The end of the Land Line

The end of the Land Line
Photo by Nico Brüggemann / Unsplash

Land line telephones are almost extinct these days. Copper lines which were literally the land line and then got used to deliver broadband internet services on top are no longer available to order and are steadily being replaced by fibre broadband to the premises. In the UK, anyone who remains on a copper analogue line will see their service disconnected on the 31st December 2025 wherever there is a digital service available.

This is a good thing. It is progress. Fibre cable is stronger than copper and digital is generally better than analogue. Fibre will support faster internet services including the option for digital voice services. And for the last few years, we have been paying for land lines that we didn't need. Most people don't use home phones any more because their mobile cell phones are all they need and many of those with a home phone don't use it and don't even know its number.

However, in the older age category there are still plenty of people without mobile phones and attach real value in keeping their existing phone number. So they need to be able to pay for a digital phone service and keep their existing phone number.

In addition, as part of the copper switch off, phone providers are increasing the cost of the analogue service by 15% and we can expect further rises designed to help move customers off the analogue service over the next two years.

So what does an elderly person do if they need to hang on to a land line telephone number?

There is information on the Age UK website which looks really useful and could help answer that question.

We have used a company called Simple Telecommunications that provide telephone services and their niche market is the elderly. They have provided my mother-in-law with a good service that is cheaper than the standard BT service for what she needs.

Simple Telecoms are now offering solutions:

They have a solution called 1PHONE that uses a mobile SIM based router that you connect your standard phone to. The router has SIMs from Vodaphone, O2, EE and Three so can automatically optimise the phone quality. Prices are between £15 and £20 per month inclusive of VAT with a one off up front installation cost. The £20 cost is inclusive of 1000 minutes a month to UK standard numbers (landlines?) and 1000 minutes a month to UK mobiles.

They also have solutions that provide the digital phone service and broadband with inclusive minutes like a mobile contract. This is similar to the 1PHONE but instead of a SIM router, it includes fibre broadband. The benefit of this is that the broadband can be used to provide a Wi-Fi network for other things like an Alexa or Google device or to keep the grand children happy when they visit. Prices are between £36 and £42 per month inclusive of VAT with a one off up front installation cost.

My mother-in-law pays £22 per month for a phone service with a traditional landline with inclusive minutes plus an additional £10 per month for mobile broadband to enable an Amazon Echo Show.

Moving to the digital phone service will not cost significantly more once you factor in a 15% price rise coming on 1st February.

Simple Telecom will be able to give you a detailed quote and explain anything you don't understand. Just follow the links above.