Landline changes

What's happening to landlines?

Analogue phone lines which many of us use to make calls on "landlines" is being replaced with an internet-based version, by the end of December 2025

Landlines will still exist, and you can still have a phone line in your home - but the system calls use will be different.

Your Connect! volunteer will be able to help you make this change and get used to new equipment

Phone providers have already started work on switching over the network, but you don’t need to do anything until they get in touch with you. Below are some helpful FAQs

Why is this change happening?

The equipment that makes the current landline network run isn’t fit for the future and needs to be upgraded. The new system will use the internet to make phone calls. Phone and broadband companies are leading this change. The Government and Ofcom (the communications regulator) are supporting it.

Will my landline phone be affected?

Everyone who has a landline must move over to the new system. You don’t need to do anything yet - your phone company will get in touch with you. For many, the change will be as simple as plugging their phone into their broadband router.

What if I don’t have, or don’t want, the internet at home?

Because the new system uses the internet, you won’t be able to make calls without an internet connection at home. If you already have broadband, you can use that. If not and you don’t want a high-speed internet connection, you should be given the option to use a simple internet connection just for making calls.

Is it true that I won’t be able to make phone calls if there’s a power cut?

The new system will work off your home electricity, so if there’s a power cut it’ll mean you can’t make phone calls. In these instances, phone companies are advising that you should use a mobile phone as a backup.

If you don’t have a mobile, live somewhere where there’s no or poor signal, or depend on your landline, for example because you’re disabled, your home phone provider should offer you a solution like a battery-operated handset. This will mean that you can make emergency calls during a power cut.

Can I keep my phone number?

Yes, in most cases you’ll be able to keep your current phone number

Will I need a new phone?

If your phone handset is very old, you might need to change it. Your phone provider will be able to advise you.

Will I have to pay more?

BT, which provides the majority of landlines, have committed to not raising prices above inflation for ‘voice only’ customers – those who don’t have home broadband. This commitment is for at least the next 5 years and will mean that whatever technology your landline uses, the old system or the new, your bill should not rise significantly.

This means that you shouldn’t face extra costs if you need a new simple internet connection to make calls.

Will anything else be affected, like my telecare?

Things that currently use the landline network - like telecare, personal alarms, burglar alarms and fax machines - will be affected by the change. If your device is relatively modern, it should still work fine - but older devices may need to be reconfigured or replaced.