I signed up to a FTTP broadband service (Fibre 150?) with BT about 12 months ago now, and have recently recent an email telling me my current phone line is being moved to digital voice. I've done some reading up on what this entails, and this feels like a lot of pain in the short term, so I'd really like to defer this to see if BT come up with a better option in the future.
Specifically, I have the following concerns:
a) Having replaced my BT SH2 about 12 months ago with a business grade router, due to the relatively poor connectivity speed and poor wifi, it appears I have no option to downgrade to the SH2 to work with Digital Voice
b) I currently have 5 different phone handsets all connected to extension sockets in different rooms around the (3 storey) house
c) The master phone socket in the house is located in a different room to the router, so connecting the existing phones via the extension sockets is going to be very awkward
I can appreciate the BT want to try and deliver this service in a single package, but tying the phone service to the SH2 router creates various physical issues around connectivity. Are BT going to offer something more flexible in the future?
The base assumption here seems to be that customers will just junk their existing phones and move over to Digital Voice Phones, which seems like a great way to add to the existing electronic waste mountain.
The option of connecting our existing phone extensions sounds like it might be viable, although BT don't seem to mention this anywhere, and it clearly requires some technical expertise to disconnect the old incoming copper lines, and of course needs the router to be physically located somewhere near the master socket.
Which leaves the option of Digital Voice Adapters, presumably one for each existing handset, assuming they can all connect back to the SH2.
Having invested time and money replacing the SH2, which limited our (external) internet connection speed, didn't have enough physical ethernet ports, and had poor, unreliable WiFi connectivity with a decent router, installing structured ethernet cabling around the house, and multiple wireless access points, I'm reluctant to once again have to rely on the SH2 to route all our traffic.
It is openreach who are disconnecting the old copper phone system and moving to DV and VOIP. other providers will also be changing to digital voice with expected full DV by 2025
As imjolly has stated all communication providers that offer a landline phone service today will need to offer and move their customers to a VoIP service as Openreach and VM close their PSTN network by 2025 and a mass migration is being ramped up to hit the 2023 milestone and 2025 deadline.
What you could also do is go broadband only wiy BT and move to a different VoIP provider of needed.
If you don't wish to revert to the Smart Hub the look at porting your number to a third party VoIP provider. With dgital voice you must use the supplied BT Hub as it acts as the dect phone base station..
Unfortunately that doesn't appear to be an option at this point in time. I'm tied into a 24 contract with BT as I was forced to move both phone and broadband over when ordering the FTTP package. (I would have prefered to leave my phone service where it was, but FTTP broadband only wasn't an option with BT at the time.)
Reading around it sounds like any attempt to move the phone service will result in BT cancelling both phone and broadband services. As things stand, BT are going to break my perfectly functional landline service unless I take a number of different actions to mitigate this. Not great, and a nice way to alienate customers.
"Not great, and a nice way to alienate customers." You are right. BT failed to consult or even advise their customers effectively. They should remember that they are not, repeat not, the state telecommunications monopoly and that their electronic upgrade, which benefits mostly themselves as a corporation, is financed by their customers.
Thank you for linking the article, Keith. I will admit an element of governmental pressure to the present situation (whether from UK Govt or legacy EU), but hand-me-down bullying by BT can only add confusion to what looks like an impending shambles.
I understand that BT and the other providers are having to migrate off the copper landline infrastructure, what I object to is the use of a propriertary solution to deliver the service. I can't provide my own (upgraded, more robust) equipment should I chose to do so (and support it myself), and any BT Digital Voice handsets and adapters will become useless if/when customers transfer their landline service to another provider, generating yet more electronic waste.
The lack of information around connecting your existing analogue sockets and therefore re-using your internal cabling is not communicated anywhere by BT, so I wonder how many millions of handsets will end up being dumped over the next few years by customers who are unaware of this option? (BT could offer to send out an engineer to help customers cut over the internal sockets, but this isn't happening as they clearly don't want the added cost, despite any longer term savings in decommissioning the old infrastructure.)
You are not forced to use BT's proprietary system at all. You can have broadband without telephony capability and use whatever third party equipment and VoIP capability you like.