What is the Digital Switchover? Brendoncare answers your questions

Written by: Alison Reijman Published: April 17, 2024

Some of you may have heard the phrase “digital switchover” in relation to changes to landline telephones in 2025.

Telephone support volunteer chatting and smiling

The UK is moving from the old copper telephone network to a new digital telephone system that uses the internet. This process is being referred to as the Digital Switchover. The Digital Switchover, which has already started in some areas, is due to for completion by December 2025.

As part of Brendoncare’s commitment to digital learning, we want to keep our members and supporters informed of what is happening, and what steps they may need to take.

Read on to find out how you may be affected.


If you already have a broadband connection, the switchover should be straightforward. Your phone provider will contact you to let you know your switchover date. You should then be able to plug your existing phone cable into your broadband router.

If you don’t currently have the internet in your home, you will need to consider the various available options. They include getting a digital phone line without the internet, using a mobile phone as an alternative to a landline or getting connected to the internet. You can read more about these options here.

Do you use telecare/have a personal alarm? Telecare providers are aware of the switchover and should be in touch if their service doesn’t work with the new digital phone lines. They should contact you to offer a solution to upgrade. You can contact your alarm provider if you are unsure if your alarm will continue to work.

Power cuts

What about power cuts? Digital phone lines do not work if there is a power cut or when the internet is interrupted, so phone companies are advising people to use mobile phones as a backup. Phone companies are required to put in place back-up procedures free of charge for vulnerable customers. Make sure your phone company is aware if you fit any of these criteria:

  • aged 75 and over
  • have additional needs
  • only have a landline (and not broadband)
  • use a telecare alarm
  • have no mobile signal at home


Finally, keep an eye out for Digital Switchover scams. If you have an existing landline and an internet connection, there is no charge for switching to a digital phone line. Most existing phone handsets will not need updating. Healthcare devices, such as telecare devices, may need updating. This should also be provided free or at minimal cost by your provider.

Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve been a victim of a scam and report it to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.

Our digital champions and Community Support Service are here to help older people find the information and resources they need to remain independent. If you would like to talk about the switch or find out more about out services, please look at the Community Support Service page or email us at clubs@brendoncare.org.uk.

For further information, go to:

Age UK

Digital Unite

Or contact your telephone provider.