Published 22nd May 2024 by

If you are looking after someone you may well use a landline to support useful devices like a fall monitor, lifeline or personal alarm. Changes that are happening to phone lines may affect you – and it is important you and the person you care for are ready for changes.

The changes are seeing old analogue telephone landlines replaced with landline services using digital technology (you may have heard of ‘VoIP’ phones – these use a broadband internet connection).

It was announced recently by BT that they are now delaying the switch-off of their old type of phone lines until early 2027 which means many of us have some more time to get ready.

But it is worth understanding now how these changes may affect you and how to be ready.

What you can do now

If you or the person you look after does have a phoneline used for assistive technology – for example, a fall monitor, lifeline or personal alarm – do get in touch with the people you use for this service. They should be able to help you by letting you know:

  • What their plans are for the service when the changes happen
  • When they expect the changes to happen
  • Whether the device you use will need to be upgraded or replaced. And how to go about this.

Do you rely on your phoneline?

The new VoIP way of phone lines working mean a phone connected to a broadband router will not work in a power cut.

This means if you rely on your landline and don’t have a mobile phone you would use as a back-up if needed, you should tell your phone provider.

They should make sure you do have a way to contact the emergency services during a power cut. This might be by giving you battery back-up so your landline would work in a powercut, or by giving you a simple mobile phone that could be used in an emergency.

Finding out more

You can see more information on why these changes and advice on how you can be ready: