Warning to anybody thinking of switching to BT using their own router. or Lifeline emergency button.

As I am elderly and disabled, I looked at switching to BT Home Essential package at £15 per month for those on benefits.
I was with Plusnet at £22 a month, and needed to bring the bills down a bit.
Called BT, and enquired, stating I had 9 months to go with Plusnet contract, and the guy said no problem, just send us your final bill, and we will pay it..
That made it easier to sign up, but I did express that I would be using my own equipment, as I paid a lot for it, and is much better that the BT supplied router and phones.
I was assured there would be no problems at all.
on the 21st Oct, the broadband switched over very early, and without issue... everything working including phone. (on FTTC) I called to thank them, and also confirm that I would be able to use my equipment, and would not go onto DV.. I was told that as I did not use the BT hub, it would not switch to DV.
A few days later, my Daughter called round, saying she had been trying to call me, but my phone wasn't working.. I checked, and had no dial tone.
I called BT and was told it was on DV, and I needed to use the BT hub, and supplied phones.. I explained this is not what I was told, and asked to have my landline reinstated.. They said they could not do this, and unless I used the BT hub, the phone would not work.
Many phone calls later, and although I did speak to one guy who told me that of course it was possible to switch back to a pstn landline, he never called me back, and afterwards only got the "impossible to switch back" response.. I have complained, and got absolutely nowhere.. on the last cal, reading between the lines, it IS possible to switch back, but it is BT's policy not to do so. they are sending a deadlock letter to go to the ombudsman.
My problem is I currently have no phone, or landline.. because of this, I cannot switch to another provider, as there is no line to takeover. I cannot stay with BT without a phone.
I can only say for gods sake, DO NOT SWITCH TO BT if you (like many) use your own equipment.. also, if you use a redcare lifeline, or have an alarm coupled to the phoneline, these will also cease to work.. THIS COULD BE LIFE THREATENING regarding the lifeline..
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Comments

  • wild666
    wild666 Posts: 2,117 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I've being with my provider for over 4 years and the router they gave me was a basic ASUS N16 router. Fast forward to Feb 2022 and I chose to renew for another 18 months and they gave me a new duel band router and it has two sockets to plug in a VIOP phone but my old landline is still in use.  What I have against the new VIOP phones is that if your internet goes down or the electricity stops the phone stops working, I see this as a backwards step with phones.
    Someone please tell me what money is
  • I've been using digital voice for 3 years now and mine still works when there is a powercut in the house.    I lost power last week and the phone still worked.    I'm with TalkTalk FTTP.
  • iniltous
    iniltous Posts: 3,075 Forumite
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    edited 5 October 2022 at 3:03PM
    As the ‘BT’ PSTN ( publicly switched telephony network) exchange you were connected to for telephony, when you were a Plusnet customer still physically exists and will have many customers still connected ( for the time being ) then it ‘possible’ be reconnected to it , but not with BT , you may want to connect to PSTN with BT , but they are under no obligation to provide it , DV is the go to system as far as BT are concerned, so as a new BT customer that’s what was always likely to be provided, if it were available.

    Although they shouldn’t have said you could remain on POTS ( plain old telephony system ) if you couldn’t , it was always likely that DV would be the telephony supplied if you use BT and FTTC or FTTP broadband, TBH you probably should have realised this if they supplied you with a ‘phone’ , why would they give you a phone if your telephony was going to stay PSTN, but you are where you are ….either use the BT supplied kit to access the phone service, or contact BT asking to be released from any contractual obligation and join another provider that still provides PSTN telephony.
    FYI, getting back onto PSTN will be short term anyway , PSTN is scheduled to be turned off by the end of 2025 , by then all telephony will be VoIP, BT customers on DV , and other Telco customers on their own version of it , ( Sky for example already provide ‘internet calls’ for some Sky customers…they also have to plug the phone into the router )

    As far as alarms etc, the company’s that supply these systems are aware of the PSTN switch off and should be working to ensure their customers are converted to systems that are compatible or that don’t use ‘landlines’ at all.
  • iniltous
    iniltous Posts: 3,075 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    I've been using digital voice for 3 years now and mine still works when there is a powercut in the house.    I lost power last week and the phone still worked.    I'm with TalkTalk FTTP.
    If you are a TT customer than you cannot be on BT DV , DV is a BT proprietary system , and only works with BT SH2 routers ,
    Its likely that you have TT FTTP for broadband and TT still supply telephony over the Openreach copper pair , initially TT didn’t offer telephony over FTTP at all , so the copper pair remained for customers  that wanted to keep a phone service with TT , if this is the case then the pone isn’t affected by power outages, because it’s not VoIP 
  • Peter999_2
    Peter999_2 Posts: 987 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    iniltous said:
    I've been using digital voice for 3 years now and mine still works when there is a powercut in the house.    I lost power last week and the phone still worked.    I'm with TalkTalk FTTP.
    If you are a TT customer than you cannot be on BT DV , DV is a BT proprietary system , and only works with BT SH2 routers ,
    Its likely that you have TT FTTP for broadband and TT still supply telephony over the Openreach copper pair , initially TT didn’t offer telephony over FTTP at all , so the copper pair remained for customers  that wanted to keep a phone service with TT , if this is the case then the pone isn’t affected by power outages, because it’s not VoIP 

