nationwide transfer to Digital. How to keep landline

Carlakoala
Carlakoala Posts: 26
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edited 25 January at 4:09PM in Phones & TV
Like many older people, my 89yr old dad does not have broadband. He just has a landline. He is in a panic as he is hearing `all' phones are going to be phased to digital in a `couple of months'. I spoke to his provider - Shell Broadband (soon to be OVO I believe) and explained he has no broadband, only a landline and wants to keep it. And the rules say he can. They are saying they have not heard of this and thats that. So, where is the higher power I can contact to ensure he keeps his landline please.

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  • littleboo
    littleboo Posts: 1,469
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    Everyone will go to digital voice eventually, some vulnerable customers are being delayed. You don't need to "have broadband" - if you are a phone only customer, then a low bandwidth broadband will be included in the price of the phone service. However, Shell might choose not to offer voice service in the future in which case you would need to migrate to a provider that does
  • Browntoa
    Browntoa Posts: 49,275
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    The phasing out of landlines coincides with BT closing their local exchanges ( installed in the late 70s and early 80s and increasingly hard to maintain) . There is no obligation to provide a copper line , purely "telephony" which the new system allows .
    I'm a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Shopping and Freebies, Phones and TV and Over 50s boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing . All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • iniltous
    iniltous Posts: 2,984
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    edited 25 January at 7:11PM
    If your dad doesn’t have broadband how is Shell Broadband his provider ? , the  name suggests they provide broadband , AFAIK only BT and the Post Office ( for a short while ) provided telephone only packages, everyone else was primarily broadband that could have telephony as an option.

    FWIW , if he currently has a phone service only ( no broadband ) then it depends on how Shell are delivering the service and who is supplying the underlying technology as Shell resell other companies products ( in other words which company is providing the dialtone on behalf of Shell that they then supply to your dad ) 

    Your  dad isn’t a direct customer of BT but could be an indirect one , the underlying provider may be  BT , but it could be another company like Talk Talk , you would need to establish this first .

    BT are transferring their direct customers that also have BT  broadband onto Digital Voice , BT customers without broadband ( so similar but not exactly the same as your  dad ) are not currently in scope for this change , and it  may well be closer to December 2025 before they are dealt with
    , that’s the last date for the old technology to be switched off , if Shell  use Talk Talk ( for example ) they will have their own program .

    As far as the question, can he remain as he is, No ,  eventually he will have no choice but to move to an all IP telephone service, but obviously the way Shell ( and whoever takes them over ) will deal with their customers , is up-to them but it will happen , but it’s potentially still 20 odd months away , but sooner if that’s what Shell decides to do .
  • Carlakoala
    Carlakoala Posts: 26
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    Okay, Thanks. and yes, the company is Shell Broadand and he doesn.t have broadband. Yes they provide broadband but not if you want landline. No idea why he went with them but he did. I tried to see if we could get him onto broadband at this time - yes but would lose landline. 
    Shell piggy back on BT. Only Virgin and Cityfibre I believe will be options as they are out of the BT provider system. It is a real problem - he can't cope with mobiles. Its nasty and worrying for older people. It can be circumvented with Digital Voice though I have heard it takes many attempts and sticking to your guns, and weeks, often with landline not connected. Headache for all of us.
  • 400ixl
    400ixl Posts: 2,660
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    Any OpenReach provider can do a voice only service, so Shell being the provider isn't out of bounds.

    Shell are getting you of the market though and their telephony customers will be moved to TalkTalk.

    The switch to digital from a timing perspective will be down to when the exchange he is connected to shifts over. The current plan is that they should have done them all by the end of 2025. It could be that they switch the connection to the house to be full fibre or it could stay as copper if the exchange hasn't been upgraded.

    Either way, he will end up with a new router and the telephone will plug into that rather than the existing master socket.

    Digital Voice switchover does not take many attempts (maybe with bottom feeder suppliers like Shell) but typically it is straight forward.

    The only real consideration at the moment is whether he has any medical devices which are connected to the phone system or if he would need to be able to make calls during a power failure.
  • john1
    john1 Posts: 403
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    edited 25 January at 8:14PM
    Is this of any use?? GSM Wireless Terminal Fixed Phone,

    you say It is a real problem - he can't cope with mobiles.
    Apparently this  converts Landline handsets  to work  over mobile network so the user carries on with the phone they are familiar with no need for landline connection 
    Edit He will have to change to a mobile number though 

     

  • bunnygo
    bunnygo Posts: 114
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    digital voice will allow a landline, no need to use the broadband. However the landline will go through the router (will be provided) so will stop working in a power cut.

    most phone provider call centres are staffed by clueless city millennials who have no concept of people who can't cope with a fiddly unreliable mobile.

    actions: speak to Shell, escalating as needed, and tell them he is elderly and vulnerable and is NOT to be 'upgraded' until there is no choice. Any new contract with anyone will force him on to digital voice. It doesn't work in a power cut.

    as/when it is forced, you'll need to reprogramme all the stored numbers in his phone to add the area code, the concept of local calls dies with the analogue cabling.

    might be an idea to get him a fall alarm; these now come with roaming SIMs as they don't work with digital voice (another screw up). If there is mobile signal from anyone to his house, it will work.
  • Bigphil1474
    Bigphil1474 Posts: 2,292
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    bunnygo - a few inaccuracies there. We've got a landline that is through our router, have done for years with VM. The local calls are still local calls, no need for area codes. Other than in a power cut, there is absolutely no noticeable difference between our current landline and the copper line connection.  VM also provide an emergency 'landline' phones that will work in a power cut - I'm sure other providers will as well. 
  • JSmithy45AD
    JSmithy45AD Posts: 343
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    bunnygo - a few inaccuracies there. We've got a landline that is through our router, have done for years with VM. The local calls are still local calls, no need for area codes. Other than in a power cut, there is absolutely no noticeable difference between our current landline and the copper line connection.  VM also provide an emergency 'landline' phones that will work in a power cut - I'm sure other providers will as well. 
    Yep, it's almost as they've made things up just to support their rant. They've then gone on to post the same incorrect nonsense on multiple threads and (I think) under different sign ins. Very peculiar.
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