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The main difference with Digital Voice is that BT will tell you that you’ll need to upgrade to a new digital phone. This is provided free of charge when you sign up for Digital Voice, however, the company have highlighted that people can continue using their own phone, but you’ll need to plug it in at the back of an internet router instead of plugging it in at the wall.

However, we find that this is not necessarily the case depending on the existing setup of your home telephone socket system and the location of the new router that will be installed. You may be able to connect your router directly to your BT phone socket by means of a patch lead, doing this would enable all of your existing sockets so you would be able to plug your phones or assistive technology into any available phone socket again.

Some things that users and installers need to be aware of are...

  • Existing alerting equipment such as Sarabec Signolux & Chimeflash telephone transmitters will continue to work just fine, as will existing telephones.
  • Transmitters of this type and also cordless DECT phones should not be placed in a position adjacent to the router that they are to be plugged into, the wifi signals that the router generates will de-sensitise the transmitters and reduce range and operability massively.
  • Try using a patch lead to re-connect the router to the existing telephone sockets (if they are nearby) we have been informed that BT engineers should essentially leave you in no worse position than you were in previously with regards to your BT sockets being usable.
  • A small BT extension lead could be used to move connected equipment away from the router if no sockets are available.
  • Digital Voice Adapters are available from BT, they plug into a mains plug and connect to the router via wireless signals, you can then plug up to 3 devices into the adapter (e.g Chimeflash telephone transmitter and landline telephone)

BT have said that they aim to switch all UK customers to ‘Digital Voice’ by December 2025. As far as ‘alternatives’ go, no one has suggested any form of alternative arrangement when it comes to the ‘digital landline’. The government have been quiet on the topic and haven’t imposed any measures on BT as a requirement about how they must roll out the new scheme.

Despite continuing with ‘Digital Voice’, BT have highlighted that they’ll work with elderly and vulnerable residents across the country to make sure they are accommodated with the new technology.

Rural communities will also be investigated after it was confirmed that network coverage on the new digital landlines will be ‘patchy’ if the power goes out. Alternative methods for this will be to introduce battery packs and other chargers, according to BT.

The telecoms company have said that they’re “working to bring Digital Voice” to every household,” but they have acknowledged that “it’s not for everyone,” and has announced training, engineer briefings and help guides as a few ideas moving forward.

How much does Digital Voice cost?

The cost of the new Digital Voice and broadband service is all included in a single package price, say BT. This gives customers benefits like HD-quality calling along with extra features such as voicemail, call waiting, and call divert included at no extra cost.

How can people get Digital Voice if they want to switch?

BT are only offering Digital Voice in certain scenarios and areas to manage the number of customers moving over at one time but have pledged to notify customers when they can move over.

People can check online whether they’re eligible for ‘Digital Voice’ on the BT website and they will then be given the option to switch over if they want to.

For people who have special services, like a monitored burglar alarm or health pendant, they’ll need to let the provider know they’re moving over to Digital Voice.

At present, Digital Voice has rolled out to selected UK homes. People will be told they’re getting Digital Voice when ordering a BT Broadband plan, or they might be sent an invitation to move over by BT. The migration of all BT customers to use Digital Voice technology by the end of 2025 will enable them to switch off the older technology.

“If a customer is prone to power cuts and has no means of making a call in an emergency, then there are battery packs available which can power your equipment for over an hour. We’ll provide these for free for customers flagged as vulnerable on our system. If any customer has any concerns, they should speak to us and we’ll find a solution which works for them.”

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