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robartist
Contributor
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Message 1 of 15

Current landline vs VOIP?

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Hi can anyone please offer some help.

I currently am with BT for broadband (fibre to cabinet then copper) and telephone land line.

But... both the broadband and phone come down just one wire from the telegraph pole to our house.

IF I switch to a competitor I think they will put me on VOIP for my phone line.

I am struggling to understand the difference because:

a) currently with BT both broadband and phone calls come down one line frome the telegraph pole

b) with the competitor using VOIP again both the broadband and the phone calls come down one line from the telegraph pole.

Can anyone please tell me:

1. is VOIP better or worse than my current arrangement

2. if broadband fails does that mean I lose my phone calls with VOIP (but not with the current BT arrangement?)

3. how does the BT arrangement work. Does the twisted copper pair somehow have both broadband and telephone in it?

Thanks for any help much appreciated

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Firefox1701
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Message 2 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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I'm unable to intelligently discuss the technical aspects of this question,  but as regards the matter of  'is VOIP better or worse than my current arrangement',  I can only speak from personal experience.    Based on that experience,  I personally would avoid VOIP for as long as it's possible to do so.    I realise that with technology's proclivity for making things worse rather than better,  there may well come a point in the not-too-far-distant future when it isn't possible to avoid it;   but for the time being,  I'd be tempted to use tin cans and string before I'd use VOIP.    As always,  just my humble opinion based on my own personal experience.

Keith_Beddoe
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Message 3 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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@robartist 

Your existing ADSL connection carries both phone and broadband and there is also a 50V supply from the exchange which is protected from power cuts and also helps to keep the connections in a good condition.

If you move to VOIP you lose both of those advantages and would lose your phone line in the event of a power cut, unless you have some form of backup mains supply. The lack of any voltage on the line also increases the number of high resistance faults, and can result in the line being accidentally disconnected by Openreach, thinking its a spare line.

Another problem with VOIP is that its not unusual for the line to stop working due to a loss of IP routing. The only way to get it back is to restart your router.

BT used to have a VOIP service called BT Broadband Talk, and this suffered from many outages when the servers went down. This service was discontinued many years ago.

As @Firefox1701  has said, keep a physical landline connection for as long as you can.

Devon_Dave
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Message 4 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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There will be no choice in moving off of PSTN in the next few years as openreach have announced that The Public Switched Telephone Network will be switched off in December 2025.

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Firefox1701
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Message 5 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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... because it's not hard enough to get faults fixed already ...?!

Heaven help us.

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Keith_Beddoe
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Message 6 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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@Devon_Dave wrote:

There will be no choice in moving off of PSTN in the next few years as Openreach have announced that The Public Switched Telephone Network will be switched off in December 2025.


That refers to the legacy exchange equipment, System X, AXE10 etc.

It should still be possible to provide a digital local end which uses conventional PCM with a digital to analogue box about the same size as a normal NTE, which is power fed from an MSAN  (Multi Service Access Node) in the exchange. MSANs are  an integral part of the 21cn network, and already provide many services, including ADSL.

See https://kitz.co.uk/adsl/21cn_network.htm

This explains what is going on.

 

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Starwire
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Message 7 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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Eventually (by 2025 Openreach say) all customers who can not get FTTP will be moved onto something called SOGEA. Single Order Generic Ethernet Access or as it’s commonly known, Naked DSL. As in it’s just a bare pair of wires from the Exchange to your NTE. It’ll have no DC Voltage and or Earth Return as it traditionally has now.

At present SOGEA only connects to the Exchange Equipment still for testing purposes, eventually even that will go and it’ll just be a pair from the PCP to the NTE.

With SOGEA all Phone Services will be done via VOiP. 

As mentioned the problem with SOGEA is it has no Conditions. When tapping out cable joints Engineers usually look for the tell tail 50v DC to know if they’re on a working pair and to move on. As SOGEA doesn’t have that pairs are sometimes pinched in error. This is why when you look in PCP’s now a lot of pairs will have tags on them stating they are SOGEA Lines so people don’t assume they’re spare.

Openreach do have a specific test function on their Hand Held Tester called, Service Detect that can detect the Digital Tones so they know it’s a worker. You can also hear the tones using a Telephone 300, aka Butt Phone.

You’ll find a lot of Openreach Engineers find SOGEA a pain in the a### and will avoid being up skilled to do it like the plague.

Keith_Beddoe
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Message 8 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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@Starwire 

Is there a DC  loop  back towards the cabinet that can be detected from the NTE?

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DJG_Shef
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Message 9 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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A non technical answer to your question is that yes, your regular phone service comes down the same wire as your broadband. VOIP services (e.g. Skype, WhatsApp) use your broadband. VOIP quality depends on your broadband quality (speed and consistency) and may be limited by the fact that your download speed is almost certainly adequate but your upload will be slower. Since Zoom and others use broadband and give us a reasonable service, you might want to go for it but I choose to use my mobile and have no call packages on my landline, which I keep as a backup but don't use.

Starwire
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Message 10 of 15

Re: Current landline vs VOIP?

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@Keith_Beddoe 

No, when testing pairs now they’re officially supposed to use the Service Detect Function on their HHT.

If testing at the PCP, Block Terminal or Box Connection they are to use the appropriate Test Adapter or if in a Cable Joint the little prongs that can be inserted into the Crimps so not to break the circuit down.

When you connect the tester onto the circuit it checks for digital tones from the Router.

Obviously some people switch their routers for whatever reason so if you come across a pair that isn’t picking up the tones you then switch to a, Detect DSLAM Test and see if it picks that up. If it does you have to assume it is a working circuit and leave it as is.

Testing with the Service Detect in a 100 Pair Joint is extremely time consuming. Unlike the trusty SA9083 where you could tap out a joint within a matter of minutes.

Personally I still use my 9083 when tapping out and if I come across a pair with no Voltage then I’ll test it using the Service Detect.

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