UK at High Risk of Communication Chaos as Millions are Unprepared for Landline Switch-Off

Nearly 60% of Brits are unaware of the impending home phone changes, a new poll reveals.

A Phonely nationwide poll has uncovered worrying findings that millions of households across the UK have no idea about the upcoming switch from traditional landlines to Digital Voice (VoIP). The results highlight the potential for major disruptions as we move ever closer to the switch-off deadline.

The Landline Switch-Off: What You Should Know

In 2017, Openreach announced that it would be retiring the traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) that landlines have relied on for more than a century. They set a target date of late December 2025, which they intend to keep. This move over to VoIP means that people who rely on their landlines will have no choice but to move to an internet-based home phone service to avoid losing their connection completely.

Despite being on the cards for 7 years now, Phonely’s new poll reveals that a shocking 59.6% of Brits over the age of 50, did not know about this mandatory change. With the 2025 deadline now less than 2 years away, this lack of awareness could lead to complete communication chaos.

“We’re facing the very real possibility of severe delays and nationwide disruptions to home phone services across the UK as phone providers rush to migrate millions of customers over to VoIP in the final months before the deadline,” warns Kelly, head of the customer care team at Phonely. “The combination of customer confusion and the likely shortages of VoIP-compatible handsets means that the potential for turmoil is high. Our main concern here at Phonely is that the most vulnerable in society will be left feeling isolated, anxious and unsafe should they be caught up amongst the chaos.” 

Inaction Risks Further Chaos & Anxiety

The ‘X’ (Twitter) poll brought to light additional areas of concern. 18.3% of those who took part in the survey said they were happy to simply wait for their provider to automatically switch them to VoIP when the time comes. However, the general public may not be aware that not all landline companies will offer a VoIP service. This could mean that unsuspecting customers could be left stranded without a home phone option as the end date looms.

“Relying on your current landline provider could be a major mistake,” cautions Kelly. “If they don’t offer VoIP, you’ll be left panicking at the last minute along with millions of others who are unprepared for the switch-off.” 

The Time to Switch Is Now

The PSTN switch-off is imminent, but alarmingly only 17.2% of those over 55 in the UK have embraced VoIP already, according to Phonely’s poll.

“If you rely on your landline phone or favour a landline over your mobile it is advisable to move your phone number to a  VoIP service now, to avoid the expected delays nearer the switch off deadline,,” advises Kelly. “Established VoIP companies can ensure a seamless transition to internet-based calling and often at a lower cost compared to traditional home landline plans.”

Featured Photo by Sam Loyd on Unsplash.

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