Are landline phones being phased out in 2025?

Last updated on February 7th, 2024 at 03:51 pm

Update: - We're hearing more and more from our contacts in the industry that the date of the switch is being pushed back to 2026. 

We will of course ammend our blog as appropriate if an official announcement is made, but for now these are rumours only.

In the UK, from 2025 the technology that currently powers landline phones is planned to be switched off. 

The big switch off

The PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network is what current landlines run on. Those old copper wires have served us well, but they are being rapidly phased out in favour of newer technologies such as fibre optics. Phone companies have been working hard to build the infrastructure to facilitate the new standards so that everything will be ready in time to replace the old PSTN technology with VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) in 2025. 

From 2023 any new line installations for landlines will be installed as broadband VoIP phone lines. 

The changes for users should be minimal as most of the work is being done on the network side, however there are several things for home and business users to be aware of.  

What will I need to do? 

Your provider will automatically switch your telephone to a VoIP connection when the exact switchover date is announced. It is possible you may need an adapter to plug your existing landline telephone into your broadband router, but this along with any other equipment you may need should be supplied by your phone company. 

Even if you don’t have broadband currently, your provider should still make the switch for you to a basic broadband “line only” connection, if that’s what you require. 

What is VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)? 

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. This means that rather than going through an old, switched telephone network, your voice traffic will now be routed via your broadband internet, which allows for much greater clarity and security than with the old network. 

Will I keep my old number? 

Yes, there should be no change in your landline telephone number. 

Will I need to buy a new telephone? 

A BT Cordless DECT Phone in black. 
Single handset in it's charging pod / base unit.

You will be able to use your current landline telephone – the only difference will be that you will need to connect your telephone to your broadband router using an adapter, or via a new wall socket.  

According to Ofcom, your provider should supply any new equipment to make your landline work; for example a new router, or adapters to plug in existing landline telephones to your existing router. 

You will still be able to have a “landline” telephone in your house, but rather than it being connected to the old PSTN network going forwards, it will now be plugged into your Broadband connection – directly into your router, via wi-fi or directly into a new wall socket. 

Will my new phone contract be more expensive? 

It shouldn’t be – there should be no real change in the price of your landline phone contract. This is not something we can guarantee of course, as it is up to each individual provider, but the transition should be seamless for the end user in terms of your landline contract. 

Will I need an internet connection to make phone calls? 

Yes. Once the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) network is switched off in 2025 you will no longer be able to make phone calls via landline with no internet connection.  

What if I don’t have a broadband connection? 

According to telecoms regulator Ofcom, you will be given the choice to buy a simple “line only” broadband connection, which will effectively replace your current landline if you do not need to use high-speed internet services. This should not cost any more than your standard line rental as it stands. 

What if my Landline and Broadband providers are different companies? 

You will have the choice to switch from one to the other once landlines are axed in 2025. 

What about my Fax Machine, Alarm, or Emergency Call Pendant? 

Some technologies such as Emergency Call Pendants, Credit Card Machines, Fax Machines and some Alarm systems that rely on existing technologies will need adapting to the new VoIP technology. You will need to speak to your phone provider before the switchover to see if they can aid you in the transition. In most cases there should be adapters available such as a Cisco ATA192 to aid in the transition, however it would be wise to check ahead of time to see what you will need to do. 

What about power cuts? 

If there is a power cut with VoIP, you will not be able to make or receive calls using VoIP. 

With the old PSTN system, a standard corded telephone was powered by the line itself, so if there were a power cut at your home or business then your basic telephone line would still work.  

Like a Cordless DECT Phone that relies on power being supplied to its base unit, VoIP relies on power that runs the equipment in your house such as your broadband router, so if there is no power you will be unable to make calls via your home broadband. 

Backups and alternatives 

It is recommended that you have a backup method of making and receiving calls such as a mobile phone ideally with 4G or 5G internet access. That way if the power drops on your home broadband, then you would still be able to make and receive landline calls via an app on your mobile phone. 

It is also possible to invest in a small UPS – Uninterruptable Power Supply or Battery Backup system, that will keep your communications up in cases of power outages. These are typically sold to businesses and industry in order to keep infrastructure up and running, but there are plenty of domestic sized units on the market perfect for home users. 

Are ISDN lines being discontinued? 

Yes, in 2025 both ISDN 2 and ISDN30 lines are also being dropped in favour of VoIP. You will need to speak to your provider to discuss your options if you are using business grade ISDN. 

We have a page for information about Business Grade VoIP lines here. 

Will VoIP Calls affect my broadband speed? 

For home, and most small business users VoIP calls shouldn’t take up the sorts of bandwidth that will affect your broadband speeds. To go into the technical details of codecs and compression would take an entire blog in themselves, but to be brief here; at the top-end, for one call should take at maximum around 90kbps per call which is a tiny amount of bandwidth, so even with a relatively modest 10mbps broadband connection you should barely notice any impact.