    Apologies.   I took DV to mean VOIP - I didn't realise that DV is BT's own brand.

    I definitely have VOIP with TalkTalk and don't have any copper wire (the copper wire socket is still there but has nothing plugged in it - I've now plugged a phone in it to test and there is no dial tone)

    When the power went off the phone still worked fine.


  • Older TT FTTP installations were provided with a battery backup, that is no longer the case.
  • iniltous
    iniltous Posts: 3,075 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 5 October 2022 at 4:23PM
    As stated , early Openreach FTTP installations had a larger ONT that had a phone port and came with a BBU ( battery back up unit ) this was to enable an Openreach telephony offering ( not BT ) called FVA Fibre Voice Access,  it was available to all ISPs that wanted to consume the product ( OR have to offer products to all ISP on equivalent terms ) , OR stopped offering FVA quite a while ago, as they don’t want to be in the ‘calls’ business  anymore, and started using ONT’s without a phone port and without a BBU …if your TT phone service works during a power outage ( so the router doesn’t have power ) and doesn’t use the copper pair , then it must be because the BBU is powering the ONT ( not the router ) and than means it’s FVA ( it’s VoIP but again a proprietary version, this time OR’s ) 
    TBH , it must be rare that any of these BBU are still functioning, as the rechargeable batteries seem to fail more often than not, (unless the batteries have been replaced) , these days  if the BBU went faulty , it isn’t repaired by OR , it’s simply removed from the setup 
  • Peter999_2
    Peter999_2 Posts: 987 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    It's not anything to do with OpenReach fortunately (I really really don't like OR).  I wouldn't let OR anywhere near my house.   

    However, I do have a large white box which I presume is the ONT.   I've just taken it apart and it does indeed have a 4 AA battery backup - I genuinely never realised that it had that.    It does make sense that it used the backup while the power was off and is quite useful really.
  • Einst said:
    As I am elderly and disabled, I looked at switching to BT Home Essential package at £15 per month for those on benefits.
    I was with Plusnet at £22 a month, and needed to bring the bills down a bit.
    Called BT, and enquired, stating I had 9 months to go with Plusnet contract, and the guy said no problem, just send us your final bill, and we will pay it..
    That made it easier to sign up, but I did express that I would be using my own equipment, as I paid a lot for it, and is much better that the BT supplied router and phones.
    I was assured there would be no problems at all.
    on the 21st Oct, the broadband switched over very early, and without issue... everything working including phone. (on FTTC) I called to thank them, and also confirm that I would be able to use my equipment, and would not go onto DV.. I was told that as I did not use the BT hub, it would not switch to DV.
    A few days later, my Daughter called round, saying she had been trying to call me, but my phone wasn't working.. I checked, and had no dial tone.
    I called BT and was told it was on DV, and I needed to use the BT hub, and supplied phones.. I explained this is not what I was told, and asked to have my landline reinstated.. They said they could not do this, and unless I used the BT hub, the phone would not work.
    Many phone calls later, and although I did speak to one guy who told me that of course it was possible to switch back to a pstn landline, he never called me back, and afterwards only got the "impossible to switch back" response.. I have complained, and got absolutely nowhere.. on the last cal, reading between the lines, it IS possible to switch back, but it is BT's policy not to do so. they are sending a deadlock letter to go to the ombudsman.
    My problem is I currently have no phone, or landline.. because of this, I cannot switch to another provider, as there is no line to takeover. I cannot stay with BT without a phone.
    I can only say for gods sake, DO NOT SWITCH TO BT if you (like many) use your own equipment.. also, if you use a redcare lifeline, or have an alarm coupled to the phoneline, these will also cease to work.. THIS COULD BE LIFE THREATENING regarding the lifeline..
    Talk to your alarm supplier, they should be aware of this & offer a solution
  • iniltous
    iniltous Posts: 3,075 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    edited 5 October 2022 at 9:25PM
    If you have TT FTTP but not over Openreach , presumably you have TT UFO in York , because it’s not available anywhere else , their isn’t much ( if any ) discussion about the  network architecture they employ 
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