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They are turning off landlines in 2025!

Digby

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I'm sure other countries will be following suit, but they are turning off landlines in the UK by 2025 (I think). A 'landline' phone will still be available, but it will be VOIP - so not a telephone line in the old fashioned sense of the word, but sent through the internet.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Two things:

1. Internet can be incredibly patchy, by which I mean the uptime of an internet connection is likely far lower than a landline. I think in the last 10 years I've never noticed a landline that is dead, while in 10 years my internet has probably 'gone down' upwards of 20 times (granted, I use the internet far more frequently, so would notice downtime). Yes, this has mainly been in the early morning or for short bursts, but some providers (looking at you talktalk, dunno if they exist any more) are so poor, I wouldn't be surprised if people had something like only 96 or 97% uptime with them.

How do you use the phone if your internet is down...well, you don't!

2. OK, OK....EVERYONE has a mobile phone these days. Well, yes, but recently I have been having problems with that too. The uptime compared to a traditional landline is rather poor. I have had signal from multiple networks dropout for sometimes DAYS at a time. The mobile phone providers obviously have some issue with their antennas and/or have little concern in providing the same amount of reliability as a landline, so it is fine is people go without proper signal for days on end...

What do you think, am I worrying about nothing or is the humble landline going to be something we miss when it is gone for good, replaced by other technology that while more handy, is significantly less reliable?
 

BenjaminB

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1) The POTS (plain old telephony service), circuit connect, ie deterministic, died many years ago. You have had VOIP since long, without knowing. The IP just means a change of paradigm, hopefully your operator (like BT) does not mix your telephony service with ordinary internet (but you never know :) ).
2) In the UK, in most places, there should be at least one mobile operator which has reasonable coverage. Check their coverage maps, contact the best operators in your area ...
Worst case, get an external antenna, that will easily give you more than 12 dB improvement in signal strength.

Times are achaning
 
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Digby

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1) The POTS (plain old telephony service), circuit connect, ie deterministic, died many years ago. You have had VOIP since long, without knowing. The IP just means a change of paradigm, hopefully your operator (like BT) does not mix your telephony service with ordinary internet (but you never know :) ).
Whaaaat....you mean I've been tricked all this time :eek:

2) In the UK, in most places, there should be at least one mobile operator which has reasonable coverage. Check their coverage maps, contact the best operators in your area ...
Worst case, get an external antenna, that will easily give you more than 12 dB improvement in signal strength.
It is not a case of coverage, coverage is fine but problems with the antennas/network that they are rather tardy to fix. This over several network providers too (proper providers, not people using others equipment)
 

Galliardist

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I'm sure other countries will be following suit, but they are turning off landlines in the UK by 2025 (I think). A 'landline' phone will still be available, but it will be VOIP - so not a telephone line in the old fashioned sense of the word, but sent through the internet.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Two things:

1. Internet can be incredibly patchy, by which I mean the uptime of an internet connection is likely far lower than a landline. I think in the last 10 years I've never noticed a landline that is dead, while in 10 years my internet has probably 'gone down' upwards of 20 times (granted, I use the internet far more frequently, so would notice downtime). Yes, this has mainly been in the early morning or for short bursts, but some providers (looking at you talktalk, dunno if they exist any more) are so poor, I wouldn't be surprised if people had something like only 96 or 97% uptime with them.

How do you use the phone if your internet is down...well, you don't!

2. OK, OK....EVERYONE has a mobile phone these days. Well, yes, but recently I have been having problems with that too. The uptime compared to a traditional landline is rather poor. I have had signal from multiple networks dropout for sometimes DAYS at a time. The mobile phone providers obviously have some issue with their antennas and/or have little concern in providing the same amount of reliability as a landline, so it is fine is people go without proper signal for days on end...

What do you think, am I worrying about nothing or is the humble landline going to be something we miss when it is gone for good, replaced by other technology that while more handy, is significantly less reliable?
Maybe you are right to worry, at least for some people.

