The future of fixed telephone services
The UK’s telecoms networks will undergo substantial change in the coming years, as the companies that run them upgrade their technology. Some phone companies are already gradually moving their landline customers from the country’s traditional telephone network – the ‘public switched telephone network’ (PSTN) – to newer digital technology known as ‘voice over internet protocol’ (VoIP), which carries calls over a broadband connection.
The change will offer potential benefits to consumers, such as clearer phone calls, and it will help ensure the UK’s landline telephone services are fit for the future. The transition will be straightforward for most customers but some may require additional support to help them update their services.
Ofcom’s rules mean that phone users must receive equivalent protections, however their landline is delivered. In this document, we explain what changes are taking place, the roles and responsibilities of different organisations, and our expectations of telecoms providers as they make these changes.
The migration also presents an opportunity for us to think about how we regulate telephone services to meet customers’ changing expectations and needs. We explain in the document the breadth of the related work we are carrying out and how we will be working with other organisations.