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Openreach List Next 86 UK Areas for Copper Phone to Fibre Switch – Tranche 5

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021 (8:01 am) - Score 22,800
copper vs fibre optic openreach engineer

Openreach (BT) has published the next – Tranche 5 – list of 86 UK exchange locations where they plan to move away from old copper-based analogue phone (PSTN / WLR etc.) services and on to a new all-IP network, which will occur in areas where over 75% of premises can get their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network.

Just to recap, there are two different, albeit closely related, stages to moving away from the old copper line infrastructure. The first starts with the gradual migration of traditional voice (PSTN) services to all-IP technologies, which is due to complete by December 2025 and is occurring on copper line (e.g. SOGEA) products (i.e. copper and full fibre ISPs will both need to introduce VoIP style voice solutions for customers).

NOTE: Openreach’s FTTP currently covers 5.2 million UK premises (build rate of c.43,000 per week) and they aim to reach 25 million by Dec 2026 (here) – 6.2m of those will be in rural or semi-rural areas. The build rate will in future peak at c.75,000 per week.

The second stage involves the ongoing deployment of faster FTTP broadband infrastructure – using light signals via optical fibre instead of electrical ones via copper. Only after this second stage has largely completed in an exchange area can you really start to switch-off copper in favour of fibre, which is a longer process (i.e. it takes time to deploy FTTP, and then you have to allow time for customer migration etc.).

As above, the process for moving from copper to fibre lines begins once 75% of premises in an exchange are able to receive that full fibre connectivity. The target for this is often c.24 months after the fibre roll-out starts, while the copper switch-off might then occur c.3 years after that (consumer migration is a slow process). The pace of this progress may vary from place to place, as some areas will have better network coverage than others.

The migration process itself usually starts with a “no move back” policy for premises connected with FTTP (i.e. no going back to copper), followed by a “stop-sell” of copper services to new customers (12-months’ notice is usually given before this starts) and ultimately full withdrawal.

At this point we should caveat that the aforementioned 75% figure actually includes hybrid fibre G.fast coverage too, but the reality is this won’t have a major role to play as it’s no longer being deployed, and has very little coverage (c.2.8 million premises). Hybrid fibre and full fibre services are supplied via a different exchange to pure copper phone lines and ADSL services (some context).

The Next 86 Exchange Locations (Tranche 5)

Until today, a total of 294 FTTP exchange upgrades had already been notified as part of the aforementioned process (including the Salisbury and Mildenhall trial exchanges). Generally, once notified to the public like this, each exchange area gets 12-months before the “stop-sell” is introduced (i.e. 2nd August 2022 for this list).

We should add that Openreach has a semi-related “Call Waiting List” campaign running (here), which aims to raise awareness among UK businesses of their plans to withdraw old copper-based analogue phone (PSTN / WLR etc.) services by December 2025 and replace them with digital (IP / VoIP) alternatives.

The operator has also added a Stop Sells Page to their website, which makes it a bit easier to see all of these changes – this also includes areas where just the analogue phone services are being withdrawn, irrespective of FTTP coverage (e.g. the Mildenhall trial).

NOTE: Openreach confirms that 11 of the previously notified exchanges are being realigned to later stop sell dates, while another 4 exchanges have been removed from the stop sell notice period altogether (at least for now). The list is tentative, so changes do occur. Today’s announcement of 86 areas covers around 500,000 premises, which brings the total for stop sell to 379 areas or 3.4 million premises.

