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Supporting Hertfordshire through the digital switchover

Image shows a young woman sitting on a bed and talking on a landline telephone.

As the telecommunications landscape evolves, the Hertfordshire Growth Board is committed to ensuring residents and businesses have the information they need for a smooth transition, as traditional landline systems make way for modern digital technologies.

What’s happening?

Telecoms companies in the UK are moving towards replacing outdated technology used in fixed telephone networks (landlines). By 2025, the majority of customers are expected to benefit from upgraded digital services.

What are the details?

In November 2017, the telecoms industry announced plans to retire analogue telephone networks such as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) by the end of 2025. This shift involves upgrading landline services to new digital technology, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Digital Voice.

The transition aims to enhance communication experiences for consumers and businesses, offering clearer calls and introducing new features like anonymous caller rejection and three-way calling.

How can you get support?

For most, the migration process will be straightforward, with telecoms companies contacting customers ahead of the transition. However, specific considerations may arise for vulnerable residents or those with connected devices such as alarm systems or telecare devices.

The Hertfordshire Growth Board encourages individuals to engage with their service providers for guidance tailored to their needs. Providers are expected to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency services, particularly during power cuts, through provisions such as battery backup units.

Government collaboration

While the migration is industry-led, the government collaborates closely with telecoms providers to safeguard all sectors of the economy. This includes tracking preparedness across affected sectors and working in partnership with regulatory bodies like Ofcom.

Further information

Residents with questions about the migration are advised to contact their telephone provider directly. Ofcom, the independent telecoms regulator, offers additional guidance on preparing for the transition.

For businesses and industry stakeholders, resources are available from Openreach to understand the implications of the shift to VoIP services.

Openreach has further information for businesses and wider industry who use phone lines to deliver services to help them understand how the move to VoIP services will affect them.

BT: Moving to Digital Voice
IP technology is changing the UK’s phone networks – BT Business
VMO2: Digital Phone Switchover
Vodafone: get PSTN switch-off ready
KCOM for consumers
KCOM for businesses