You may have heard that BT is planning a big change for us all. The announcement that all traditional phone lines are going to be turned off in 2025 may panic some. But this article is here to tell you why it’s a good thing.
Up until a few years ago, we used to think of the internet as being delivered to us using BT’s phone lines. Your Internet Connection made use of your ordinary phone line to send data to and from your home. But the change in emphasis has crept gradually over us all, and now the internet connection is the main consideration, and the ‘phone’ part of the phone line is secondary. It has almost become a convenience term. “Home phone line” is now optional on forms, rather than compulsory. Most people will only put their mobile number as a contact method. After all, it’s more convenient, and people have it with them all the time.
As customer requirements, general trends and public knowledge have changed, so has how we use the national network. The change BT is planning is actually just a natural extension of how we all behave.
You might exclaim “nobody asked me!” in fact, we have all been asking it from BT for years. Roughly 90% of new house builds in the UK last year came ready-equipped with a fibre connection. Nearly half of all UK homes have a streaming service for watching TV, and over half have some form of internet-connected ‘smart device’. How often does your internet connection get used, compared with your home phone (if you even have a home phone)?
As you can guess, this results in a massive amount of data. Downloading a film, apps updating on your mobile phone, checking up on your chickens on your farm simulator. It all takes data.
It was inevitable that change would be required. The BT network was built and conceived at a time when transferring data packets wasn’t even conceived of. It isn’t that the network isn’t fit for purpose. It is. It just isn’t being used for the purpose it was designed for.
And so, regarding making and receiving phone calls, BT is now facing a fundamental change in how it operates.
We will no longer have the option of having a phone line into our home. We will have an internet connection. Which, let’s face it, is how we all really think about it, whether we admit it or not.
It would be interesting to know the last time a phone line was installed that didn’t also deliver internet!
One of the problems with the old network is simply maintenance. The old equipment is out-dated. Some of it dates from the 19th century. Engineers simply don’t train to install and repair it any more, and the ones that did have all reached, or are reaching, retirement age. Equipment is no longer available, and spare parts have long since left the shelves.
So – maintenance, repair and upkeep of the national infrastructure will become easier. As equipment falls into step with contemporary technology, so fix times should improve, spare parts should increase, and spending should fall. So far, so good.
We also know that we all use vast amounts of data, ranging across a variety of devices, and for a variety of purposes. Moving from out-dated equipment which has been jury-rigged by a generation of engineers, to purpose-built contemporary equipment can only help. A national infrastructure which is fit for purpose. Great!
Another factor is the prevalence of remote working in the post-pandemic era, and the move towards hybrid workplace models from employers. Again – data is much more useful in this scenario, and it is data which the planned switch by BT is geared to deliver. Three out of three!
So – a hat-trick for BT, and full marks all round. The switch off is perhaps more of a Switch On.
The move from the traditional technologies which previously made up the national network is only a good thing. Modernisation will improve the service delivered to us all, and future-proof the UK’s communications structure.
If you’d like to discuss any aspect further, just get in touch
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