Tranche 5 – 86 New Stop Sell Exchanges

Exchange Name Exchange Location Exchange Code Stop Sell Start
ABERDARE Aberdare SWAA 02-Aug-22
ALVA Alva ESALV 02-Aug-22
ALVASTON CE Fibre Cities – DERBY EMALVAS 02-Aug-22
ARDGLASS Ardglass NIAR 02-Aug-22
BALLYRONAN Ballyronan NIBRN 02-Aug-22
BARNOLDSWICK Barnoldswick LCBAN 02-Aug-22
BEAMISH Beamish NEBEA 02-Aug-22
BELLAGHY Bellaghy NIBY 02-Aug-22
BEXLEYHEATH CE Fibre Cities – London LSBEX 02-Aug-22
BIDFORD ON AVON Bidford On Avon CMBIDF 02-Aug-22
BOROUGH GREEN Borough Green NDBGR 02-Aug-22
BRIGHTON PORTSLADE CE Fibre Cities – BRIGHTON AND HOVE SDPRTSL 02-Aug-22
BRINSCALL Brinscall LCBRI 02-Aug-22
BRIXHAM Brixham WWBRIX 02-Aug-22
CAISTER Caister EACAI 02-Aug-22
CARDIFF CE Fibre Cities – Cardiff SWCFATE 02-Aug-22
CARMARTHEN Carmarthen SWCT 02-Aug-22
CASTLEFORD CE Fibre Cities – LEEDS MYCAS 02-Aug-22
CASTLEROCK Castlerock NICLK 02-Aug-22
CHEDDAR Cheddar SSCDR 02-Aug-22
COALISLAND Coalisland NICI 02-Aug-22
CODICOTE Codicote SMCI 02-Aug-22
COGENHOE CE Fibre Cities – NORTHAMPTON EMCOGEN 02-Aug-22
COLESHILL Coleshill CMCOLE 02-Aug-22
Cumnock Cumnock WSCMN 02-Aug-22
CUSHENDALL Cushendall NICUS 02-Aug-22
Denbigh Denbigh WNDEN 02-Aug-22
Dereham Dereham EADER 02-Aug-22
DOWNHAM MARKET Downham Market EADNM 02-Aug-22
DRIGHLINGTON  CE Fibre Cities – Leeds MYDLT 02-Aug-22
DROMORE (CO DOWN) Dromore NIDO 02-Aug-22
DUNGIVEN Dungiven NIDV 02-Aug-22
EARLS BARTON CE Fibre Cities – NORTHAMPTON EMEARLS 02-Aug-22
EDINBURGH KIRKLIST CE Fibre Cities – EDINBURGH ESKRL 02-Aug-22
EGLINTON NI Fibre Cities – Derry-Londonderry NIEG 02-Aug-22
Elmsted Ashford NDELM 02-Aug-22
FLINT Flint WNFL 02-Aug-22
FORKHILL Forkhill NIFH 02-Aug-22
FRODSHAM Frodsham LVFRO 02-Aug-22
GILFORD Gilford NIGF 02-Aug-22
GILLINGHAM Gillingham STGILGM 02-Aug-22
Glenborrodale Glenborrodale NSGBD 02-Aug-22
Glenmazeran Glenmazeran NSGMZ 02-Aug-22
GREAT ECCLESTON Great Eccleston LCGRC 02-Aug-22
GREYABBEY Greyabbey NIGY 02-Aug-22
Halfway CE Fibre Cities – Glasgow WSHAL 02-Aug-22
HELENS BAY NI Fibre Cities – Newtownards & Bangor NIHB 02-Aug-22
HELSBY CE Fibre Cities – WIRRAL LVHEL 02-Aug-22
HOLYWELL Holywell WNHW 02-Aug-22
HOOTON CE Fibre Cities – WIRRAL LVHOO 02-Aug-22
Hullbridge Hullbridge EAHUL 02-Aug-22
JAMES BRIDGE CE Fibre Cities – BIRMINGHAM CMJAM 02-Aug-22
KELTY Kelty ESKLY 02-Aug-22
KEYNSHAM CE Fibre Cities – BRISTOL SSKEY 02-Aug-22
KILKEEL Kilkeel NIKI 02-Aug-22
KILLYLEAGH Killyleagh NIKYL 02-Aug-22
Kincardine Kincardine ESKCA 02-Aug-22
LENNOXTOWN Lennoxtown WSLEX 02-Aug-22
LIMAVADY NI Fibre Cities – Limavady NILY 02-Aug-22
Ludlow Ludlow WNLUD 02-Aug-22
LYMM Lymm LVLYM 02-Aug-22
Lytham Lytham LCLYT 02-Aug-22
Machrie East Ayreshire  WSMAC 02-Aug-22
MAGHULL CE Fibre Cities – West Lancashire LVMAG 02-Aug-22
MELTHAM CE Fibre Cities – BRADFORD MYMTH 02-Aug-22
MIDDLEWICH Middlewich MRMDW 02-Aug-22
MILLISLE Millisle NIME 02-Aug-22
MINSTER SHEPPEY Minster Sheppey NDMSH 02-Aug-22
MOIRA Maghaberry NIMR 02-Aug-22
MOSTYN Mostyn WNMOS 02-Aug-22
NEWCASTLE STAFFS CE Fibre Cities – NEWCASTLE UNDER LYME WMNEW 02-Aug-22
PONTARDULAIS Pontardulais SWPDW 02-Aug-22
Poulton Le Fylde Poulton-Le-Fylde LCPOU 02-Aug-22
SAINTFIELD NI Fibre Cities – Saintfield NISD 02-Aug-22
Scarista Isle of Harris NSSST 02-Aug-22
SHIPHAY COLLATON CE Fibre Cities – TORQUAY WWSHIP 02-Aug-22
South Elmsall South Elmsall MYSEM 02-Aug-22
South Queensferry South Queensferry ESQUE 02-Aug-22
STEWARTON CE Fibre Cities – AYRSHIRE WSSTW 02-Aug-22
STRATTON ON THE FOSSE Stratton On The Fosse SSSOF 02-Aug-22
STRATTON ST MARGAR CE Fibre Cities – SWINDON SSSSM 02-Aug-22
SUNBURY ON THAMES CE Fibre Cities – Sunbury LSSUN 02-Aug-22
WARINGSTOWN Donaghcloney NIWT 02-Aug-22
Whalley Whalley LCWHA 02-Aug-22
WITHERNSEA Withernsea MYWIT 02-Aug-22
WORTHING CENTRAL CE Fibre Cities – Worthing SDWCNTR 02-Aug-22

