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BT Digital Switchover: Important information


It's a surprise to most of us as it feel like it is a bit under the radar, but very soon, all phone lines will be switched over to digital.

The UK’s landline telephone network is being decommissioned.

The whole of telecoms industry (not just BT) is upgrading to digital phone lines, by December 2025.​​ Read more about the project here: Special services | BT Plc

Some parts of the network are over 100 years old. As a result, parts are now scarce and the network itself is very power hungry and no longer fit for purpose.

BT’s new service is called Digital Voice.

BT say that it will make the system a more resilient, sustainable and energy-efficient phone service. But in rural communities and those living more remotely, connection to digital networks can be a problem, and so there are many questions and concerns.

The Landline isn't going away, but It is changing. For most customers, the upgrade will involve connecting your home phone handset to a router rather than the phone socket on the wall.​

You will keep your same phone number. BT say 99% of phones will work on the new digital system, it will reduce scams and fraud, and say it will be more flexible and you will be able to connect to multiple people at the same time.

BT said Around two million customers are more dependent on their home phone line and may feel more anxious about making the switch, but No one will be left disconnected

We get regular powercuts in the Hebrides, and concern is that when we get a powercut, we also lose internet connection. BT say there will be battery back up units, and have Hybrid phones with built-in batteries, which switch to mobile network connection when necessary. They will also have Home Phone Connect, for customers who want a home phone but don’t ​want broadband.


Neuro Hebrides are members of the Digital Citizen Network and their brilliant team are helping to get the answers to Frequently asked questions – if you have a question about how the phone switchover may impact your health/social care please get in touch and we’ll pursue answers. Please email Neuro Hebrides your questions by 28th March 2024.

I’d encourage everyone to register for the ‘Here for You’ scheme - Here For You | Help for customers with an impairment | BT Help. There is help specifically for some people and we want to ensure you get the support you need.

We will share any more information we get about the roll out as and when we get it.

If you have any questions, get in touch with Neuro Hebrides and we'll do our best to find the answers

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