When landline phones are cut off in 2025, your Netflix shows or Gaming sessions should not be affected by a little extra VoIP on the line. 
Netflix menu is shown on the TV which fills the background. In the foreground, we see a coffe table with a big cup of coffee in a blue cup and a TV remote control.  Image to illustrate that VoIP won't affect streaming services.

Can I have two Broadband connections, one for calls and one for data? 

Yes. This is common and if you’re a business who relies on telephones and connection to the internet, then it is sensible to have more than one broadband connection.  

It is possible to have one broadband connection set up to handle your internet access and the other dedicated VoIP calls. You could even use different providers for extra redundancy. That way if one broadband connection drops then you have some redundancy to keep your business up and running.  

By way of example, here at PMC Telecom we have a VoIP cloud business telephone system. 

Staff can answer calls either by an app on their PC using a USB Headset - Their PC is connected to our regular data broadband for internet use; or, they can answer calls directly on their desk IP phone which is connected to a separate, dedicated VoIP broadband. This way if there’s ever a problem or outage with one broadband connection, we have a fallback connection to the other so we’re always available to our customers. 

It's worth knowing that there are cordless headsets which can connect to both IP phone and PC at the same time, so for ultimate flexibility, they're definitely worth the investment.

You would need to speak to your provider if you would like a parallel broadband line set-up next to your existing broadband this is relatively easy to do but does need the required internal network infrastructure to facilitate. 

Where can I contact my provider for more information? 

Some of the finer details of the switchover are still being released and we’ll keep this page updated with more news as we get it, but for further information you can contact your existing provider to find out where you stand when the big switchover happens – we have posted links to Ofcom and Openreach below who have some excellent information pages regarding the landline switch off in 2025.

Further reading

If you have any more questions or suggestions for this article, please comment below and we’ll try to answer for you.

35 thoughts on “Are landline phones being phased out in 2025?

  1. BT have just told me that their digital handsets will only work with a BT router. This seems to mean that I may have poor service in some parts of the house, we have a MESH system for broadband. It also appears to put a major cost constraint on switching suppliers if one is forced to buy new equipment.
    This seems to be unlikely, is the information I was given correct?

  2. Hi Richard, from what we understand if you’re using a standard DECT telephone set, then you would be able to plug them into *any* broadband router, regardless of brand.
    We do sell a pro level adapter the Cisco ATA192 linked to in this article which allows you to plug a landline phone (corded or cordless) into a broadband router.
    We expect at least in the interim, until dedicated “broadband phones” become available, for adapters like this to become a stop-gap solution for most providers. We’re currently waiting to see if more consumer grade adapters become available or whether phone companies will simply supply these to their customers when the changeover occurs. I hope this helps. There are still some uncertanties with how the different providers are going to handle the switchover which we’d expect to become more clear over the next year.

  3. We have awful broadband at the moment. We cannot get fibre boadband. Will our broadband immediately improve with the switchover?

  4. Hello Irene, Unfortunately your Broadband won’t automatically improve once the switchover happens. You could check out the guys at Think Broadband an independently run site who have lots of useful tips on improving your broadband speed as well as speed checkers where you can check the average speed of broadband in your area. You could also speak with your provider (or even a competetor) to see if there’s anything that can be done to improve your connection in the meantime. Voice services only take a tiny amount of bandwidth available so calls should function well even on slower broadband connections regardless. Hopefully Broadband services will improve in your area by then regardless. Good luck!

  5. I have contacted EE/BT who have informed me that to change to fibre broadband it will increase my monthly cost by £5 p/m if I get rid of my landline. To keep the landline is another £6 o/m on top, making an overall increase of £11p/m.
    Is this correct?

  6. So what if the aged people who lives alone who knows nothing about internet ,how will they cope , or suffers with mental health,what happens then

  7. I don’t think that’s correct – It sounds like they may be quoting you based upon current available options.
    Note it’s not strictly necessary to upgrade to Fibre should you not require it – although it may actually be the only option depending on how the local exchange has been set-up.

  8. A fair point indeed – I can imagine there will be lots of problems, but hopefully with good support and help, the telecoms companies should be able to help people to transition to the new tech smoothly. There are unfortunatley lots of unknowns in terms of a lot of the logistics still.

  9. Landline broadband isn’t available up here in rural North Scotland, and there are no plans to bring it in.
    The cabinet is miles away, and there isn’t enough juice in the copper wire to reach local homes and farms. The landline reception is awful, and Openreach might as well bring their sleeping bags for all the time they spend out here on repairs.
    Please have you any suggestions about how we might prepare for the 2025 change?

  10. Hi Sarah, you don’t mention whether you actually have ADSL wired broadband there where you are.
    Essentially a VoIP “Landline Phone” would be provided via the internet, so as long as you have some kind of internet access, that should suffice – so for example, if you had 4G internet access that would allow you to make calls. I realise this isn’t a complete answer for you, but the quick way to look at this is if you can get an internet connection in any way possible, then it will be possible to use a broadband “landline”.

