The switch off refers to the migration from traditional telephony lines to Voice over IP (VoIP) services. The original deadline was set for 2025, but it has been extended to 2027 to ensure all customers, especially those using telecare services, can transition smoothly. Check out our fully equipped FAQs to help you navigate the Switch Off. 
 
Didn’t the deadline get delayed until 2027? 
BT Group Plc stated that they expected all customers to be moved off the old phone network by 2027 on an earnings call with investors. Openreach extended their switch-off date to align with BT Group’s expectations shortly after. The primary purpose of the extension is to allow telecare users to ensure their personal emergency alarms are compatible with Voice over IP. 
 
“Stop Sell” was introduced in September 2023 and remains in place. This means no new services can be provisioned, so the extension exclusively covers legacy services. 
 
Eclipse Wholesale has been provided with a list of all our customers who have dialled an Alarm Response Centre (ARC). We will not be migrating those lines until we confirm the end-user’s equipment is compatible. 
 
Eclipse Wholesale is working towards 2025 as the end date for traditional telephony lines as a product offering due to increased issues regarding the support and reliability of those services. We are also heavily targeted by our supplier to work to this date. 
What about emergencies during a power cut? 
It is recommended that you have an alternative method to call the emergency services, such as a mobile phone, as your phone line will no longer carry power. If you are a vulnerable user who needs your line to be available during a power outage, please contact us so we can discuss battery backup options for your router and phone equipment. Openreach equipment in street cabinets also has a battery backup, so they should continue to function during a power outage. 
 
Is this just to save suppliers money? 
The switch-off comes at a cost to Eclipse Wholesale as we have thousands of lines and their associated numbers that we need to migrate. Rather than making cost savings, we envisage a loss of revenue and profit related to the switch-off process. 
 
Isn’t Traditional Telephony more reliable than Voice over IP? 
Voice-over IP has a bad reputation due to poor implementations. As long as you have a reliable internet connection, you should find your new voice service to be reliable, better featured and of improved sound quality. If you use Eclipse Wholesale for your broadband connectivity, we will ensure your connection is stable enough to support voice. 
 
The old analogue service is now becoming more unreliable as the equipment ages. Replacement parts are hard to come by, and suitably trained and experienced engineers on the old technology are retiring. 
Since the switch-off was announced, hundreds of thousands of lines have migrated away from the old network, while there has been an increase in faults of 20% and an increase in lost hours to end users of 60%, it’s envisaged that the old network will become more and more unreliable as it ages. 
 
What if my broadband goes down? 
It is easy to request a divert to an alternative number, which can be added instantly either by contacting us directly or via our web portal. It is also possible to set this up in advance to automatically divert in the case of an outage. 
 
In contrast, if a traditional phone line goes down, we have to place a modify order with Openreach, which is not an instant process. We are also starting to see an increased number of modify orders that are delayed or fail. 
 
I can’t get full-fibre. 
If fibre to the cabinet is available in your area, we will move you onto a product called SOGEA. This is the same as FTTC just without the voice capability. You will not need new equipment and if you already have your broadband with Eclipse Wholesale, you will not need to change your username, password, or IP address; therefore, there will be no change in router configuration. 
 
If you are in an area where only ADSL2+ is available, we will not be migrating you until a more suitable product is available. 
 
Why should we have to get broadband just to have a voice line? 
Ultimately, the product used to provide voice over a copper line is being withdrawn. Our alternative product is to provide an “over the top” service provided over a broadband connection. 
 
What if I don’t want to move to a new product? 
Except for Telecare users and customers who are in an ADSL-only area, the migration is not optional if you wish to remain with Eclipse Wholesale. You can move away from Eclipse, although please note that most other providers will be offering you a similar solution. If you plan to move away, please let us know when you plan to move so we can expect the transfer order and provide any information you need for the gaining provider to port your number/service. 
 
 
Read our other articles relating to the Switch Off: 
Channel Corner with James Drake: To Switch Off or Not to Switch Off - Is it Really a Question? 
Don't Get Left in the Dark: Prepare for the Switch Off! 
 
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