Landline Phones Will Be Axed By 2025 In Digital Switchover
In 2025, landline phones are set to be scrapped, prompting discussions and concerns for those who are not online.
The telecoms industry is driving a change to get rid of landline phones in 2025. The change will also impact alarm systems, phones in lifts, payment terminals and red telephone boxes. However, there are concerns about what this change will mean for the elderly, those who don’t use mobiles, and those in rural areas.
Around 6% of households, which is roughly 1.5 million homes, do not have access to the internet, according to Ofcom. Additionally, half a million households do not own a mobile. With this in mind, people may struggle to make the switch to digital calls.
Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, discussed the negative impact the change could have on the elderly:
Given that about half of older people over the age of 75 are not online, this could be a particular problem for our oldest citizens.
Given the threat of fraud, telecom providers also need to take steps to prevent anyone who is in particularly vulnerable circumstances from becoming victims of digital scams.
Similarly, Martyn James, of dispute service Resolver, criticised the ‘failure to publicise’ the switchover decision.
James told the MailOnline:
The telecoms businesses risk causing considerable distress to those many customers who find the online world hard to navigate. It’s vitally important landline customers do not end up paying more and that cheap or subsidised broadband services are available for people forced online.
In response, an Openreach spokesperson said, ‘Protecting vulnerable customers is an absolute priority for us. We are working with communications providers to identify vulnerable customers early on.’ On top of this, Ofcom is working to make sure vulnerable customers get all the support they need.
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