BT plans to make old landlines obsolete – 3 ways to keep your house phone active

Anna Richardson shares tips for cutting broadband bills

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Communications giant BT will implement a digital changeover in 2025 that will see traditional landlines replaced with hi-tech electrically powered handsets primarily reliant on the internet. The incoming plans, which the company initiated in 2019 as Digital Voice, could isolate older Britons and pensioners who rely on landlines as their primary form of communication with the outside world. They will need to adapt in the years to come, and there are several ways they can keep their landline surviving past 2025.

Embrace the Voice

Elderly households may have held on to outdated landline consoles running from a walled connection.

If they want to keep using their landline, they may need a hand to step into the 21st century.

Engineers can make home visits to help bring their setup up to snuff, and console owners will need to make a few adjustments themselves.

Those who now have one may need to set it up themselves, and BT has provided a six-step guide for the process.

The steps work as follows:

  1. Unpack the handset and connect it via the power cable
  2. Pull the plastic tab and activate the batteries
  3. Link the handset via WPS by following on-screen prompts
  4. After the phone has registered, wait for the phone to download any software updates
  5. Add contacts by pressing “yes” and following more on-screen prompts
  6. Charge the phone

Get broadband

BT predicts that a comparatively low number of households – three percent – have landlines without a broadband connection.

But that three percent will represent thousands of people, all of whom will eventually need the connection to operate their phones.

Britons who anticipate a struggle to obtain an internet connection won’t have to fret too much, as the Office of Communications (OFCOM) has ruled phone providers must provide internet for calls only.


If people can’t envision using a new landline but have a working internet connection, they can use an adaptor.

Those tech-savvy enough can install a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) adaptor.

These connect an existing landline, even a relatively outdated one, to the internet and allow people to make calls without updating their model.

Change providers

BT is currently the only phone network in the UK committed to complete digitalisation of its landline network.

Two other companies currently offer landline-only deals, both likely cheaper than BT.

Direct Save Telecom offers one from £16.99 per month, and Virgin Media’s alternative will cost £19.

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