BT revises switchover programme following deadline delay

BT Group has revised its timetable for moving all customers off the PSTN and onto digital landlines following a two-year delay.

The company states that it has improved to the programme to better protect vulnerable customers and those with additional needs and will bring migration more in line with Openreach’s fibre rollout.

Its statement reads: “The revised approach will result in a single switch for the majority of customers (businesses and consumers) – from copper to fibre - with all customers now expected to have moved off the old analogue PSTN by the end of January 2027.”

BT Group’s Consumer division has re-started switching zero-use landline customers who have a broadband connection to its Digital Voice landline service after s an industry-wide pause.

From Summer 2024 BT Consumer will ramp-up non-voluntary migrations for customers who do not identify as vulnerable or have additional needs, in areas where data sharing agreements have been signed with the local authority or telecare provider.

For customers who don’t use broadband the company is working on an interim, dedicated landline service designed to keep these customers connected while moving them off the analogue PSTN.

New equipment will be installed in local telephone exchanges that will allow consumer and business customers who do not have broadband to use their landline in the same way as they do today until a digital solution becomes available or 2030, if that comes sooner.

From Spring 2025, BT Consumer will contact customers who identify as vulnerable or with additional needs about the switch in areas where data sharing agreements with Local Authorities or Telecare companies are in place and in-home support for telecare users is available.

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

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