Daily Express

BT delays landline switch to early 2027

- By Emily Braeger

BT has delayed plans to move landline customers to digital services, following concerns from vulnerable people.

The switch from traditiona­l copper wire phones to an internetba­sed system had been paused after several incidents where telecare devices stopped working.

BT has now abandoned its timeline of completing the national switchover by the end of next year.

Instead, following concerns about the impact of the scheme on elderly customers, the telecoms giant has said it is aiming to complete the move by January 2027.

Nearly two million people in the UK use personal alarms which rely on landlines.

Improvemen­ts

Campaigner­s Silver Voices said the previous timeline was “ludicrous”, but called the 13-month extension a “token concession”.

Dennis Reed, head of the group, said: “The delay is for just over a year, which we don’t think is long enough to make sure there are sufficient safeguards for vulnerable customers.

“BT and the other telecoms firms haven’t even worked out what a vulnerable customer actually is, and we are calling for a more defined definition.The deadline of January 2027 is very premature.”

BT said its new timetable followed the introducti­on of a series of improvemen­ts to better protect vulnerable customers and those with additional needs.

Howard Watson, head of networks, said: “The urgency for switching customers on to digital services grows by the day because the 40-yearold analogue technology is increasing­ly fragile.”

BT said it will provide “resilient solutions” to those dependent on their landline.

 ?? ?? Concerns...Dennis Reed
Concerns...Dennis Reed

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