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Do I keep my Landline Number?

An increasing number of people are no longer using landlines and instead rely on mobile phones. However, until recently, you have had to have a landline in order to have broadband internet. With FTTP, this is no longer the case.

Picture of vintage telephoneWhether or not you automatically keep your landline number depends on your ISP. BT appear to continue to bundle a copper telephone line alongside the fibre optic (see ISP Review). If you are still a BT customer then the upgrade should not affect your landline telephone. However, it is not clear for how long that will be the case, and other ISPs may take a different approach. BT landline calls can also be expensive.

A fibre optic connection is really a data only service and we doubt whether even BT will want to keep maintaining a parallel set of copper wires forever.

In the long term, and the long term is already here for many other ISPs, when you have a fibre optic connection, fixed line voice telephony will be a separate (chargeable) service. You will need to get a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone and register for a VoIP service. You can move your existing landline number to a VoIP Service provider. The industry currently expects that the landline telephone will be switched off in 2025, and VoIP will be the only option for fixed line services after that date.

Prices for a VoIP phone start at around £30 (see amazon for examples). They look and work like any other fixed line phone, except that instead of connecting to a telephone socket, they connect to your broadband router using an Ethernet cable.

There are many VoIP service providers, including BT. For example, the author already uses “voiptalk.org” so that I can have a (VoIP) desk phone with an 01962 number without the cost of another landline. This costs me £3.99 +VAT per month to rent the number. Calls to (e.g.) UK landlines are 1p a minute.

If you want to continue using your landline number and your ISP does not offer the option of keeping your copper wires then you will also need to register with a VoIP provider and buy a VoIP phone.

On the plus side, VoIP allows you to have many separate handsets, sharing the same number or with different numbers, each able to make separate outgoing calls, and all using the same broadband connection. You can even share the same number between locations in different places.

Upgrading your Internet Contract