Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Where will my landline go to?

So, I just learned BT (British Telephone) is to ‘switch off’ its analogue landlines. All copper cables will be ‘ditched’ and replaced with digital signals. This obviously means everyone will need an Internet connection. Whilst I believe this is good, it does seem a bit like a money-making exercise. What will ISPs (Internet Service Providers) do because the income from landlines will disappear? Broadband deals will abound I think, either that or with mobile phones. It is a bit fuzzy at the moment but there are only two years to do some hard thinking and work so that what is called VoiP will work for everyone inclusive for old-age pensioners. In my area we still don’t have the fibre cables laid. The best you can get is FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) meaning you still have copper cables linking your system to the telephone exchange or nearest street cabinet, after which fibre cables are used. We could have satellite connection but that is pretty expensive and not very fast either. The other thing that bothers me is you might have to obtain or buy a new router as well. It is not clear whether ISPs will supply the new equipment for free. Somehow I doubt it. Also your present telephone equipment might not be compatible although I understand BT might be forced to supply a free digital phone. Again, not sure about that. If you have FTTC then with the proper router and digital phone you might be OK. I am sure the ISPs will be re-evaluating prices and we, as users, might be better off by looking for a new router now. You will need one with the right connecting slots for the fibre cable connectors. Again, the cable into the premises will need to be installed by a proper technician (when the fibre cables finally arrive in your surroundings). In Wales the cities are being done but places like the Rhondda are probably last on the list. For myself I am looking at all the options and will probably purchase my own router at the time. My experiences with supplied routers have not been good. They work but that is as far as it goes. Security does not seem too brilliant. However, for those without loads of cash to spare, supplied routers will have to do. One thing that always amazes me is how few people take their personal security seriously. They just switch on, link all the equipment as needed and away they go. Some do not even change the password ‘admin’ which most routers come with. Coupled with regular checking of updates and ensuring they are installed properly, these are the least things that must be done. Well, keep the eyes and ears open as the deadline is December 2025 for the landline switch to digital. Ensure you are prepared and know what to do.

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