Digital switchover

Landline telephone services in the UK are switching to a fully-digital network. This means phone calls will be carried out over the internet (instead of analogue landlines). This is what's known as the digital switchover.

The switchover is happening because analogue telephone lines are becoming harder and more expensive to maintain, and the UK needs a modern digital system that can handle communications via mobile phones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices.  

The digital switchover is planned to be completed by the end of 2025.

How will it affect me; what do I need to do?

For most consumers and businesses, this change will be straightforward.

If you already have an internet connection, the change may be as simple as plugging your phone into your broadband router, rather than the socket on the wall.

If you need to upgrade your phone system, your provider may need to arrange for a telephone engineer to come to your home to install a new system. 

If you have other devices connected to your phone line, such as an alarm and healthcare system (including TeleCareLine), your alarm or healthcare system provider might need to upgrade your alarm device to make sure it's compatible. If you're unsure about how a device in your home or business might be affected, contact the equipment supplier or device manufacturer to find out whether it will still work on a digital phone line.

Your telecomms provider (eg Virgin Media, O2 or BT)  will contact you ahead of the switchover to let you know what you need to do to make sure your service isn't affected. You do not need to take any action until your provider contacts you directly.

Further information

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Page last updated: 13 Feb 2024