I live in the southern suburbs of Sydney, so you may think no problem. We like most Australians have moved to the situation you describe - to be honest, a lot of people jumped first, and the landline system was pretty broken anyway. So our internet (cable NBN, look it up) goes down occasionally and there is a backup mobile connection at the router - but that is usually down because reception is garbage in our flat, to the extent that sometimes when I do internet banking for a group I'm part of, I've had to enter the details, run outside and round the corner to get the text with the code number, and run back to complete the transaction :mad:

It ain't going to be fixed.

Of course, in your case the main telephone service backbone is going to be IP, probably private within the UK, anyway. But they'll fix that far faster than they will a local network fault, and consider what happens if you have a power outage in a storm or other emergency where the old phone would still have worked.

We now have two mobile phones on different providers, and I'd recommend that to anyone these days, or a phone with two SIMS. Just make the second one a very cheap limited provider for phones and texts.
 

TonyJZX

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what century you guys in

even in this technological backwater they are routing phone calls over broadband... with that takeup has been limited to boomers

i suspect my kids will never experience using a landline
 

MCH

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To me, since many years, the only use of the landline was an excuse for the carrier companies to charge me for something I don't use and with no way to opt out, so I am glad if they finally get honest and just make it disappear.

It is funny how internet, that was supposed to kill the traditional mail first of all, ended up boosting the physical delivery and killing its own mother, the telephone line... who would have guessed it
 
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Digby

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what century you guys in
The 21st, where reliability seems to be something of a thing of the past.

even in this technological backwater they are routing phone calls over broadband... with that takeup has been limited to boomers

i suspect my kids will never experience using a landline
All well and good, as long as it works. I'd love to see some figures of average internet/mobile phone uptime compared to average landline uptime. I think the difference would be quite pronounced.
 

BenjaminB

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Whaaaat....you mean I've been tricked all this time :eek:


It is not a case of coverage, coverage is fine but problems with the antennas/network that they are rather tardy to fix. This over several network providers too (proper providers, not people using others equipment)
1) yup, you maybe not noticed that your calls were VOIP based since 10-20 years back. You might experienced a drop in voice quality about then, going fro rather decent to varying quality.
When you talk about landline, you just refer to a part of the access network.

2) It is about coverage. Antennas are just some of the tools to provide coverage. Not sure what you mean with "antenna" btw, these days then external parts of operators networks are not always just some metal on a pole.

The best strategy is to get an optical fibre all the way home. Sometimes a bit expensive, but worth it in the long run. Mobile phones, Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) are also possible, used extensively in some as Australia and US, but ... fibre is superior.
 

TonyJZX

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if you have life monitoring systems then they expect you to keep old fashion rj11 landlines around

i would never call that system reliable at all

we used to experience call diffculty because the mdf pits got flooded
 
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Digby

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2) It is about coverage. Antennas are just some of the tools to provide coverage. Not sure what you mean with "antenna" btw, these days then external parts of operators networks are not always just some metal on a pole.
I don't understand the ins and outs of what provides mobile coverage, but I presume it is generally an antenna in some vantage point somewhere.

i think you misunderstand my point, in that I can have previously excellent coverage in one location and then there is a fault that causes no signal or very poor signal (some problem with a local antenna?). AFAICS that will always be a problem with mobile coverage, unless more (fallback?) antennas are put up to provide coverage when there are problems? I imagine providers are loathe to do this, because of costs.

Also, am I correct in imagining there is some kind of standard for how 'available' a landline should be which either doesn't exist for mobile phone operators or is easily dodged when things go awry?
 

sergeauckland

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Our telephone service will be changing shortly to VOIP, so have been following the topic.

Firstly, our service will be going over the 'normal' internet, as the VOIP interface is part of our router, just currently unused.

My concern is that during a power cut, which thankfully here are rare, we won't have any telephone for possible emergencies. We do have mobile coverage, but firstly it's patchy, and secondly I can see the local network being overloaded during a power cut, so calling an ambulance won't be easy.

My second concern is that we have 7 telephones in the house, 5 of which are wired, and two are DECT (cordless) so will a single VOIP adapter wired to our internal cabling work, or will every 'phone need its own? I haven't found an answer to that question yet.

Finally, from what I hear on the media, the technically or physically challenged will have trouble as currently one can buy large format wired telephones, as far as I know, nobody yet offers large format VOIP 'phones for the visually impaired or less dextrous.

