Digital phone lines

An update on Openreach Copper stop sell

July 27, 2022

2025 may seem like a long way off, but for homes and businesses that rely on landlines, it's important to start planning for the switch to digital phones now. In just a couple of years, traditional landlines will cease to exist, and VoIP will become the new standard. While the switch is unavoidable, there are a few key milestones that everyone should keep track of in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

First, it's important to understand what VoIP is and how it works. Second, homes and businesses will need to choose a VoIP provider and plan for any associated costs. Finally, companies will need to train their employees on how to use the new system. By following these steps, everyone can ensure that they are prepared for the switch to digital landlines by 2025.


“We believe that full-fibre is the future for the UK and that’s why we want to deliver full-fibre broadband to 25 million UK homes and businesses by December 2026. The shift from copper to fibre will be every bit as significant as the move from analogue to digital and black and white tv to colour. That’s why over the next four years, we’ll be upgrading some 13 million analogue lines – including the now ageing traditional landline telephone service – to new digital ones.”

Clive Selley – CEO, Openreach

What is happening currently?

In January 2022, Openreach issued WLR contract termination notices in April 2022 for assets in Mildenhall and Salisbury. These are the two trial areas that are the first toward removing the WLR service. The decision to stop selling PSTN products in Salisbury and Mildenhall is part of Openreach's wider strategy to migrate customers onto its next-generation network. Salisbury is the first city in the UK to have full FTTP coverage. The move will also help to free up capacity on the PSTN, which is becoming increasingly congested as more people switch to VoIP and other IP-based services. While some may be disappointed that they can no longer get PSTN products in Salisbury, the change is necessary for Openreach to continue providing a high-quality service to its customers.

Since September 2023 it's not been possible to get any new landlines at all in the UK. You may have noticed that your neighbourhood hasn't yet been reached with these faster services - don’t worry! When 75% or more homes connected to one exchange can get full-fibre access, then only the stop selling of copper-based products will begin in your area. 

The decision comes as part of Openreach's ongoing move to an all-IP network and marks the end of an era for a technology that has been central to the UK's telecoms infrastructure for generations. Openreach has stated that all existing WLR, PSTN, ISDN2 and ISDN30 lines will be supported until 2025 when the last of them are due to be switched off. In the meantime, Openreach is working with customers to migrate them over to IP-based solutions. 

Openreach is starting two new trials to help communications providers migrate their existing customers to FTTP broadband. The move is likely to accelerate the UK's transition to an all-IP telecoms infrastructure and pave the way for new and innovative services in the years to come.

How do I transition smoothly to wireless technology?

The digital world is moving at a rapid pace, and ISDN technology is quickly becoming outdated. For businesses and individuals who rely on ISDN for phone and internet services, this can be a big adjustment which may seem daunting. Fortunately, there are some steps that can be taken to ensure a smooth transition to wireless technology. Small business owners who still rely on ISDN should take steps to transition to wireless technology as soon as possible to avoid losing their phone numbers. 

Here are a few tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

  1. The first step should be to contact your own provider and check if they provide digital services or not and whether their plans suit your needs or not. If your provider doesn't provide digital phone services or the plans they provide do not suit your needs then you need to find a provider that is compatible with your needs.
  1. Once you have found a suitable provider, the next step is to determine what type of digital phone service you need. Do you need a VoIP service, which uses an Internet connection, or a digital line that uses a standard telephone network? Again, your decision will depend on your specific needs.
  1. Finally, it is important to have a plan for installation and set-up. Once everything is in place, you can enjoy the many benefits of digital phone lines, including crystal clear call quality and low monthly rates.

What are the benefits of moving away from landlines?

The shift away from traditional landlines is a growing trend in both the residential and business markets. There are a number of potential positive implications of this change, including increased flexibility, lower costs, and improved efficiency. In terms of flexibility, digital phone systems can be easily customized to meet the needs of any user. Additionally, digital systems often allow for a greater range of features than traditional landlines, such as call waiting, caller ID, and voicemail.

In terms of cost, digital phone systems are typically much less expensive to maintain than traditional landlines. Finally, digital systems are often more efficient than their analogue counterparts, leading to reduced wait times and improved call quality.

The best part about the move to digital communication is that it would also have a positive environmental impact. Traditional landlines use copper wires, which must be mined and processed. This can lead to environmental damage, including deforestation and water pollution. By contrast, digital communication uses far less energy and resources, making it a greener option.


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