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How will the digital switchover affect my personal alarm?

Personal alarms that use a telephone landline may be affected. Find out how we can help you prepare for the switchover.

September 08, 2021

Telephone landline and personal alarm

What is happening to the old landline network?

By the end of 2027 all analogue telephone lines will be replaced with digital lines. These will use the internet to carry telephone calls, similar to how services such as Skype and Zoom work. BT have called the switch from analogue to digital phone lines ‘Digital Voice’.

Why is this happening?

It is estimated that up to 40% of the population have stopped using their analogue phone line in favour of a mobile phone. The digital telephone switchover is happening due to increasing demand for faster networks and connectivity. Existing analogue networks are also becoming increasingly more difficult and costly to maintain.

When is this happening?

The digital telephone switchover will not happen overnight. The transition from analogue to digital phone lines is being phased in region by region. Some regional pilots have already taken place in 2020 and 2021 where no new analogue lines are being installed. It is planned that by 2027 most analogue telephone lines will have been switched to digital ones.

You can contact BT directly to find out when they intend to start work in your area.

What are the benefits?

There will be no changes to how you make and receive telephone calls but there will be other benefits. For older adults who use equipment such as personal alarms, new devices will become available that use this technology to help people stay more connected and safe.

Digital and mobile technology can carry more data, which offers opportunities as more and more of us rely on the internet for communication.

How will this affect my personal alarm?

What options do I have?

Current customers who have a personal alarm that connects to the traditional analogue phone line should retain their analogue line and not be upgraded to a digital one. This is the recommendation after the major telephone providers signed the Government's Public Switched Telephone Network charter.

If you are a Taking Care customer who has already been upgraded to a digital phone line, we recommend you upgrade to a digital personal alarm. Digital personal alarms are unaffected by the switchover because they do not use a telephone landline. Instead, digital personal alarms have a roaming multi-network SIM that will automatically switch to the strongest available mobile network.

In some instances, your analogue personal alarm may work on a digital phone line but this should be considered an interim measure.

The best and most reliable solution is to upgrade your alarm equipment. To find out which digital device would best suit your lifestyle, please call 0800 085 7371 or browse the links below. Our Sales Advisors are available Monday – Friday, 8am – 6pm.

Digital Personal Alarm Alarm

Digital Voice compatibility

We have tested all our personal alarms at the Openreach testing lab and we know which of our own products work with new Digital Voice service from BT – we cannot vouch for other alarm providers though and so this advice only applies to our products.

How is Taking Care helping customers through the transition and ensuring their safety?

Please be reassured that we have been getting ready for the switchover for some time and have been widening our range of alarms to incorporate more digital and smart solutions, wearables, and sensors, based on the needs of our customers.

We understand that the telephone switchover can seem a bit daunting for some of our customers and we want you to know that we are here to support you and to ensure your service remains uninterrupted.

We are actively working with accrediting body the TSA, manufacturers, Ofcom and telecoms providers to understand the impacts on our service users.

Our top priority is ensuring that our customers can remain safe and independent in the homes they love, throughout the digital switchover and beyond.


Where can I find out more?

Speak with your landline telephone provider or contact Ofcom or Openreach for more information:

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Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

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Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

Download brochure