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Tech: Digital phone lines-UK

Bonzo3legs 17 Sep 21 - 06:48 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Sep 21 - 07:35 AM
GUEST,Peter 17 Sep 21 - 08:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 17 Sep 21 - 10:42 AM
punkfolkrocker 17 Sep 21 - 11:42 AM
Backwoodsman 17 Sep 21 - 01:03 PM
punkfolkrocker 17 Sep 21 - 01:26 PM
punkfolkrocker 17 Sep 21 - 01:31 PM
DaveRo 17 Sep 21 - 02:59 PM
DaveRo 17 Sep 21 - 03:41 PM
Bonzo3legs 17 Sep 21 - 03:54 PM
DaveRo 17 Sep 21 - 04:16 PM
Bonzo3legs 17 Sep 21 - 07:36 PM
Bonzo3legs 17 Sep 21 - 07:38 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Sep 21 - 08:09 PM
DaveRo 18 Sep 21 - 03:11 AM
Steve Shaw 18 Sep 21 - 05:55 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 Sep 21 - 07:33 AM
DaveRo 18 Sep 21 - 07:39 AM
Mr Red 19 Sep 21 - 05:01 AM
Mr Red 19 Sep 21 - 02:11 PM
DaveRo 19 Sep 21 - 05:30 PM
Senoufou 20 Sep 21 - 03:58 AM
Bonzo3legs 20 Sep 21 - 08:11 AM
DaveRo 20 Sep 21 - 09:15 AM
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Subject: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 06:48 AM

We were changed over to digital phones this week, apparently all UK will be changed over by 2025. What this means is that local dialing code must be used otherwise the call will fail.

Where is the BT announcement on this? Mrs Bonzo has been frantically calling friends and family to let them know, which shouldn't be necessary.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 07:35 AM

BT has been a PLC since 1984. Take up your complaint with the Communications Ombudsman. Moaning here won’t change anything.

Welcome to Capitalism.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 08:19 AM

I only knew that the change was coming because it was mentioned on another discussion board.

There were far more worrying questions like how to make an emergency call in a power cut as the phone will now be powered locally not from the exchange.

I can't say that it ever occurred to me to carefully omit the first five digits when loading local numbers into my landline phone's memory (doctor, dentist and garage). Friends and family are all on Whatsapp anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 10:42 AM

The US has had the area-code required calling for 15-20 years. They still know where you are locally for 911 calls. The quality of the calls improves and we don't pay long distance on cell phones, they're all just calls.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 11:42 AM

After many years being hostile to mobile phones.

I'm no technophobe..
Mainly due to the cretins abusing them in cinemas and public transport.

I've now come to accept that the demise of land line phones can't be too far off...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 01:03 PM

Pfr, we still have a land-line phone but we never make calls on it. We very occasionally get an incoming call, but it’s becoming rarer and rarer. We use our mobiles for all outgoing calls.

We need the land-line for our Broadband, but TBH the phone itself is a waste of desk-space now.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 01:26 PM

Yeah - similar..

I unplugged the land line at my mum's house,
and am close to doing it at ours..

Too many bloody nuisance calls from abroad
disregarding Telephone Preference registration...

BT landline structure and pricing monopoly needs a total shake up...!!!

Our BT Mobile service is far more convenient and cost effective,
but it's hampered by the additional land line connection costs.

.. and the BT mobile 4G signal is diabolical unreliable round our area..

Just stresses of daily life at the moment
zapping energy to research better mobile providers...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 01:31 PM

However, I will say BT broadband is still very reliable..

But still waiting for BT to implement fast optical broadband.
Even though we live in a town centre,
and can see the BT exchange building from our house.

Dunno what their excuse is..

Every other fly by night broadband provider is digging up the pavements...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: DaveRo
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 02:59 PM

If you get FTTP - Fibre To The Premises - aka 'full fibre' as it's now being called - you don't have to have (or pay for) a 'landline - as they still call it. In fact, if you order from BT, the default is not to have one.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: DaveRo
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 03:41 PM

Bonzo3legs wrote: We were changed over to digital phones this week, ... What this means is that local dialing code must be used otherwise the call will fail.
Mrs Bonzo has been frantically calling friends and family to let them know....

If you have a digital (VOIP) phone, I think you gave to use the full number, including area code. People can phone you without an area code, if that works (it doesn't everywhere) - until they get a digital phone.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 03:54 PM

That's very interesting, thanks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: DaveRo
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 04:16 PM

I should be getting 'full fibre' from BT next week. I'm changing from PlusNet because they're discontinuing BT TV - and my wife watches football.

I don't know if I'll get a 'digital landline'. I'll wait and see what turns up.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 07:36 PM

I bought a usb 3.0 wifi adapter which bumped up maximum download speed from 6MB to 16MB per sec !!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 07:38 PM

That's with full fibre.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Sep 21 - 08:09 PM

If you're at home and you have an internet connection, then Wi-fi Calling is the way to go, if you can get it...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: DaveRo
Date: 18 Sep 21 - 03:11 AM

Steve Shaw wrote: If you're at home and you have an internet connection, then Wi-fi Calling is the way to go...
If you're at home...

I often send texts from my phone from the train between London and Kent forecasting my arrival time so I can be met at the station on arrival. (Or used to, ante-Covid.) There are many tunnels, and reception is poor - too poor to hold a conversation for long, but good enough to send a text between tunnels and get an read receipt. This worked well on my old phone.

I was given an iPhone 5s which I now use, mainly because it's smaller (4"). But I found it wouldn't send these texts from the train. They were delayed - sending not receipt - for 5 or 10 minutes, sometimes till after I'd arrived. I eventually worked out that wifi calling was to blame. I think it deteced the very poor and intermittent signal and tried and failed to use wifi, maybe the train wifi.