Leave a Comment
44 Responses
  1. Anti-moaner says:

    I think we should be celebrating Openreach’s achievements over the past year or so. Nobody can or will build faster and better than them. Anything Ofcom can do to support the withdrawal of copper should be done.

    1. Aictos says:

      I disagree, there’s more then just Openreach building FTTP so to give them credit for what the entire industry is working at the same speed is disgenious.

    2. Aled says:

      BT Openreach are capable and doing good things. Although the £10bn pension deficit & staggering annual debt payments usually mean they aren’t the cheapest provider in the market.

      I currently use BT 80meg broadband & have been very happy with them. If it becomes FTTP I will have kittens, but if a new upstart company puts a 200+ meg FTTP service for under £35pm on my street, I will switch ASAP.

      Not sure I’ll bother if it’s Virgin. I really hate their spammy, cheesy ad/marketing campaigns, constant upselling & their chronic poor speeds during the evening peak.

  2. Paul says:

    Load of rubbish this list, my area has been done but my road hasn’t. Although your area maybe in the list, doesn’t mean you will get fttp any time soon.

    I contacted Openreach, they said my road will be 2025 meanwhile all around me are enjoying that juicy speed.

    1. A_Builder says:

      At some point OR will focus on getting these little pockets done.

      OFCOM won’t let them switch off the relevant DSLAM until there is FTTP and OR will then start to systematically work through the outliers as switching off DSLAMS is the financial upside to this.

    2. Dassa says:

      The key point is that this list is not directly about roll out of FTTP, it is a side effect of it.

      The list is all about withdrawal of the sale of PSTN services (e.g. normal copper telephony (WLR) and ISDN). That is happening everywhere in September 2023 regardless of the FTTP roll out. The list is of places where Openreach can do it earlier than that because they have rolled out lots of FTTP.

      Openreach could withdraw PSTN without installing any FTTP, they would simply deliver VOIP over ADSL (where there isn’t anything better like FTTC). They don’t really want to do that because investing lots of money in ADSL capacity would be a waste. Remember that VOIP only needs 0.5Mbps and that is available pretty much everywhere.

      Similarly, in an ideal world, PSTN withdrawal would wait for full FTTP coverage, they can’t do that because the existing PSTN hardware (System X / System Y) is getting old and difficult to maintain and they don’t have confidence that they will be able to keep it going beyond 2025 (which is when they are planning to turn it off).

    3. Stan says:

      Hopefully, your experience won’t mirror mine, my whole town was cabled in the days of Cable Tel but not my road and now won’t do it, tree roots apparently.

