The Digital Switchover
The UK’s telephone network is changing. Openreach are removing the old analogue public switched telephone network (PSTN) between now and 2025 to a fully digital network across the UK.
What is The Digital Switchover or ‘landline switch off’?
Between now and 2025 Openreach are removing all old analogue lines (analogue lines are also often referred to as copper wire connections used by most old telephone services) on the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a fully digital network across the UK. This means that most telephone providers will be moving their customers from an old analogue line over to a new upgraded digital landline using a digital service such as fibre. This move has already started across the UK.
Telephone providers should be contacting all their customers to make them aware of the changes, and have moved their customers onto the new digital services by November 2025.
The PSTN is a privately-owned analogue telecoms network, and the decision to upgrade it was taken by the telecoms industry. It will be replaced by 'voice over internet protocol' (VoIP) technology, which carries voice calls as data using an internet connection.
How will it affect me and what do I need to do?
This will affect everyone, whether it's in your home as a resident or as part of your business, and it won’t just affect voice telephony services; it will also impact other analogue line technology that you may use.
Your telecoms provider (Virgin Media, BT, etc) should contact you before the switchover to discuss what you need to do to make sure your service isn’t interrupted. However, we’re encouraging everyone to be prepared for what to expect.
Further details can be found in the sections below.
What technology and services are impacted?
It’s not just your phone services you need to think about. It’s everything else that currently uses the old phone network, such as:
- All your non-voice services connected to PSTN or ISDN lines
- Alarms eg building or personal
- EPOS (electronic point of sale) machines
- Payment lines
- Door entry systems
- Fax machines
- Building energy management systems (BEMS)
Your provider will be able to confirm the services you currently use that will be impacted by these changes.
In an emergency
Digital landlines can't carry an independent power connection like the old analogue lines, so in the event of a power cut they won't work without mains power.
For more information
This switch off is being undertaken by Openreach and your phone provider, therefore Shropshire Council is unable to help you directly with any queries.
For more information, please contact your telephone provider and/or visit Openreach’s main page.