Your landline is changing: Openreach explain everything you need to know about the digital upgrade

The analogue network is being retired and the future is calling – here’s everything you need to know, as described in this paid for Op Ed from Openreach.

Copper wires and analogue signals have served our nation for over a century. They’ve kept hospitals, schools and emergency services connected, they’ve powered card machines on our high streets and delivered some of most important phone conversations we’ve ever had with our family and friends.

But, because it's been around for a long time, it’s no longer as efficient as it could be. Replacement parts are hard to come by and, it fails more often than we’d like, meaning it doesn’t provide the world-class service that we need it to. This is why we'll be retiring the analogue phone network at the end of 2025.

A greener, faster and more reliable service

By this point everyone in Northern Ireland will have been upgraded to a digital phone line, providing us with a greener, faster, and more reliable service. This means landline voice calls will soon be transmitted digitally – in the same way your broadband works. By modernising the telephone network, we’ll be able to do more than ever before, helping the UK to stay competitive on the global stage.

What you need to do and how this will affect you

To enable this change, most people in Northern Ireland from big organisations, to small local businesses, data hungry families, to elderly relatives using their landline as a lifeline will need to answer the call and get ready for the upgrade to digital phone lines.

For most people upgrading to digital services should be straightforward. Moving to a digital phone line means that your phone service will be delivered over the internet, similar to Zoom or Skype. 

Where an Ultrafast Full Fibre broadband service is available you’ll be upgraded from an analogue phone line to a digital one when you place an order and request a phone service or sign up to a new contract, whether you’re changing provider, upgrading or re-grading.

By 31 December 2025 service providers will need to migrate most analogue telephone lines to digital phone lines. That's 7.5 million lines and channels across the UK. Some service providers may choose to upgrade their customers sooner, so you might see this reflected in their product offerings. We recommend that you check what’s available on their website. 

To read our FAQ’s about the digital switchover, click here.

The future is calling, and it's time to pick up.