  3. Rianlolo says:

    This is all well and good but I’ve yet to hear of anyone addressing (one of) the elephant(s) in the room – when they do eventually switch copper off in an area, what happens to customers who physically require a fixed line service for things like a home alarm system or a medic alert life line?

    1. Dassa says:

      Those systems will need to move to an IP based solution (if they haven’t already). New RedCare installs, for example have been IP only for several years now. PSTN switch off has been heavily advertised in the alarm industry for years.

      The users of those systems will have had at least 7 years notice come 2025 when the PSTN gets switched off.

    2. DL says:

      Google for SIP ATA: there are adapters which allow you to connect Analogue phone equipment to IP networks.

    3. John says:

      No Elephants in the room Rianlolo.
      Add others have pointed out this has been on the cards for years.

      The alarm companies and care companies have already developed new products that don’t require a fixed line.

      They have also created adapters to convert their legacy products to be able to use IP based solutions, either through the fixed line or via SIM cards using the mobile network.

      Anyone who isn’t ready for the PSTN switch off will only have themselves to blame.
      It won’t be anywhere near as big as issue as you think it will though.

  4. Mark says:

    I take it when it swaps to VOIP the current problems of dropouts in broadband and resetting of router will carry over, or will it be more reliable like the old line, I suspect if it plugs into a router then the problems will carry on?

    1. Dassa says:

      I normally reboot my router every few years, usually for some kind of upgrade, you need to give your router supplier some grief if it needs resetting more frequently. Similarly, I have about 2 disconnects a month, mostly in the early hours. If you are getting frequent dropouts then they need fixing.

      More generally, there will be a steep learning curve for ISPs and VOIP providers as they will be supporting telephone services which people might be relying on in emergency situations. Whilst in theory they do this now, at the moment they can deploy an argument of “You need to keep a real telephone line for emergencies as we can’t be trusted.”

      If we don’t end up with reliable telephony then I suspect that eventually OFCOM will end up having to intervene to force ISPs and VOIP providers to meet reliability targets (regulation may well be one of many factors which will eventually drive consolidation of the many small networks springing up all over). Note however that the target will be reliability, if reliable communications can be achieved by halving the speed of a broadband connection then that might be the preferred option from a telephony perspective.

    2. Meadmodj says:

      If it is over FTTP then it will be far more reliable than if it is still over DSL but to be resilient, all relevant equipment ONT/Modem, Router, Phone and ATA/DECT need to be powered by UPS and ideally have an alternative network (equally protected) for backup by autosensing.

      Some care and security alarms can still work via an ATA and some have 4G resilience.

    3. Phil says:

      VoIP will NEVER equal the old land line for reliability, it simply can’t. There is a younger generation of people that are conditioned to things not working for various reasons and so needing to be turned on and off or updated etc, and they don’t generally use land lines. Of course there are many people for whom the concept of needing to do this with a landline is completely foreign, many of those same people don’t or hardly use the Internet and may not have mobile phones, these people are going to find it hard to adapt to having extra boxes flashing away and the new terminology that comes with it when they contact someone about a problem. (Do you have the latest firmware? Is the DSL light on? Can you reboot it? Do you have an Internet connection?…)

      An example of a recent issue, my parents decided to get broadband due to the lockdown situation and wanting to learn to video call from a laptop (as shielding), thankfully their land line wasn’t converted over to run as VoIP from the BT Hub, because within a few days the Internet started to become unreliable and disconnecting at random, had the phone been moved over we would have lost contact with them completely, but with the land line still working we were able to offer remote advice and stay in touch and eventually got the broadband issue sorted out. If the land line was on VoIP they wouldn’t have been able to even contact support themselves, and as they were shielding they wouldn’t have to go to a phone box (like they could find one) or use a neighbours phone. We’ve now got them a cheap mobile phone as a back up.

    4. Meadmodj says:

      It is what you are used to. There was a time when only the rich and businesses could afford a telephone line. Most people would have to run to the nearest phone box, police box or RAC/AA box in an emergency. When I grew up we shared the phone line next door and we would have to wait for them to get off before we could use it (they were richer than us). YThe switching had got better as we moved from Strowger to TXE to TDM switching.

      The traditional phone line has never been 100% and as we are aware by DSL performance its performance is very variable and getting worse as the network ages. Whether we like it or not it will be gone by 2025.

