What is digital switchover 2025 and how will it affect me?

In 2025, a full fibre connection will replace the copper phone network. By 2030, a complete full fibre broadband rollout will follow. This is the Digital Switchover. 

According to Which? the switch from the copper network to a full fibre connection is “the biggest social project” since the retirement of cable tv services in 2012

For many of you reading this, the digital switchover is familiar. You may have already transitioned to a full fibre broadband and phone network. However, many UK residents remain in the dark about what the digital switchover means and how it will affect them. 

Whether you own a landline phone, are an avid gamer, work from home or are a public librarian in the middle of a prominent city centre, the digital switchover will change how you conduct your daily tasks. Switching from copper to full fibre will revolutionise how we communicate online and by phone. 

Where has this come from? 

BT announced the digital switchover in 2017. They are the owners of many of the UK’s copper networks. They stated that the retirement of copper products was due to the high costs of maintaining the infrastructure and that moving to a full fibre network would help sustain “the demand of modern communication” better than “traditional technologies were designed to deliver”.  

What is the copper network? 

Since the late 1800s, copper has been used to allow us to communicate. This started with voice and analogue technology from the time of telephone inception by Alexander Graham Bell. The technical term for the analogue phone system is PSTN- Public Switched Telephone Network.  

Whilst the ins and outs of the copper network and its demise are technical and overtly complicated for many of us, this timeline by Nokia explains it well if you are interested. 

Then came the internet.

Nobody could have predicted the evolution of the internet and digital technology advances. Engineers connected fibre optic cables to the copper network when it did arise to meet demands. This is known as ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network). Both will retire and be replaced with a full fibre broadband network.  

The importance of digital services in modern society became evident during the Covid 19 pandemic. We use the internet for almost everything now (well, most of us do), and the infrastructure that most of us use is just not cutting it.  

Insert the digital switchover. 

Goodbye landline phones. 

The switch will occur in two stages, first with the retirement of landline phones by December 2025. Whilst terms differ depending on the provider, the prominent term for the new technology is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). 

We will make calls over the internet (a full fibre connection) instead of a phone line. Many of you may not notice a dramatic difference. However, phone services will become more streamlined and straightforward for those of you in some of the most rural parts of the UK. Think no more, sorry, can you repeat that? The line is bad!. 

The Digital Switchover will also impact personal alarms, so users must seek alternatives from companies like Alertacall. Here is just one example of how the digital switchover will positively impact, as digital options will increase the user’s sense of safety and independence. 

Full fibre broadband connection 

I know what you are thinking, but my internet is, ok? The House of Commons Library has recently shared that 95% of buildings in the UK have a super-fast broadband connection. This comprises part copper part fibre, otherwise known as ISDN. By 2030, this will no longer work.

We find ourselves in an increasingly digitally reliant era. Given the need for high upload and download speeds and adequate internet access to fulfil work and home commitments, the switch is for the best. Many rural areas we work with are significantly behind in direct internet access. The digital switchover means everyone can benefit from an ultrafast or gigabit-capable network.  

Where does FACTCO come into this? 

FACTCO is one of the leading providers of the Project Gigabit Voucher Scheme, launched in 2016. We are helping to fulfil the retirement of the copper network and bringing free full fibre installation to rural areas in the UK. 

We have installed over 500 premises to our full fibre network, including business and residential customers. Although 2025 seems far away, the time to start planning your transition is now, and we are here to help! Click here to check if you are eligible or look at our active projects.  

If you find that you are not eligible for a free install, we can still help! Contact our expert team, who will advise you on your required next steps. Even if you are in a contract with another provider, there may be something we can do.

We look forward to hearing from you and getting your community digital switchover ready. 

Local councils we work with

We work closely with local councils across the UK. Their digital inclusion teams assist communities that are struggling with their current connectivity.

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