BT urges customers to shift to digital landlines from 40-year-old PSTN

BT Group has urged customers to shift to digital landlines from the 40-year-old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
BT broadbandThe move follows the introduction of improvements to the program to protect vulnerable customers and those with additional needs, including telecare users.

BT has generated revenue of £9.382 billion from fixed access subscriptions during April 2023 – March 2024 — £4.333 billion from Consumer and £2.149 billion from Business users.

BT’s Consumer division has re-started switching zero-use landline customers who have a broadband connection to its Digital Voice landline service. This follows an industry-wide pause and the introduction of the Government’s Charter to protect vulnerable customers, especially telecare users, while making the switch from analogue to digital landlines.

BT will be contacting its Consumer customers (except landline-only customers, those who use telecare or who have additional needs) – offering the chance to switch to a digital landline provided over full fibre broadband. This move is part of BT Group’s strategy to build and connect customers to its full fibre broadband. BT’s fibre broadband will be available to 25 million premises by the end of 2026.

BT is urging its business customers to test existing or upgrade to new equipment to ensure compatibility with a digital line, ahead of making the switch.

BT said the new approach will result in a single switch for the majority of customers (businesses and consumers) – from copper to fibre – with all customers expected to have moved off the old analogue PSTN by the end of January 2027.

Howard Watson, Chief Security and Networks Officer, BT Group, said: “Managing customer migrations from analogue to digital as quickly and smoothly as possible, while making the necessary provisions for those customers with additional needs, including telecare users, is critically important.”