So I have it turned off. I only turn it on if I need it - if there's no mobile reception but I have wifi.

Anybody have a phone that can limit wifi calling to specific wifi networks - e.g. at home?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Sep 21 - 05:55 AM

Wi-fi calling will kick in wherever your phone finds a network, as long as you have the function switched on. When I posted that I was thinking more of how wi-fi calling generally gives me a strong and reliable connection when I'm in the house. Before I had it, I had to go upstairs and hang out of the window!

I feel your pain when it comes to weak networks that your phone often finds when you're out and about. I can hardly ever look something up online when I'm in supermarkets or department stores, for example, if I'm on the shop network, even if I've supposedly got "a full signal." I find it better to switch wi-fi off and use 4G instead, not that that's always available (another gripe...). My plan has oodles of data so I never have to worry about that. If you have plenty of data you could check if your plan gives you 4G calling (my Vodafone one does).

I'm a technophobe so feel free to pick holes!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 Sep 21 - 07:33 AM

Weirdest thing with in store WiFi is that if I connect to Morrisons customer network when I am in store, the Morrisons app doesn't work!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines
From: DaveRo
Date: 18 Sep 21 - 07:39 AM

It's on PAYG and I rarely turn data on - I use it almost exclusively as a phone when I'm away from home.

Also as a gps when walking - the gps chip is excellent, much better than my previous phone. So the app I use most is OsmAnd - which stands for Open street map on Andoid, and is my favouite mapping app, and requires no data connection. If that app were unavailable for iOS I probably wouldn't use an iPhone - I prefer Android. (I'm using an Android tablet at this moment.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines-UK
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Sep 21 - 05:01 AM

Speaking as an electronic Engineer and programmer I don't see any technical barrier to implementing recognition of location. I see cheapskating, I see lazy thinking, and timidity.

I do see what they are doing, viz using mobile links to save on wire. The cost of which is not just the copper (or aluminium in legacy cases). But a simple protocol on dedicated links would cover that. But it would add minimal cost, and minimal complexity.

The GF has a piss poor BT broadband and a router cabinet 200 yds away but she would have to provide the wiring to connect. They suggested she used her mobile to connect, as she argues 100 yds away from the house, when some idiot yoof brought a pole down in a cul-de-sac. She is literally the penultimate house on the 5 mile wire run. Basically their attitude is "you is too insignificant, you is rural, most of our customers is townies"


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines-UK
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Sep 21 - 02:11 PM

I learned something today by talking to a guy watching the swans on the canal (as you do). He turned out to be a Linux & Python evangelist. But he reckoned the BT change over to digital is accompanied with the facility to be able to subtend extra numbers at the end of the dial sequence. Because at present the dial tone is heard immediately the sequence of numbers finds a phone. This has the advantage of being able to direct the equipment at the receiving end to an extension (eg) or sophisticated answer machines that we have had for year that need a code known only to friends to respond. etc etc

I am sure my contention about local calls is unaltered.

But it has to be said, the experience with BT (even their finance dept) is a philosophy of doing just enough and stop. BT sport website often shows a programme of interest and when you watch it can be a totally unrelated sport, no announcement of substitution. And certainly no website correction, for something that live presenters had to be ready for hours before. Mickey Mouse comes to mind, and this isn't a free show. It is a paid for product. In my sport of interest BT has the UK monopoly.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines-UK
From: DaveRo
Date: 19 Sep 21 - 05:30 PM

Mr Red wrote: ...he reckoned the BT change over to digital is accompanied with the facility to be able to subtend extra numbers at the end of the dial sequence...
Adding codes, such as extension numbers, has been possible since STD was introduced into the UK in 1959. Remember the new phone boxes that took threepenny bits? It uses multifrequency dialling, which added * and # to the keypad on business, and later domestic, phones to send codes to PABX and answering machines.

STD also introduced the numeric area codes mentioned in the first post, so HARROW became 427 instead of HAR. But area codes haven't reliably worked for 30 years since BT lost the monopoly of issuing phone numbers. Remember Mercury Communications? There are several places, mainly rapidly-growing towns, where the area code system has been abandoned and 'local' numbers don't work; Milton Keynes is one.

I think the raison-d'être for digital (VOIP) voice lines is to allow video to be added - to match Skype etc. Also to abandon and stop maintaining the old copper (and Aluminium) wiring. It'll take longer than 2025 I think!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines-UK
From: Senoufou
Date: 20 Sep 21 - 03:58 AM

Mr Red, "You is rural,most of our customers is townies..." I laughed so much at that! It sounds just like Lee Nelson on his 'well-good show... kwaliteeeeee innit?"
Seriously though, 'we is rural', and our village has no phobile moan signal. But my husband uses the wifi thingy when his computer is on, to contact members of his family in Africa on his phobile moan.
I haven't a blooming clue about any of this - I'm stuck in the nineteen fifties. But he, bless him, is very techie and clever.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines-UK
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 20 Sep 21 - 08:11 AM

Well I called our digital phone at home from our internet phone system at work this morning and got through without the 020 area code!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digital phone lines-UK
From: DaveRo
Date: 20 Sep 21 - 09:15 AM

It seems that Ofcom intend to remove the requirement for an operator (BT, say) to enable 'local dialling', at some future date. So it may not work in future.

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/04/ofcom-will-stop-requiring-uk-phone-providers-to-offer-local-dialling.html

(Click on 'new consultation' at the bottom to see the actual proposal.)


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