The UK's copper (or analogue) telephone network
will be switched off by January 2027

It’s estimated that 73% of UK homes have landlines. According to a 2023 Ofcom report* up to 41% of us could still be using the copper network.

Most are thought to be in rural areas where good digital services have been slow to arrive –
places including Cornwall, Devon and the Isles of Scilly.
 

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Don’t wait for the switch off... take advantage of our summer offer

From now, until the end of August 2024, we’ll give new customers 25% off the monthly broadband subscription
when you buy any VoIP phone or adapter from our range.

Includes unlimited calls to UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and The Republic of Ireland.

What are the advantages of VoIP?

VoIP gives you all the benefits of your old home phone with some great new extras: 

  • Much clearer call quality.
  • You can get your home phone number to follow your mobile phone so you never miss a call without having to share your mobile number.
  • No separate line rental. With VOIP you’re connected through your internet provider and then pay for any calls that aren’t already included. 

As well as new features, you can keep the things you like and are familiar with from your old landline: 

  • You can keep the same number. You might need to port it over if you change networks.
  • You can keep your services like the answerphone, call waiting, call barring etc.
  • You can even keep the same handset if you want and buy an adapter to make it work digitally, but phones don’t last forever so it might be a good idea to update that at the same time.

The Copper Switch Off Debunked

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What is the
Copper Switch Off?

The Copper Switch
Off - Did you know?

Does the Copper Switch
Off impact you?

What are the benefits
of VoIP?

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What does a VoIP
handset look like?

Frequently asked questions about the Copper Switch

What are the downsides of
the Copper Switch Off?

Frequently asked questions

Having worked hard since 1877 the copper wires have reached their end of service. The needs of the nation continue to grow – with no signs of slowing down – and the aging network simply cannot deliver the reliability or capacity required.

For this reason, steps have been taken to modernise the network and improve reliability through the copper switch-off and move towards VoIP (Voice-over-Internet-Protocol).

Technological advances mean there are now better ways of transmitting phone calls. Compared to copper, VOIP is faster, has better sound clarity, and is more reliable. 

The sure-fire way is to ask your current provider but here are some useful pointers to guide you.  

  • Do you pay line rental for your phone?  Check your bill and see if there’s a separate charge called Line Rental  
  • Do you use any ports in your house that look like these:

 

If you answered Yes to any of these – it sounds like you’re still on the copper network.   

It’s a generalisation but we think most people on copper are either very rural or older users with low demand for the internet so even if your home has already got access to Fibre, have a think about any friends, family or neighbours who might need to do the same checks. 

 

VOIP has been in use since 1995 – it’s a very well understood and well used technology.  As the map shows most of the UK already has access to it and globally, around 3bn people use VOIP to keep in touch.

To find out when your own landline will be switched from copper to VOIP, speak to your land line provider.  And remember – other providers re-sell BT services so even if your bill comes from a different company, it’s worth checking. 

In most cases, VoIP is cheaper than a conventional phone line. As it uses your existing internet connection you can wave goodbye to separate line rental. Most providers will include a call bundle and then the only additional costs is for any calls that aren’t already included.

Wildanet's offer includes Unlimited Calls to UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and The Republic of Ireland.

Get 25% off your broadband subscription with our VoIP offer

Unlike copper which runs independently of your power supply, if the internet crashes or if there is a power cut your VOIP handset, and any other gadgets connected to the internet (Alexa, Nest, Smart TV etc.) will go down with it. 

Most people use a mobile phone in case of emergencies, and it is possible to get back up batteries for your router too.

Textphones and Amplified Phones for people with hearing loss can work with VOIP but each device is different, so you’ll need to check with the provider to make sure. 

This is true of all ‘telemetry’ devices – personal alarm necklaces, location monitors or door alerts that notify family members when something non-routine happens. Most manufacturers have already developed digital versions of these aids, but it is a case-by-case basis so please – check it in advance and give plenty of time for any new devices that might be needed.  

There is a growing range of VOIP handsets on the market that look, and feel like your old handset but perform better.  

See our range of VoIP handsets and adapters here

 And if you don’t want to update your handset, you can buy adaptors that will make your old analogue phone digital compatible. 

The date depends on BT (who own the copper network) and has changed a number of times already.  BT stopped selling any new copper-based connections in 2023 and currently the switch off date is expected to be January 2027. 

You can see from the map, the majority of the UK has already been switched off with just a few counties – including parts of Cornwall, Devon and the Isles of Scilly to go. 

Absolutely. IP phone systems make it much easier for businesses to scale. VoIP service providers operate using the cloud, so you can add as many extra users as you like without delay Nearly half of businesses in the UK have already made the switch to a hosted telephony service, routing calls through their enterprise broadband package.   

Speak to a member of the business team today to find out how the move could benefit your business 01579 558330  business@wildanet.com 

PSTN: The PSTN (public switched telephone network) is a system that supports traditional phone lines in the UK. It relies on copper cable networks that have been in use for nearly 150 years.  

ISDN: The ISDN (integrated service digital network) is a protocol that uses the same copper cable infrastructure in many cases, but can also use fibre optic cables. 

FTTC: Standard fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband relies on the same network of old copper cables. This type of broadband will remain available once the ISDN and PSTN switch-off has happened, but it’ll still be subject to the same constraints we’ve come to expect from a copper connection – lower speeds and less reliability when compared to fibre or wireless broadband solutions. 

FTTP: Fibre to the premises (FTTP) uses pure fibre optic cabling as the connection for your broadband - all the way from the main exchange to your property. Fibre optic cables transmit data using light, meaning that data transfer speeds far outstrip anything available from traditional copper cable connections 

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Offer can not be used with any other offers/discounts. *Ofcom 2023 Connected Nations Report