      That’s why it is so important that people understand the differences PSTN vs VoIP vs VoLTE and what it means to others in the household in an emergency.

      If approached correctly, with simplicity, there is no reason why an equivalent resilient solution cannot be provided usable from toddler to very elderly.

      Is the Industry addressing this no. In fact looking at pricing across all voice options it appears that increasingly they want to reduce voice services.

    5. Phil says:

      Exactly, most people are used to a reliable phone line we have now. Of course, a POTS line isn’t 100% reliable, but it’s a damn sight more reliable than xDSL or even FTTP which still isn’t immune from issues (I’ve lost my FTTP connection twice in 18 months for an hour or so due to ISP network glitches).

      Try explaining to many people, regardless of their age the differences between PSTN and VoIP, two acronyms most will never have heard of before, why they now have to have a UPS and a box with flashing lights and things plugged in 24/7 to give them a phone in an emergency, and how that is progress? Don’t forget most people with broadband think they have fibre already, the number of blank faces and “you must be wrong” when I’ve explained to friends and family they don’t actually have fibre optic cable to their home, so trusting the industry to educate people correctly is a bit far fetched. People aren’t being told when they switch over the negatives of VoIP, its all sold with fake positives, i.e. its all digital and new and its HD (even though HD calls rarely if ever get set up over VoIP, even mobiles it’s hit and miss).

      The reason we are switching to VoIP is because Openreach make no money from voice calls anymore, so are ditching it. With FTTP the option was there for a phone to plug directly into the ONT so simplifying things some what where only a phone line was wanted, and the ONT was even installed with battery backup, about as close as you could get to replacing like with like, but they’ve stopped that now and leave it up to the ISP to supply a voice service using routers. So even if you don’t want internet, you still have to get all the kit installed to continue having something that looks like a normal telephone line, but in reality is about as far removed from one as you can get. It’s not progress, it’s a deception.

  5. Zak says:

    Another issue would be converting existing analogue connections to VoIP through the use of an analogue telephone adapter. As ive just this week found out, sadly not all ISP’s wish to share their respective sip configuration so the ATA can be configured to talk out.

    1. Meadmodj says:

      Yes our leading BT, Sky and Virgin Media do not for security, support, customer adoption and emergency location reasons. If you want an independent connection to voice services with these ISPs then you should go for BB only and use either business products or third party VoIP providers.

    2. occasionally factual says:

      @meadmodj
      Sky don’t do emergency numbers – their FTTP T&C says a subscriber must have a working mobile for emergency use ( or a landline)

    3. Dassa says:

      If that is the case then Sky’s position is not consistent with OFCOM’s regulatory position. See the “General Conditions of Entitlement”, section A3.

    4. Meadmodj says:

      @occasionally factual
      All UK voice providers must provide emergency calling
      ISPs like Sky are adding such statements to their T&Cs because they are selling BB without voice and cannot guarantee VoIP availability where they are, for the reasons outlined.

    5. Dassa says:

      The requirements are actually more onerous than that.

      Sky is required to operate their network as if it is being used for emergency calls, regardless of whether that actually provide the VOIP service themselves or it is provided by another.

      It is unclear how any Ts&Cs requiring a customer to have another means of communication would have any meaningful effect. If a VOIP emergency call on their broadband fails as a result of them failing to take

      “all necessary measures to ensure” … “the fullest possible availability of the” (network) “provided by them in the event of catastrophic network breakdown or in cases of force majeure”

      then I suspect that they will be held responsible for the consequences.

      The requirements for operating an ISP are onerous – a lot of the new ISPs will have a steep learning curve…

    6. occasionally factual says:

      But not all UK VOIP providers provide 999 services. Localphone don’t but Sipgate do for example.
      So something is going on in that space.

    7. Dassa says:

      Localphone do not appear to be compliant and I would expect OFCOM to take a fairly negative view if someone made a complaint.

      Localphone’s big selling point is calls to other countires – perhaps they are arguing that they provide facilities for international calls only, not local calls. I’m not sure that that argument carries any weight however unless local calls are actually blocked.

