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Wales85

Member
Hi

I'm in the fortunate position to be ordering FTTP, which is due to be installed on the 9th of June with Zen (my current ISP).

Yesterday we got an automated call from BT saying that if they don't hear from us by 2pm on the 7th of June, our current service will be cancelled. I assume this is the current copper (well aluminium..) line to the house?

I know it's 2022, but someone in the household is worried about losing the landline number. What do I need to do here to make sure the landline phone continues to work?

Thanks!
 

Lucian

ULTIMATE Member
Hello,

It's actually easy, generally. You can port the number to a VoIP provider such as Sipgate (or many others). After that you can access the number either from a smartphone app and/or get a VoIP phone.

Others (such as @Pheasant ?) may be able to advise with further details.
 

Tony Gamble

Regular Member
And there the complications start as VOIP will not work through your current telephone extension sockets.

Are you sure you are going to loose your landline number with BT? Might they be simply saying they will terminate your broadband and leave the landline operating?
 

Wales85

Member
Well i'm with Zen currently, only with BT for line rental.

Someone in the household wants to keep the phone number but not only that, they want the phone number to remain with BT. They're old school and extremely stubborn on everything; there's no way I can convince them that using VOIP over fibre is just as good. Will there be an additional line rental charge for the FTTP line too?

So looks like i'll be running an FTTP line and a POTS line and i'll have to ask BT not to cancel the current service, does that make sense?
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
Well i'm with Zen currently, only with BT for line rental.

Someone in the household wants to keep the phone number but not only that, they want the phone number to remain with BT. They're old school and extremely stubborn on everything; there's no way I can convince them that using VOIP over fibre is just as good. Will there be an additional line rental charge for the FTTP line too?

So looks like i'll be running an FTTP line and a POTS line and i'll have to ask BT not to cancel the current service, does that make sense?
There is no separate FTTP rental as it’s included in the cost of the new service from Zen.

The copper line stays for BT to provide voice service over. So you’re paying line rental + call charges, at least until 2025 when PSTN is withdrawn nationally or your exchange area comes under earlier FTTP Priority / Stop Sell arrangement.
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
And there the complications start as VOIP will not work through your current telephone extension sockets.
A router (with built-in VoIP client) with an analogue output port or a VoIP Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) with the same will allow you with the help of an RJ11 to BT plug to use your existing extension cabling and sockets. This is called Voice Reinjection.

Important that the incoming pair from the cab/exchange is completely disconnected at the master socket beforehand.

Also works better with more modern handsets that don’t have a heavy REN load for the analogue output.
 
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Wales85

Member
Thanks for the info. I'll give BT a call tomorrow on the number they left and make sure nothing is happening to the existing line.
 

Tony Gamble

Regular Member
"A router (with built-in VoIP client) with an analogue output port or a VoIP Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) with the same will allow you with the help of an RJ11 to BT plug to use your existing extension cabling and sockets. This is called Voice Reinjection."

Can you point us to someone or some organisation who will do this for us, please, Pheasant?

I ask because over the last month I have spoken to BT Business, Open Reach and two alternative ISPs and none would touch it.
 
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Tony Gamble

Regular Member
spile - I have looked at a lot of voip dect phones.

They would not be suitable in my home. They would not be suitable in many of my friend's homes. Many of us have what we call 'extensions' in places where there is no broadband so unless I misunderstand the technology a voip phone will not work.

Installing the extra broadband will be more expensive than Voice Reinjection. It will also stop many millions of existing phones being used as landfill!
 

Meatball

ULTIMATE Member
I think Wales85's household wants to stay as close to the traditional landline as possible. Corded phone and handset. As they have already made the decision to go with ZEN then porting to VoIP provider and using a ATA as Pheasant highlights is probably their only option now or pay out to BT to retain a BT voice service only.

Although BT's solution is proprietary they and other leading ISPs (Sky, VM, TalkTalk-latest hub) provide a phone socket on their router.

Thousands of homes in the UK have phone wiring installed (not thin DIY) that the customer would wish to retain. My view is that this needs to be highlighted more widely and that whether you choose or are forced onto VoBB or VoIP that customers can still use their telephone wiring for existing equipment whether corded or DECT. This can be achieved as long as the Router or ATA is next to an extension socket and the incoming line is isolated (physically or isolation plug/lead) and this can cost less than £5.

Some people are deciding not to have a landline at all and just use mobiles particularly now as they invariably include calls. But there is a sizable population that for simplicity, household use or emergency require fixed telephone (usable by any age) appropriately powered during power failure.
 

Tony Gamble

Regular Member
Meatball. Good to chat again.

