Landline phone

Digital landline uptake begins in Northern Ireland

Image credit: iStock

BT has embarked on a “once-in-a-generation” mission to switch over UK landlines to digital technology, and the next stop on its journey is Northern Ireland.

Telecoms giant BT has announced the roll-out of its new home phone service Digital Voice across the region.

BT, among other telecoms companies, has pledged to equip all homes with digital voice-over-internet phones by 2025 as part of a much-needed update to the UK’s communication infrastructure.

Northern Ireland will be the third UK region in which the service will be rolled out, the company has revealed. Eligible customers will be contacted four weeks in advance to help prepare for the switch, with BT holding Digital Voice roadshows and having a presence at town halls and on high streets this month.

“This once-in-a-generation upgrade to future-proof the UK’s landlines is essential and will replace technology that is fast becoming obsolete,” BT said in a press release. 

“The landline isn’t going away, and for the majority of customers making the switch simply involves plugging your phone into a broadband router instead of into a wall-mounted phone socket, bringing new benefits such as advanced spam call blocking.”

Vicky Hicks, senior engagement manager at BT, said: “BT customers in Northern Ireland will benefit from a tried-and-tested service, with around 2 million BT customers already having made the switch and benefiting from the many advantages of digital home phones, from advanced scam call filtering capabilities to crystal-clear call audio.

“For almost everyone, moving to Digital Voice will be a simple and free transition, with no home installation work required.”

Not all customers will be switched initially, the company said. People with a healthcare pendant, those who only use landlines, those with no mobile signal and those who have disclosed any additional needs will keep their analogue phone lines for longer. 

BT also said it will take extra time and provide additional support to customers who are over the age of 70.

Last year, the company had to halt the removal of landline phones after it left customers unable to call 999 when their power went out as a result of storms cutting off their internet access.

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