Council urges residents to prepare for digital switchover

News / Tue 14th May 2024 at 06:59am

A campaign has been launched by Essex County Council to raise awareness of upcoming changes to the UK’s telephone network.

By 2025, analogue phone lines will be replaced by a digital landline service. This means that calls will be made over a broadband line.

Residents should be contacted by their telephone provider before anything changes.

The council is encouraging residents to respond to their provider and discuss what they need to do to keep using their phone line.

The campaign will utilise advertising space on buses, bus stops, billboards, radio, and social media to reach as many residents as possible. Non-digital media will be used to help make sure the message reaches all residents, including the 20% of the Essex population that are offline.

For most residents, the change should be straightforward. If you have broadband, you should be able to plug your digital landline into your router, instead of a wall-mounted socket.

Residents should contact their provider if they or someone they know:

doesn’t have broadband at home
uses a personal alarm or healthcare device
has additional needs
lives in an area with no mobile signal
Your telephone provider should tell you if there are any further steps you need to take.

The council is also warning residents to be wary of scams surrounding the switchover. If you receive any requests for money, report it to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.

Cabinet Member for Planning a Growing Economy, Councillor Lee Scott, said: “The digital switchover is a vital step to upgrade current phone lines in the UK, which are very old and unreliable.

“However, some residents could be impacted by this change, particularly if they don’t have broadband, use a personal alarm, or have additional needs.

”Together with the 12 Essex districts, as well as Southend and Thurrock, we’re urging residents to look out for their loved ones and neighbours and, if they think they could be affected, to contact their telephone provider and make sure they’re aware.”

For the latest information on the switchover, visit www.essex.gov.uk/landline-switch.

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11 Comments for Council urges residents to prepare for digital switchover:

2024-05-14 08:38:16

Already proven a bad idea - when the internet goes down, can't phone for help and absolutely no good for the elderly.

Kim Oconnor
2024-05-14 09:27:50

What happens when it all goes down.. your not giving any consideration to the disabled people or the elderly.. What happens to them when you can't phone for help.? An awful lot of people don't have people around them.

Jennifer Steadman
2024-05-14 14:09:42

Why does this feel like it's going to be a totally frustrating & terrifying disaster for the elderly who rely on their analogue phones or have personal care lines, but who dont have broadband!! Ok, so Im just running round to my elderly neighbour to ascertain who her phone provider is & contact them for her. Wonder what their advice will be?..... A-Tough luck? B- You need to Install broadband? C-Go away & leave us alone? Once again the elderly & vulnerable are seemingly being forgotten & ignored!!

2024-05-14 15:04:02

How heartwarming to come on here and read above posts.Genuine caring people showing concern for others for no personal gain.Need more of this in harlow.

Nick Gunning
2024-05-15 06:47:25

Make it clear, the instant you start up the voip enabled router, the copper wire system will stop working. Getting a wired extension, say, by an elderly person's bed, will require different arrangements and at least one phone may need to be replaced. Red button alarms installed before the switch will not work, nor will any other devices for monitoring. The greatest problem is where the Internet connection fails or if the electricity fails. People with key meters won't have any phone or help service unless they have a mobile- and, of course, they'll need electricity to charge it. BT who maintain the copper wires, have not thought to provide battery backup for the router, which would keep up the Internet access. People with mi-fi and 4G/5G Internet connections will be better off.

James Gamble
2024-05-15 09:50:45

Firstly digital lines are reliant on electricity and a good broadband signal. Next some people do not have broadband as the is an extra charge for this. Three will broadband suppliers reduce their charges as you will no longer have a landlines. Four will all calls be free of charge as they are on WhatsApp and simular Internet services. I can tell you now that Virgin media went digital over a year ago and never reduced their charges a single penny. Take it from me this will cost everyone more.

2024-05-15 10:35:55

What about the people with no internet?

2024-05-15 11:34:01

Nick Gunning ,i just phoned the BT helpline 0330 1234 150 and spoke to a technical advisor.He says BT customers can get a battery back up for their router at a cost of £85.People with other providers will have to phone and check if they supply this. With regard to the copper wires you mentioned he said BT not responsible (only set it up)another company is.Anyone interested in this will need to phone the helpline,i could'nt grasp what he was saying,too technical and he spoke too fast.With regard to elderly/disabled people with red button alarms etc he more or less said it hadn't been thought through.

James Gamble
2024-05-15 13:33:18

Resident £85 for a battery they they have to keep charged. A battery they do not need now? Why are they not supplying this free. Tell me will they still charge us for calls and line rental? RIP off in my opinion.

2024-05-15 13:42:48

Just wondering how it will work for people with the slowest broadband speed on the planet 🤔

David Forman
2024-05-15 23:35:11

Ah, the days of loop disconnect signalling and exchange battery bring back some happy memories as a BT Technical Officer (A). Jimmy Gamble is right about having to have electricity for digital lines. On the old analogue system the power was supplied from the exchange's battery. See explanation at https://telephonesuk.org.uk/how-a-phone-line-works/

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