You say "This can be achieved as long as the Router or ATA is next to an extension socket and the incoming line is isolated (physically or isolation plug/lead) and this can cost less than £5."

Are you offering this as Voice Reinjection? If I plug my new Grandstream 801 into the extension socket in our kitchen it will enable all the other sockets to make and take calls? What is this isolation plug/lead I buy for a fiver?

I thought we'd been talking about modifying the OR socket where the line comes into our home.

Tony
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
"A router (with built-in VoIP client) with an analogue output port or a VoIP Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) with the same will allow you with the help of an RJ11 to BT plug to use your existing extension cabling and sockets. This is called Voice Reinjection."

Can you point us to someone or some organisation who will do this for us, please, Pheasant?

I ask because over the last month I have spoken to BT Business, Open Reach and two alternative ISPs and none would touch it.
Hi Tony - Basically DIY or someone like an AV installer or data cabling company.

It's really very straightforward. Key is to have the inbound line from the PCP cabinet / exchange completely isolated at the master socket before you attempt this.

Directions etc are on the link provided in my post to the AAISP blog article on voice reinjection
 

Meatball

ULTIMATE Member
Tony,

There are are two variants depending on whether people are transferring to FTTP/HFC/4G and those that are still on ADSL/VDSL.

You are the latter. In this case there is a modification required on the Master socket which varies depending on what version is present (I've come across situations where there isn't one only the original ADSL filters).

The isolation plug/lead refers to where the master socket where the external line can be isolated by cutting the relevant contacts on one of the plugs.

The AAISP recommendation may be too complex for some and technically the Master Socket (if it has OR branding) belongs to them. Those going to OR FTTP should get Voice Re-Injection as part of the install but as ISP unlikely to want to pay for it, unlikely to happen.

For simplest option for those on DSL moving to VOBB/VoIP
The internal wiring needs to be disconnected from the master socket and hoping there is sufficient slack reinstalled into a standard extension socket along side the master socket. The Router will plugged into the master socket as before and the Router/ATA phone socket connected to the new extension socket and subsequently to other sockets.
  1. For the leading ISPs (BT, Sky, TalkTalk-latest hub) and many UK Router/ATAs it will be a BT Phone Plug To BT Phone plug lead.
  2. For other sourced Routers/ATAs it may be a RJ11 to BT Phone Socket lead.
For those on HFC requiring Voice Re-Injection
Same modification at the OR Master socket.
VM provide a RJ11 to BT Socket adaptor so you can use either option 1 or 2 leads.

For simplest option for those moving to FTTP and using VOBB/VoIP
The internal wiring needs to be disconnected from the master socket and hoping there is sufficient slack reinstalled into a standard extension socket along side the master socket. Because even if PSTN changeover OR line may still be live or OR may still be providing PSTN for some time. Only when copper removed from exchange area can it be assumed the Master Socket or line can be recovered.

There are still many telephone installers around that can oblige.

Internal wiring needs to be in good standard/condition and the Router/ATA able to support reasonable distance.

I can provide suitable leads or advise anyone directly who needs it.
Tony, email me separately as I am only a Travel Card away.
 

Tony Gamble

Regular Member
Hi Pheasant,

I thought that would be the answer and I now see that Meatball has also replied.

To me this will be the stumbling block for a lot of people being wooed by the ISPs. For example I live in a block of sixty flats that would be ideal for, say, Hyperoptic as they are in the block 50 yards away. The difference is that our residents are a generation older. For us "DIY" has been replaced by "Get Someone In" Similarly the thought of a dustbin full of old phones would make them weep even more than the cost of the new Voip ones.

When Hyperoptic start to persuade our folk to subscribe they will be stupid if they don't also offer Voice Reinjection as part of the package.

I'm lucky that I can call on Meatball. I'd do it today but nobody is offering me FTTP so I am sticking with my out of contract and horribly expensive BT broadband. I have a Grandstream 801 that works perfectly so I know that SIP works.

And thanks Meatball. I'm always experimenting. My last outgoing call was using a PAYG card in an Android tablet connected by bluetooth to the Panny hub sitting on top of the Grandstream. And it worked!
 

Pheasant

ULTIMATE Member
I think the underlying assumption (from BT at least) is three-fold...

1. PSTN volumes (lines and minutes) will continue their inexorable two-decade long decline, such that when WLR/PSTN withdrawal comes about there will be a lot less folks to transition than there is today.

2. Most folks will simply opt to plug their existing cordless phone bases into the ISP supplied router/hub. The 'extensions' effectively work as they do today, just DECT/cordless on charging bases.

