BT to hold over 30 events in the North East to raise awareness of the switch to digital phonelines

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BT is to hold over 30 events across the North East this month to help raise awareness of the change from analogue to digital landlines which is set to take place by the end of January 2027.

BT is to hold over 30 events across the North East this month to help raise awareness of the change from analogue to digital landlines which is set to take place by the end of January 2027.

The company will be in the region throughout June to visit communities and talk to customers about how landlines will be changing over the coming years, steps they need to take and the support available.

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The change, which will see calls made over a broadband line for the vast majority of customers, is a much-needed upgrade due to the increasingly fragile and 40-year-old analogue technology.

BT Digital VoiceBT Digital Voice
BT Digital Voice

Experts will also be on hand to demonstrate how BT’s new home phone service Digital Voice works and to demonstrate new products.

Events being held include:

  • Newcastle; 5 June 2024, 10am – 3pmThe Common Room, Neville Hall, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne & Wear, NE1 1SE
  • Middlesbrough; 6 June, 10am – 4pmAcklam Community Hub & Library, Acklam Road, Middlesbrough, TS5 7AB
  • Darlington; 6 June 2024, 10am – 2pmDarlington Library, Crown St, Darlington, DL1 1ND
  • Durham; 26 June 2024, 10am – 3pm Durham Town Hall, Market Place, Durham , DH1 3NJ
  • Sunderland; 27 June, 10am – 2pmSunderland City Hall, Plater Way, Sunderland, SR1 3AA

Vicky Hicks, Senior Engagement Manager at BT, said: “We will be visiting the North East throughout June to speak to our customers face-to-face and answer any questions they may have about the essential upgrade from analogue to digital landlines.

“There will be over 30 events across the region to give us a chance to speak to as many customers as possible about the change and demonstrate how the service works.

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“The landline is here to stay, 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. So far we’ve prevented over 200,000 scam calls from reaching our customers.”

BT recently announced a revision to its timetable for moving all customers off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and onto digital landlines, outlining a series of improvements to better protect vulnerable customers and those with additional needs, including telecare users.

It also confirmed that customers who identify as vulnerable, have additional needs or who use a telecare alarm system will not be switched until Spring 2025 at the earliest, once data sharing agreements with Local Authorities or Telecare companies are in place, and in-home support for telecare users is available.

BT will instead focus initially on switching customers who have not used their landline over the last 12 months, encouraging them to take a digital landline provided over full fibre broadband, where available.

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The company also announced plans to offer a dedicated landline service for customers who don’t use broadband from the Autumn. Allowing customers to use their landline in the same way as they do today until a digital solution becomes available or 2030, if that comes sooner.

BT is working with local authorities, the telecare industry and government bodies to ensure vulnerable customers are identified and can be supported with the necessary steps to make the upgrade in the future.

In January, BT led the formation of the Telecare Action Board (TAB), which has brought together around 30 organisations from Government, the telecoms and telecare sectors, industry bodies, local authorities and regulatory stakeholders to identify and protect telecare users and those with additional needs before they switch to digital.

BT is now working with the wider industry and partner organisations in a bid to ensure the necessary agreements are in place which will provide the critical transparency needed for the success of the nationwide upgrade.

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So far, only around a quarter of local authorities and telecare providers have disclosed which phone lines have telecare devices on them; it's now imperative that every single one of these organisations do the same so that these customers receive the right support at the right time.

For more information and to see the full schedule of events visit: https://www.bt.com/digital-voice/events.