  11. Already the BBC and others are using voice over internet for interviews etc. very frequently the quality of the lines leaves a lot to be desired. the internet was designed for packet data, not speech. There are frequent long silences between speakers, due to buffering – and that’s with the current level of digital traffic. International calls over satellite already not very satisfactory, they are probably using VOIP.

  12. I currently have BT internet and three additional phones around the house, would two of them have to be wireless?.

  13. Hi Kenneth, you should be able to use your current phones.

    I know that BT (and some other providers) will be giving their users new broadband routers wich will in short have a standard BT plug in the back of them so you can simply plug your current phones into your router.

    If your additional phones are wired, you may have to look at getting ethernet extenders or something similar in order to plug in your phones, but I would think that wireless DECT Phones would be the way to go, personally.

    As an aside, I believe that BT are going to be making available a range of phones that will plug directly into an Ethernet port, but I haven’t seen them yet as I believe they will be esclusive to BT at least for the start.

  14. my router has to be in the hall downstairs but our land line is in the study upstairs, so how will I be able to plug my home phone into the router? Will I have to have a very long trailing wire all the way up the stairs?

  15. Hi Michelle, there’s a few of ways you’ll likely be able to solve this.

    • Buy standard Cordless Phones where the base will plug into the router and you have a second handset upstairs.
    • It is very likely that manufacturers will make cordless phones compatible with Wi-Fi, so these will be an option.
    • You could also expand your internet using Powerline adapters – in short, you buy a pair of plugs which use the electrical cabling in your house to transmit your internal network data. There’s a nice, short YouTube video here that descibes how powerline adapters work [How does Powerline Ethernet Work?].

    I hope this is useful?

  16. VOI.P is garbage. Other people can hear you and you get cutoff if too many are using their phones. It is like the old party lines

  17. We found this a long time ago when VoIP was very new, but with reliable, stable providers and better overall infrastructure now, VoIP has proven itself to be very capable.
    It is increasingly common for people to be making VoIP calls without even realising it – Whatsap, Messenger and a lot of Mobile calls are now routed via WiFi and VoIP where possible as the bandwidth allows for higher quality calls, and, with end to end encryption, better security than traditional landlines.

  18. Our entire towns water main is tied to landline communication, this won’t work

  19. The problem with this NO POWER NO PHONE! How does this make sense? I disagree with the whole let’s switch everything to internet!

  20. Useful review. Thank you.
    My provider is Plusnet and their FAQ is very vague. I am awaiting a reply from them about how the charges for Internet and calls stack-up after the change. They are currently offering me “Fibre” (their new non-landline product) for less per month that my current contract. However, the contract appears to exclude the VOIP option (it flatly states that the landline connectivity, number etc – not just the copper – will not be available). It is very ambiguous. I hope that other providers are more explicit and clearer about what they are offering (and charges).

  21. Hi Steve, Yes, I believe Plusnet at the time of me replying to your post don’t actually offer VoIP so you would have to go to a different company to switch your “landline” number to (although you could keep your broadband with PlusNet). I spoke with Plusnet recently about a friend’s connection and the sales guy alluded to me that it could be something Plusnet will be offering very soon, but I can’t give assurances on their behalf. Good luck!

  22. I do not require a landline phone, so could I just have broadband connection and would this save money.

  23. If the power goes off as it does quite often in the winter how will you make a landline call under the new system

  24. Hi, my internet frequently drops out and BT have never been able to find out why. I reset the router sometimes 5 times a day and have missed entire Teams meetings. I dread to think what will happen when I’m having to use the internet for a phone call. Mobile reception is also poor downstairs so I have to go upstairs to the landing for these calls. Why is this change seen as progress? There must be a cost saving involved. As for power cuts, what if the mobile transmitter is affected?

  25. What about elderly people who have never used internet or mobile phone and only usef to landline and hard of hearing and living alone. How would they keep in contact with their loved ones and in emergencies when the power is cut. Landline is their only means of communication in case of emergencies and using an alarm pendant

  26. I had Fiber installed with EE. No warning that it could not be extended upstairs to where my office is. Hence I couldn’t hardwire it into my computer tower which is not wifi enabled. Had to order a wifi aerial to connect the towers to the fiber router downstairs. Also had to keep my old wifi going at extra cost as I could not install the wifi aerial without a hard wired connection to start with. It’s all cost me more time and money. A little warning that this could be the case means that I could have prepared.

  27. My mother had internet installed during lockdown to be able to have FaceTime etc with family and friends. 12 months ago she was diagnosed with dementia and has no idea now how to use her laptop. I have asked Sky to remove the internet but been told that once it’s installed it cannot be removed. My mother is paying quite a bit for something she has no use for. She would be better off with a landline only connection which would be cheaper but still cannot get Sky to change over.

  28. Dear PMC,

    From what I understand, If your router stops working or if there is a power cut and you need to call emergency services or emergency services need call you back, your phone won’t work? How will you be able to dial 999? This new system is so stupid and will put lives at risk! Did anybody think of this when they decided to get rid of a perfectly good technology and then force EVERYONE to use it!

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