I appreciate that the world is moving on, and overall I suppose it makes sense, but the transition will be painful for some. Of course many younger people won't be affected as many don't bother with a landline at all, using the mobile 'phones for both telephone and internet access.

S.
 

fpitas

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The landlines in my neighborhood quit working 20 years ago. The phone company didn't care. I got a cell phone, through another company.
 

Galliardist

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if you have life monitoring systems then they expect you to keep old fashion rj11 landlines around

i would never call that system reliable at all

we used to experience call diffculty because the mdf pits got flooded
As a normal user, I had far more internet difficulty with that than with the cable internet that, finally, replaced it!
 

Berwhale

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1. Internet can be incredibly patchy, by which I mean the uptime of an internet connection is likely far lower than a landline.

From a physical infrastructure perspective, optical fibre is much more reliable than copper/aluminium in the ground.
 
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Digby

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From a physical infrastructure perspective, optical fibre is much more reliable than copper/aluminium in the ground.
I think that depends. If I need to attach a landline phone to a router, which then needs power in a power outage, I will need to buy a UPS for it (power outages are thankfully rather rare, but still).

Does the VOIP connection go to an internet provider or the local BT exchange (which I presume has greater uptime, generally speaking). Will I be able to use an optical fibre VOIP phone if my power and/or internet goes down, the way I could with an old copper wire landline?
 

Berwhale

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My concern is that during a power cut, which thankfully here are rare, we won't have any telephone for possible emergencies. We do have mobile coverage, but firstly it's patchy, and secondly I can see the local network being overloaded during a power cut, so calling an ambulance won't be easy.

My Openreach ONT, pfSense firewall, primary switch and Wi-fi AP are connected to a UPS. It provides around 3 hours runtime in the event of power loss...

1693830425729.png


The 1st generation of ONT came with their own small UPS, but Openreach stopped providing those several years ago.
 

somebodyelse

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There was some consideration given to whether the box in your home should include a backup battery when they started installing fibre - the wire used to deliver power so the landline would still work during a power outage. After some risk assessment it was decided that wasn't necessary.
 

Galliardist

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From a physical infrastructure perspective, optical fibre is much more reliable than copper/aluminium in the ground.
Thanks to the last Australian government, we have HFC for our internet connection, shared through the block, and if power goes down we're out. I'm not going to go into the politics here for obvious reasons, but some people ended up on so called "fibre to the node" with copper links at the end that are too long for the service to work at any sort of speed. It's worse in rural areas. You would not think that Australia would be number 72 in the world for internet speeds!
 

Berwhale

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Back in 2020, I used a Gigaset Go 100 DECT/VoIP base station to transition my telephone from a copper to a fibre connection (called FTTP in the UK)...


This is a hybrid solution that supports both copper and internet connections. I deployed this box when I still had copper phone line and broadband (VDSL). I bought several Gigaset DECT phones and they were connected to the copper line via the Go Box.

It then had FTTP installed in parallel (broadband only from Zen Internet) and ported my landline number to a VoIP provider (Sipgate). Porting the number causes the landline and associated VDSL connection to be ceased, leaving me with just the FTTP connection. Reconfiguring the Go Box to accept and make calls on my 'landline' number via VoIP took 60 seconds.

WARNING: If you move to BT FTTP they will convert your landline to VoIP, only its a proprietary system and they will not provide you with credentials. You have to use the router that BT provide and you have no way of keeping your phone number if you later switch to another broadband provider.

Longer article on how to migrate to VoIP (unfortunately, I only found this after I'd worked it all out myself!): https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.p...nd-voip-from-a-uk-copper-home-phone-line.html

The issue with phone number porting is supposed to be fixed, but it keeps getting delayed...

 
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Digby

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Berwhale, you'll have to forgive me, but all that sounds like a tremendous headache for the typical person, and for what benefit?

You know a lot about this stuff no doubt, if I know 25% as much (likely an overestimate) then it'll take quite some time and energy to change over. If the typical person knows 1% as much, I do not see the obvious benefits of fibre based VOIP landlines to the vast majority of people.

Even if they are better, they seem much more complicated and it looks like providers want to tie you into their service, by not providing proper credentials, only pre-set routers and such (not a problem with a copper landline).
 
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