Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

The digital switchover

What is the Digital Switchover or ‘landline switch off’?

The UK’s telephone network is changing. Between now and 2025 most telephone providers will be moving their customers from old analogue landlines over to new upgraded landline services using digital technology.

This means services that rely on the old landline system such as home phones and healthcare devices will be switched over.

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

The good news is – your landline isn’t going anywhere and for most consumers and businesses, this change will be straightforward. In fact, many customers are already making the switch when they upgrade to full fibre broadband.

Your telecoms provider (for example Virgin Media O2 or BT) should contact you before the switchover to check in and discuss what you need to do to make sure your service isn’t affected.

However, we’re encouraging everyone to know what to expect.

If you 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 or someone you know depends on their landline or uses a telecare device connected to a phone line (such as a fall monitor, lifeline, or personal alarm), you should notify your communications provider (the provider of this service) so that they can advise on how the switch could affect you.

If you have other devices connected to your phone line, such as alarm systems, you might need to upgrade your device to make sure it is compatible. If you are unsure about how a device in your home or business might be affected, it is recommended you contact the equipment supplier or device manufacturer to find out whether it will remain functional on a digital phone line.

In an emergency

Digital landlines cannot carry a power connection, so in the event of a power cut they will not work.

If you have a mobile phone this can still be used, but if you’ve no other means of calling the emergency services your telecoms provider will offer a solution to allow calls to be made to emergency services.

To find out more visit the government's UK transition from analogue to digital landlines information (external website)

The Local Government Association have designed a toolkit for councils and partners to use to raise awareness of the digital switchover (external website).

Upcoming events