Assistive Technology Service
If you have been wondering how the digital switchover will effect you as a Nottingham On Call customer then we have an update for you in this blog. There is also a link to further information and frequently asked questions so please read to find out more.
The digital switchover from analogue to digital for telephones is moving at pace. As we have set out in this piece by 2025 all analogue telephone landlines will have been switched off and the only way to make non-mobile telephone calls will be via an internet router.
Unfortunately this is not as simple as being on a postcode by postcode, or a street by street basis as different communications providers (BT, Virgin, TalkTalk, etc) are making changes at different times and in different ways.
By 2023 no new analogue telephone lines will be installed into new homes. In addition some telephone exchange areas will stop selling analogue lines at an earlier date. To date the following exchanges have been added to the ‘Stop Sell’ list – Trentside and Edwalton in Rushcliffe, Gedling, and Sherwood and Wollaton in Nottingham City – with no new analogue lines being installed from October 2021. The full ‘Stop Sell’ list is here.
The communications providers will be contacting customers individually to advise as and when their home is to be switched over. Many customers will already have an internet router and so it should be a fairly easy task to unplug the telephone from the landline wall socket and to plug it into the designated plug in the router. There will be no change of telephone numbers and no additional costs. For customers who do not have broadband / internet in their home they will be provided with a router to install, and the telephone will be plugged into this. A low cost broadband package can be chosen for those only wanting to make telephone calls and not wanting to pay for internet access.
For further information on the details of the Digital Switchover for telephones please see this ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ sheet.
For many years Nottingham on Call, as with all care alarm providers, has largely relied on the landline to plug the care alarm into for connection through to the call centre. With the gradual switchover of landlines to digital, and with a complete switch off by 2025, this has meant Nottingham on Call needing to have a different approach.
Where our new customers have not got a landline we are able to install a digital alarm. This has a SIM card embedded and the connection to the call centre is via mobile networks and not the landline. As we have set out in the Digital Switchover piece above there are advantages to having a digital alarm such as, faster connectivity, more reliability and call charges are not added to the customers phone bill. A digital care alarm however is more expensive to purchase than a traditional care alarm as it includes the SIM costs. This is why the weekly charges are slightly higher - £5.99 per week (ex VAT) instead of £4.60 per week.
With over 4,000 current Nottingham on Call customers having a care alarm in their home we have started a phased transition programme. This is to ensure that all customers have a digital alarm in their home by the switch off in 2025. One way we are doing this is through offering new customers the option of a digital alarm.
Currently of the 70 alarms installed for new customers per month – 63% of these are digital alarms, either the EVA or the GO. With this level of new customers having digital alarms it will mean in 4 years time a large number of customers will already have a digital alarm and so won’t be affected by the switch off of landlines. This will however mean that there will be a number of existing landline care alarms which will need to be swapped out to a digital alarm prior to 2025. A swap out programme is being designed and if we need to come and swap out your landline alarm for a digital alarm we will get in touch.
If you are a current landline alarm user it could be that your communications provider gets in touch with you to switch off your landline. If this happens please get in touch with Nottingham on Call on 0115 7469010 or email@example.com If you have any questions regarding the telephone digital switchover please get in touch and we will try and answer your questions.