UK landline switch-off: how will it work?

23rd May 2024

The UK’s telephone network will soon face a major change that will affect households across the nation. Landline use as we know it will become more advanced and while many will find the switch a smooth process, others may be left wondering if it will disrupt their day-to-day lives.

At toob full-fibre broadband, we want to whittle down the facts about the landline switch-off so users are not left waiting for the tone. Here’s everything you need to know.

when will the landline switch-off take place?

The copper network currently in use dates all the way back to the 19th century and some will argue that an update is well overdue. The existing network will be switched off and most people in the UK will need to have a digital phone line in order to make calls.

UK telecoms provider Openreach announced it would begin to retire its traditional phone network, also known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), back in 2017. The upgrade will introduce a new digital technology that will make calls, which is often referred to as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Some providers have already begun switching users over, but all landlines are due to switch to the upgraded system by the end of 2027.*

how will the landline switch work?

The UK’s telephone system will be upgraded by using the internet to make calls rather than via the old copper network. For most, the changeover will be straightforward as telecoms providers will automatically make the switch for them.

However, the exact migration process will depend on your telecoms provider and the equipment they use. Landline users should be contacted ahead of the switch, and you do not need to take any action beforehand. If you are a vulnerable customer, or you use your telephone line for alarm systems, fax machines or telecare devices, you may need to carry out additional steps which can be supported via your telephone provider.

While the move should be simple, there are a few implications of switching to a digital-only landline. The traditional copper landline continues to work during a power cut due to drawing power from the exchange. But with VoIP, users will be unable to use their landline unless they have a battery back-up. Mobile phones will, of course, be unaffected.

If you do not have a mobile phone or mobile reception in your area, your telecoms provider should give you a spare battery pack, so you’re not cut off when you need service the most.

what is the best alternative to a landline phone?

While some people may find a landline a vital component in their day-to-day lives, others no longer see the use of having a home phone. If you’re thinking of cutting the cord, toob offers a broadband-only package that exceeds needs in today’s digital-first world.

What’s more, you can also join toob and keep your landline phone by using a VoIP provider. Result!

toob allows customers to stay in the loop by partnering with VoIP service , where home telephone plans start from just £6.99.

Vonage will allow you to make and receive calls from your landline number on your mobile phone through the Vonage app. You may be able to keep your existing number, but make sure you don’t cancel your existing telephone service until you’ve transferred over.

VoIP phone calls can be made alongside toob’s full-fibre broadband package, which includes 900 Mbps download and upload speeds and no in-contract price rises for £29 per month on an 18 month contract.

ready to make the switch? give our team on 023 9300 9300

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*updated on 23rd May from 2025 to 2027.