textphone and text relay calls on IP networks, although the quality of the call can be affected by packet loss or other data loading on the line. You should contact the provider of your device to check whether it will be compatible.

The text relay service is also available via the free Relay UK app which offers additional features and is unaffected by the move to IP. The app can be used on any connected device (smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC). Click here to find out more about the Relay UK app.

Amplified phones

Several models of amplified phone have been tested at the digital testing lab. All the devices that were tested performed well, even when packet loss and loading were added.

Telecare alarms

Most modern devices should be compatible. If you use one of these devices, it’s important that you check with the company that supplied it to you.

Power cuts

The current system is powered by your local telephone exchange and has its own power supply. The new system will be powered by your home electricity, so if there is a power cut you will not be able to make or receive landline calls. A mobile phone can be used as a back-up. If you don’t have one or you need additional help, you should discuss this with your provider.

Click here for frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Last updated: 19/06/2020