As you may be aware, UK telephone operators are in the process of a ‘Digital Switchover’, moving away from analogue landlines to a new digital service and as part of this, we wanted to share details of the event BT are planning on 21st and 22nd November in Bromley High Street.
As this is an industry-led initiative, residents should be hearing directly from their providers about how they will be affected. It is hoped this project will be completed by 2025. For most, this should be a straightforward change – as simple as plugging their phone into their broadband router instead of the usual socket on the wall.
There may be more of a change involved for those using devices connected to a phone line, for example, alarm systems or telecare devices such as fall monitors. Some Council service areas will therefore be impacted. We are working with providers to understand more about their plans, the services that will be impacted and, for reassurance, specifically focusing to ensure that vulnerable residents are not impacted.
We will be sharing more information on the Digital Switchover in the coming months, but firstly wanted to draw your attention to BT Group’s plans to switch its Greater London customers over to its digital service (Digital Voice) by the end of the year. Please note that this is separate from the BT managed service that supports the council’s IT systems.
To raise awareness of the switch to Digital Voice and familiarise its customers with this new system, BT will be holding a drop-in event in the pedestrianised area of Bromley High Street on 21 and 22 November, from 9 am to 4 pm. This will allow residents to speak directly to BT staff about the switch and try out the new technology for themselves. For details on further events please click here.
BT is advising it will also be contacting all customers at least four weeks in advance of their switch to ensure that they are ready to move to Digital Voice. However, for safety, it will not proactively switch anyone who falls under the below criteria:
- Customers with a healthcare pendant
- Customers who only use landlines
- Customers with no mobile signal
- Customers who have disclosed any additional needs
Customers who fall into any of these categories are advised to contact BT directly to ensure their data is up to date. BT will also be taking extra time and providing additional support to customers over 70. With these customers then switched over at a later date to better support their needs.
LBB are in conversation with BT about their plans for general awareness as well as in specific support of residents with alarm pendants etc. For interest we are also assessing whether there are landlines supporting council business that may be affected. We will keep you updated about all of this as appropriate.
Cllr Mike Jack
Cllr Mark Smith
Cllr Alison Stammers