Digital switchover

How the digital switchover impacts our borough

The UK’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is changing. This is the copper connection that your phone and internet runs over. Between now and the end of December 2025, most telecoms providers will be transferring their customers from the old copper landlines to the new upgraded fibre services using digital technology.

The new network is designed to be a more future proof, reliable and dependable broadband service that will support the UK for decades to come. This means any services that currently rely on the old copper landline system will have to be switched over to the new platform.

For more information and to find out what PSTN lines are used for, visit BT - Special services.

Why the switchover is happening

The PSTN is a privately-owned analogue telecommunications network and the decision to upgrade it has been taken by the telecommunications industry. Unlike the TV network switchover, which was run by the government, this is being run by the main network provider Openreach.

Fixed-line providers and operators, such as Openreach, BTEE, Vodafone and Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) will replace analogue telecoms services with digital voice services. This means voice calls will use data over internet technology. The upgrade will be delivered by the providers and operators in a phased approach over the next 18 months, with the UK network expected to be upgraded to digital voice services by the end of December 2025. The switchover will happen based on your telecom provider’s transition plan.

How the switchover will affect you and what you may need to do

For most people this change will be straightforward. In fact, many customers have already made the switch having upgraded to full digital broadband.

Your telecoms provider such as VMO2, Vodafone or BTEE should contact you before the switchover to check in and discuss what you need to do to make sure your service isn’t affected. We are encouraging everyone to know what to expect. Look out for notification from your telecom’s provider, this could include notification via emails, postcards, bills and letters. If you are not sure about the communication that is sent to you by your telecom’s provider, get in touch with them to verify the details.

The switchover has implications for the Telecare sector (for example, the red emergency call button system), and the 2 million people who rely on those services in the UK. This means anyone with telecare services should check with their provider on how the switchover will affect them, and what they need to do to be ready, so their telecare services are not interrupted.

See, answers to questions about the digital switchover and a glossary of terms with explanations.

More information on the digital switchover

The resources below will provide more information on the digital switchover and how it could affect you. Please note that this it is not an exhaustive list of resources, you can find other resources online.

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