Rollout of switchover to digital landlines begins in Northern Ireland

September 11, 2023 12:43 PM AEST | By PAMEDIA
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A phased upgrade of UK landlines to digital technology has begun in Northern Ireland.

BT has described the changeover from analogue to digital landlines as a “once-in-a-generation” undertaking.

It is taking on the Digital Voice project on a region-by-region basis and started in the East Midlands in July before moving to Yorkshire and the Humber in August.

The upgrade will see BT and many other telecoms operators in the UK provide services over a broadband line.

BT said the work is “essential” as it will replace technology that is fast becoming obsolete.

The company stressed that landline phones are not being phased out and, for the majority of customers, the switch only involves plugging the landline phone into a broadband router instead of into a wall-mounted socket.

Customers in Northern Ireland will be contacted at least four weeks in advance of the switch.

BT said for almost all customers Digital Voice will have no impact on how they use their home phone.

Vicky Hicks, senior engagement manager at BT, said: “BT customers in Northern Ireland will benefit from a tried and tested service, with around two million BT customers already having made the switch and benefitting from the many advantages of digital home phones, from advanced scam call filtering capabilities to crystal-clear call audio.

“For almost everyone, moving to Digital Voice will be a simple and free transition with no home installation work required.

“If you feel you need additional support with the transition or you think you are vulnerable, please do tell us. We will be with you every step of the way.”

Certain customers will not be proactively switched initially, including those with a healthcare pendant, those who only use landline, those with no mobile signal, and also those who have disclosed any additional needs.

Landline Phone stock
Analogue landline phones are being switched to digital in Northern Ireland (John Stillwell/PA)

BT said it will take extra time and provide additional support to customers who are over the age of 70.

As part of an awareness campaign, BT will be facilitating a series of town hall events and pop-up stands across Northern Ireland in the coming weeks. A demonstration vehicle will also tour the region.

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