3. Voice-reinjection is always a possibility for those folks really wanting to keep / use their phone extension cabling, but it will come as an 'extra' (either cost to get someone in to assist/do or a DIY job) and not the 'default' or favoured approach.
 

Tony Gamble

Regular Member
Pheasant. Three good points.

1. I can't challenge.

2. Presumes that the cordless phone base has enough oomph to reach where the sockets are currently located. Mine doesn't and our flat is only 2,000 square feet.

EDIT. That is with our DECT hub in our living room. It reaches our two desks but not our guest bedroom.

I have just experimented with a spare DECT hub near the OR socket and router and that no longer reaches our desks. That is a twenty pace throw. Unless DECT improves over the next two years there will be a lot of unhappy people.

3. Surely, as Meatball has suggested, as demand grows there will be more and more folk with the expertise to rewire for Voice Reinjection? One of the ISP's I chatted to recently used a retired telephone engineer to do it for any new client who wanted it. The trick will be in the timing so that the work can be done the day the phone line is moved from the old to new system.

SECOND EDIT.

I'd hate my remarks to be construed as an attack on what folk like Pheasant and Meatball are saying on this thread. They are the messengers and not targets to be shot.

I well understand BT/OR wanting to disentangle themselves from what we do with the wiring and kit in our homes. It has evolved over decades. The reluctance to make Voice Reinjection part of the process sounds unpleasantly like an industry strategy to sell tens of millions of new phones when the old ones could be kept working.

Tony
 
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Meatball

ULTIMATE Member
The reality is landlines are on the decrease.

BT currently still has an obligation for telephony and the other major players (Sky, VM, TalkTalk) know that a landline remains a desirable option for a sizeable percentage of their customers remaining profitable if transferred to VoIP principles and the PSTN recovered.

My view remains that everyone should have an accessible emergency phone in their home. DECT is fine but their connection and base needs mains to work. Mobiles are fine but wake up dazed in a smoke filled room would you know where you left it and could you see to use it. I will always maintain an emergency phone in a known location accessible to anybody in the house regardless of the technology available.

To me that is a corded phone at two locations in the house, one of which is by the front door. For resilience it needs access to a both a fixed and a mobile network (similar to the "Link To Mobile" Panasonic units Tony Gamble has). However all devices required for a working network need to be protected for power fail.

That is where utilising the existing phone wiring can be important as it allows all power (including phones) to be centralised behind a UPS (as I have).

In power fail the least number of devices to power is important. (Separate ATAs, DECT bases add load).

The nearest commercial product available to the average consumer currently is by BT. That is by directly connecting to the the BT Digital Voice socket on a Smart Hub 2 with the addition of Hybrid Connect. It's only limitation is that it depends on a good indoor EE 4G and you need to provide a sizeable UPS. We still await the revised BT proposals for the BT Digital Voice changeover. Those that go for this product should not simply tuck the Hybrid Connect in the cupboard as its costing them monthly and it does not fulfil the emergency phone criteria.

Vodafone and others do have 4G dongle backup but I haven't had the opportunity to test their voice service via it.

Two alternative practical solutions are:
  1. A fixed broadband and tethered phone feed into Failover/Balance Router (eg Edgerouter X) and an ATA with VoIP service and FXO port. Router, Smart phone and ATA on UPS.
  2. Fixed Broadband, tethered smart phone using WIFI, Jack to Cell Bluetooth (use SIM minutes). If Fixed broadband WIFI fails smart phone switches to 4G. Smart phone and Jack to Cell on a Power bank. (Requires WIFI Calling and VoLTE on phone and mast)
Lots of variations to either of these concepts. Equipment needs to be small and energy efficient.


Yes it is disappointing that all the main ISPs are not supporting the use of existing wiring and putting off people from wanting it. Here is Vodafone:

Phone extension sockets will stop working

Any extra telephone extension sockets in your home won’t work after you switch to Digital Voice. This means if you have anything that uses your telephone wiring, like a burglar alarm or health alarm, it might not work. Get in touch with the provider to check if it’s compatible with Digital Voice.

In a power cut it will stop working

Your telephone connects to your WiFi Hub for Digital Voice, so if the WiFi Hub loses power you won’t be able to use your landline until it comes back on.
 
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spile

Regular Member
spile - I have looked at a lot of voip dect phones.

They would not be suitable in my home. They would not be suitable in many of my friend's homes. Many of us have what we call 'extensions' in places where there is no broadband so unless I misunderstand the technology a voip phone will not work.

The handsets use dect not Wi-Fi/broadband to connect to the base station. Range is not comparable. My Gigaset handsets will cover about 4x what we get from Wi-Fi.
 
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