BT's Digital Switchover Programme Adjustments: A Rural Perspective

BT Group has announced significant adjustments to its digital switchover programme, which aims to transition the UK's traditional analogue landlines to digital Voice over IP (VoIP) technology by January 2027. The revised approach will result in a single switch for most customers—from copper to fibre with all customers now expected to have moved off the old analogue PSTN by the end of January 2027.

This comprehensive switchover plan is part of a broader effort to prepare the country for a full-fibre future, aligning with the UK Government’s gigabit connectivity goals.

BT’s phased regional rollout plan for Digital Voice includes extensive awareness campaigns and local support to ensure customers understand the changes and are prepared for the switch. The transition to digital landlines is a pivotal step towards a fully connected, fibre-based future, supporting the UK’s broader gigabit connectivity ambitions.

For further information, read BT's official announcement in full.

This announcement delays the deadline for the switchover from 2025 to 2027.

BT says:

“In January BT Consumer led the formation of the Telecare Action Board (TAB), which has brought together around 30 organisations from Government, the telecoms and telecare sectors, industry bodies, local authorities and regulatory stakeholders to identify and protect telecare users and those with additional needs before they switch to digital.

Coming together was the first step, collaborating was the second. The whole industry must now step up to deliver for customers in the spirit of the Charter, providing the transparency which is critical to the success of this programme. So far, only around a quarter of local authorities and telecare providers have disclosed which phone lines have telecare devices on them; it's now imperative that every single one of these organisations do the same so that these customers receive the right support at the right time.”

Howard Watson, Chief Security and Networks Officer, BT Group, said: 

“The urgency for switching customers onto digital services grows by the day because the 40-year-old analogue landline technology is increasingly fragile. Managing customer migrations from analogue to digital as quickly and smoothly as possible, while making the necessary provisions for those customers with additional needs, including telecare users, is critically important.

“Our priority remains doing this safely and the work we’re doing with our peers, local authorities, telecare providers and key Government organisations is key. But more needs to be done and we need all local authorities and telecare providers to share with us the phone lines where they know there’s a telecare user.”

For more information about the BT Voice Digital Switchover, please visit:

Kerry Booth, Chief Executive, Rural Services Network

"We are pleased that BT is delaying the switchover to digital lines to ensure that the most vulnerable are not left behind. This delay provides a crucial window for implementing the Shared Rural Network and improving the mobile network, which we anticipate will benefit rural communities significantly by then. Ensuring that all rural residents have reliable and efficient digital services is a priority, and we welcome BT's efforts to engage and support vulnerable communities throughout this transition."


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