13
May
2020
|
17:42
Europe/Amsterdam

We’re taking the next steps to a new digital world

In more than a hundred locations across the UK, we’re planning to stop selling our legacy analogue services and instead focus on providing people with a modern, futureproof Full Fibre connection.

The world has gone digital.

Whether it’s our TV, radio, photos or music; our texts, mobile phones and video chats. They’re all digital. And now, the landline is going digital too.

The UK’s traditional telephone network has been serving us well since the Victorian era. But with the popularity of mobiles and Voice over IP (VoIP) - services like FaceTime, Skype, Portal, WhatsApp and advances in more reliable, faster and greener technology - it now makes sense to focus on the digital network.

By December 2025, the Public Switched Telephone Network (or PSTN) will have reached the end of its life, and we expect new, digital services to have taken up the slack. That means over the next five years, we plan to migrate 16 million traditional lines onto new digital services.

And the change is already afoot.

Last year, we carried out trials in Salisbury, Wiltshire and Mildenhall in Suffolk – to plot a path towards this digital future.

The trials helped us to test and develop new products and processes which make the migration smooth for Communications Providers (CPs), special services like lifts and alarms, and millions of people and businesses who rely on them.

More recently, in March, we fully launched our SOGEA and SOGFAST products which allow any CP to offer their customers a standalone broadband connection without the need to bundle in the old analogue landline.

But this is only one milestone on the long journey towards a fully digital network. We intend to stop selling products reliant on the PSTN by September 2023 and during these three years, we expect the majority of customers to voluntarily migrate to the Full Fibre network.

We’ve been building the new Full Fibre network, which we’re aiming to make available to 20 million homes and business by the mid-to-late 2020s – providing ultrafast, ultra-reliable and greener broadband that can deliver all manner of digital services over the top. This will serve the UK up well for next wave of bandwidth hungry innovations which consumers and businesses will demand in the years ahead.

And now we’re taking the next step.

In more than a hundred locations across the UK, we’re planning to stop selling our legacy analogue services and instead focus on providing people with a modern, futureproof Full Fibre connection.

Ultrafast service (including Full Fibre which uses Fibre-to-the-Premises technology) along with Gfast technology will be available to more than 75% of homes in these locations by June 2021, and it makes no sense to keep the old and new network running side-by-side. This is a rolling programme so expect more locations to be announced over the coming years.

Consumers do not need to do anything just yet. But we’re working with Communication Providers right now to support them and their customers - and to keep them updated and informed as we work through their migration plans. We’ll also be working closely with local authorities, councils, charities and trade organisations to help spread the word to consumers and businesses and our online fibre checker tool will be available to provide the very latest information – at a post code level – about when and where full fibre is ready to order.

We’re excited about this. It’s one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK and it will have a hugely positive impact for decades to come. Research we commissioned last year also reveals that Full Fibre broadband will boost the UK economy by nearly £60bn. But there’s a lot more work to do, so we’re here to help the industry make this migration a reality and work with our CPs to deliver new products that meet the nations’ demands for decades to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some key dates related to our ‘All-IP’ programme:

  • June 2020 – We intend to give 12-months' notice that we’ll no longer be selling copper-based products in 118 exchange areas (excluding Salisbury) across the UK.
  • Dec 2020 – Salisbury stop sell to take effect
  • June 2021 - Implementation of stop sell in the notified exchanges
  • Sept 2023 – We intend to stop selling products reliant on the PSTN
  • Dec 2025 – We intend to withdraw all products reliant on the PSTN

Mark Logan, Director of Products & Customer Commercial Proposition.