In the last couple of weeks BT have sent correspondence out in Blackheath, announcing a switch to a new digital home phone service - digital voice. They are retiring the existing landline network nationwide and intend to switch everyone over between now and 2025.
This means that all calls will be made over the broadband network rather than the old analogue (landline) network. BT stated that initially this wouldn’t affect:
Customers with a healthcare pendant
Customers over 70
Customers with no broadband
Or Customers with no mobile signal.
However, it appears that some of us are being switched over to the new system in Blackheath within the next month, despite the fact that many of us are unable to use mobiles here without WiFi. The risk to anyone who cannot use a mobile phone in their house without WiFi is that during a power cut you will not be able to make any calls at all, including to emergency services 999.
If you think you are going to be affected by this, you can call BT on 0330 1234 150 to find out when they are going to switch you over, (if you don’t already know). If you report that you don’t have a good mobile signal without WiFi, they won’t switch you for now. You can check the coverage for all providers in your postcode using the Ofcom mobile and broadband checker - checker.ofcom.org.uk. Some of us have no coverage at all from the main mobile providers so it could leave us in quite a vulnerable position, once the switch is made, in an emergency, when the power is down.