UK Analogue to Digital Switch Delay

Published on: 17th April 2024
UK Analogue to Digital Switch Delay

For the past few years, an industry led movement towards clearer calls and cheaper maintenance has led major telecoms providers BT and Openreach to withdraw the analogue telephone network in favour of a fully digital one. However, the latest news is that there is an analogue to digital switch delay, by potentially up to two years, according to a report by The Telegraph.

The digital switch is something we have been closely monitoring to ensure our clients are migrated efficiently with no downtime. Many home ISPs will already have migrated users of landlines to digital ahead of the original 2025 deadline.

However, the course of progress never did run smoothly, and whilst the vast majority of landlines are fully migrated to voice over internet (VoIP) for home and business, the digital landline switchover also encompasses many other devices within healthcare, physical security, card payments and more.

The analogue to digital switch delay is reported to be because about 2 million people in the UK depend on an old telecare device for which no digital alternative yet exists. The problem is further compounded by limited access to fibre networks in the rural and isolated areas where many of these people live.

As a result, Openreach and BT are about to pilot a new Single Order Temporary Access Product (SOTAP), which is a new solution that can use existing copper networks to provide broadband, Internet Protocol (IP), and digital phone services. This is designed only as a temporary solution which is currently planned to be launched later this year.

A BT spokesman said, “We’re working closely with the government and Ofcom as we continue the important programme to move customers onto digital landlines. Our priority remains doing this safely, supporting our vulnerable customers and those with additional needs in particular, and we’re working with key organisations that represent these groups to achieve that.”

“This includes encouraging more local authorities and telecare providers to make us aware of telecare users so we can make sure they get the right support at the right time. The current pause will have an impact on the timing of the overall programme – but we are working to minimise any delays, as the switch to digital landlines is a necessity given the increasing fragility of the analogue landline network.”

If you’ve got any more queries about the analogue switch off, you can read our blog about it here. We always keep up to date on emerging trends within the industry in order to ensure that our clients are receiving the best service, and if you’d like to have a chat with us, please get in touch.

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