Your landline will be switched off on this date unless you make urgent change

An urgent warning has been issued to UK homes ahead of a hugely important change to the country’s telecoms infrastructure. From December 2025, standard copper phone lines – that many of us still use to keep in touch with loved ones – are being switched off in favour of new technology that uses broadband to make calls instead.

This system – called VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) – needs an internet connection to work and there are serious concerns that some consumers could be left behind if they haven’t got broadband installed in their property.

Providers such as BT and Virgin Media have promised to fit upgrades free of charge but homes will need to make sure they take advantage of this offer if they want to stay connected.

Explaining more, BT said on its help page: “The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) will close in December 2025. This won’t just affect voice services, it may also mean you need to upgrade your broadband. Any equipment that currently uses the PSTN will stop working: alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, faxes, and so on. The Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) will also stop working. At some point before 2025, you’ll need to move from PSTN to the latest IP technology.”

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Some have expressed unease about the upcoming change, especially for the elderly who could get left behind. An estimated 1.5million homes not on the internet could be left exposed as the phones must be plugged into broadband sockets to work. Speaking last year, Dennis Reed, Director of Silver Voices, said the group was launching a “save our landlines” campaign because so many older people depend on them. “The Telecom giants think they are going to implement this project by stealth but we are not having it,” he said.

Along with not having broadband, another worry is that this technology doesn’t work if there’s a power cut or the broadband is taken offline due to an outage.

UK regulator Ofcom, has put in place rules that require all phone operators to work on backup plans so customers can call services such as 999 in the event of a problem

For example, Virgin is looking at offering battery-powered backup services to vulnerable users who have no access to mobile phones.

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Although switching off the old copper cables may sound scary, a vast number of homes no longer use landline phones with many making calls via their mobile or on video platforms such as WhatsApp, FaceTime and Zoom. That means some homes might be paying for something they don’t actually need.

Internet calling also offers the same, if not better, quality than ageing technology so there should be no loss in signal unless there’s a problem such as a broadband outage.

2025 seems like a long way off, but if you still have a standard phone line coming into a property or a family member hasn’t yet got broadband it might be worth starting to consider having a new line installed so you’re ready for the switch off.

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