  6. Nick Hancock says:

    Finally seen my exchange (Barnoldswick) on the list, when openreach engineers laid fibre to the telegraph pole behind my house, months ago. The enginers did say it would be a while before everything was set up back to the main exchange (apparently our exchange is going to be decommissioned). I’m impressed that our little rural town is getting fftp so soon.

    1. John says:

      Good to see Barnoldswick on the list to be honest. But, as always, Earby’s being left in the dark, again!

      Hopefully, once they’ve finished in Barnoldswick they do Earby next. We are in the rollout plans now but anytime between now and 2026. I also think the Earby exchange is to be demolished also.

    2. Sammy says:

      In Barrick too, yet still can’t order.

      Don’t know why he’s complaining about Earby though, they’re far smaller and have g.fast

  7. Roger_Gooner says:

    @Zak: “Another issue would be converting existing analogue connections to VoIP through the use of an analogue telephone adapter.”
    I don’t know how Openreach is doing it but Virgin Media’s hub 3 and hub 4 have built-in ATAs with an RJ11 FXO interface to which you connect your handset via an RJ11 to BT adapter. All new and moved customers who subscibe to landline are provided with this facility, and the remaining POTS subscribers are due to be migrated to VoIP by the end of 2025.

    1. occasionally factual says:

      @rodger
      Openreach don’t do anything. The ISP or phone provider sorts it out. Openreach don’t get involved in the mechanics of VOIP. They role is to provide a network link for any VOIP solution to work on.
      BT Consumer issue a Smart Hub with the RJ11 FXO interface.

  8. Nick Roberts says:

    I like that earlier post that Openreach can no longer make money from voice and are ditching it . . . . . .somebody pick-me up from the floor and adminster the chloroform to stop me laughing. Somebody tell BT .. . .with their line rental
    And call charge rates.

    Like most things nowadays, its all about maintaining share price and boardroom emoluments rather than service. Most of the benefits from reducing service provision cost go to the shareholders and boardroom, not the customers.

    Since the 1980s they’ve been closing service depots and exchanges in my area (NW London) like its going out of fashion and that’s despite the fact that the aging infrastructure is now 40 years older.I rarely see an Openreach van out doing roadside box maintenance nowadays, whereas 40-50 years ago its was a regular occurence. But then voice on the home handset was strength 10/10 and clear as a bell then, and didn’t sound as if a Chinese sparrow was constantly wazzing on the line all the time during a connection, courtesy of the high quality handsets being imported under one of Dave’s friends international trade deals – remenber commissions on those deals are much more important (To Dave and his mates) than the quality and reliability of your telephone connection.

    And mobile phone quality is no substitute for a land line for my generation as I am current finding out with O2 voicemail – the bit of Customer Service I particularly like is when Mark Evan’s executive assistant sends you a text, in response to your complaint to him about loss of access to voicemail and the fact that bog-standard Customer Service have cut me off mid-call, twice in succession when I’ve attempted to get the issue resolved,that states I want to speak to you at 14:00 today . . and you don’t receive the text til 20:00.

    That level of “Service” may be good enough for the rootless, homeless, mobile addicted cretins that have been created by the “Economic growth” over the last 50 years, but not for me and millions like me.

    Like the rest of the economy, telecomms needs “Re-balancing” from top-down authoritarian “This is what you’re getting” “The boys in the hoardroom are OK” to a genuinely customer orientated service.

    Furthermore, the in-industry professionals lower down these telecomms organisational structures have got “Railwayitis”, as characteristed by some of the technical issue convesations/contentions that take place on this forum. They need to take their heads “out-of-the-office” and be more responsive to customer needs a . . And not just go through the motions.

  9. Nick Roberts says:

    See my area of NW London is not included on the list, or, come to that, any other major city.

    I wonder if that’s because we’ve already had installed, in the 1990s courtesy of Harrow Telecable, the original and wonderfully World-beating, sub-orbital coax service which the latest press release from the Beardy bunker (The current owner) tells us will be upgraded to FTTP by 2026. Another boardroom/marketing department “Pumped” fairy story.

    1. CarlT says:

      Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham aren’t major cities?

      Oki doke.

      When did Bexleyheath leave London?

    2. CarlT says:

      Branson doesn’t own Virgin Media and has only ever owned a non-controlling stake.

      It’s an entire owned subsidiary of Liberty Global and has been since 2013.

  10. Nick Roberts says:

    Testament to the high quality of the handset equipment being sold under the BT brand, was the Decor “True call” handset I purchased (New) recently from the South American company to replace my existing handset . . because of the excessive number of unsolicited and scam calls I was receiving daily.

    The annoying hum on the earpiece which this handset developed after 18 months, which could, on occasion, near obliterate conversation was eventually traced to a defective transducer microphone and crossed contacts in the RJ-11 switch which had the earpiece and microphone circuits crossed.

    My guess as to what happened, the microphone transducer had failed, a previous customer had returned the handset and base unit to BT who had then sold it on to a “Refurbisher”, who, rather than replace the transducer (£5 for 4 on E-bay), had crossed the microphone and earpiece circuits in the RJ-11 to make it work in a fashion without spending anything and then flogged it on Amazon as new.

    So you’ve got serial dishonest behaviour by companies which wouldn’t be out-of-place with the “Watch-the-lady” gamesters operating on Oxford Street.

    Like the rest of the “Do-it-yourself” . . better . . HMG, NHS service economy, you’ll be glad to learn that I’ve now fixed the handset courtesy of 2 hours cutting internal plastic and soldering, a new transducer and RJ-11 socket and the judicious use of expoxy putty.

    1. CarlT says:

      Which has what to do with the topic at hand?

      Yours, a guy nowhere near a major city given it has only 750k population, who formerly lived not far from Bexleyheath, no longer a part of London despite being one of the major urban areas in the Greater London Plan.

      May I recommend Fluoxetine?

  11. Alan Wilkin says:

    Could you tell me when herne bay Kent will go fibre as everywhere is still telegraph post to homes via cable across roads etc ??

  12. Sam says:

    Great.

    So Barnoldswick and Whalley, both towns we can’t yet order FTTP, has been announced for a copper switch off?

    I’m not moving to FTTP until they price match FTTC. I’m happy with 40Mb/s for £16/month at both my properties

    1. Ray Woodward says:

      Barnoldswick and Whalley are (of course) very small exchanges (that could fit on a Land Rover) unlike say Colne, Nelson, Burnley and Padiham for example.

      Openreach get more stupid by the day …

    2. Dassa says:

      Again, this has NOTHING to do with copper switch off.

      This is to do with WLR / PSTN withdrawal.

      Openreach don’t need to install ANY fibre to do PSTN withdrawal, they can simply enable ADSL on all the lines that don’t currently have broadband and tell their customer to give those end users an ADSL router and a VOIP phone.

      As you can imagine, they would rather not do this, especially if it means they need to buy more ADSL equipment, hence the apparent link to fibre roll out. PSTN is going at the end of 2025, fibre won’t be everywhere by then, hence the relationship between the two isn’t fixed.

      Some customers who just want voice will end up getting an ADSL modem and a VOIP phone. I’m surprised they haven’t got someone to make a custom box to do this (ADSL modem, simple router and ATA combined) but it isn’t Openreach’s problem, it is mostly BT Retail’s so perhaps that is why.

  13. Nick says:

    on the contrary VOIP even over XDSL has been far more reliable here and now we have mobile broadband to back it up. A good router always helps. but virtually every time I’ve had a line fault in the last 8 years since FTTC the internet works (slower but still working) and the pots phone didn’t ether too noisey or just not ringing. and the VOIP line on it continued to work fine. XDSL can work even if one line of the pair is broken, POTS cannot.

    Same for my neighbors VOIP line he relies on.
    I just wouldn’t take a voip service from BT that relies on a BT hub.

  14. Andy says:

    My exchange is listed in Tranche 4, with a Stop Sell date listed as April 29th 2022. Does this mean that FTTP will be available on that date. I appreciate that it won’t necessarily pass my house and be available to me, but it would be good to see that they had gone live on the exchange at least.

  15. Brendan Richman says:

    Bit worrying (but hopefully positive) – I’m on an Exchange listed above and can’t even get FTTC, I’m still stuck on ADSL!

  16. steve says:

    Does anybody know where I can find the dates to when the Leicester area will be getting fttp as I live in a new build property which only has copper connection and as you can imagine its pretty slow when your working from home… Thanks in advance

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