London Shifts to Fibre Broadband, Boosting Speeds and Introducing VOIP

London's Barking and Dagenham, Havering, and Southwark boroughs will switch off old landlines, replacing them with Fibre to the Premises technology for faster internet and VOIP phone services. The UK-wide rollout will impact 880,000 premises, with authorities working to protect vulnerable users during the transition.

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Nitish Verma
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London Shifts to Fibre Broadband, Boosting Speeds and Introducing VOIP

London Shifts to Fibre Broadband, Boosting Speeds and Introducing VOIP

Old landlines in three London boroughs - Barking and Dagenham, Havering, and Southwark - will be switched off as the city transitions to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology. This shift replaces aging copper wires with new fibre cables, boosting broadband speeds and introducing Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) phone services.

Why this matters: This digital transformation has far-reaching implications for the UK's communication infrastructure, paving the way for faster and more reliable internet connectivity. As the country moves towards a more digital future, it's essential to ensure that vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and disabled, are not left behind.

The transition to FTTP brings several key benefits and features. Residents can expect enhanced call quality and new capabilities like Multi Call and call diversion to any other phone number, including mobiles. James Lilley, Openreach's managed customer migrations manager, emphasized the significance of this digital transformation, stating, "We're moving to a digital world and Openreach is helping with that transformation by rolling out ultrafast, ultra-reliable, and future-proofed digital Full Fibre across the UK."

The implementation of FTTP is set to impact a significant portion of the UK. According to BT's Openreach, 84 new locations will transition to the technology in the next 12 months. Once implemented, Openreach will cease the sale of legacy analogue products in over 880,000 premises across the country. This change will affect major suppliers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and Plusnet, who utilize Openreach cables to provide homes with internet access.

While the shift to FTTP brings numerous advantages, some concerns have been raised. A number of homes remain unconnected to the internet, and others have voiced worries about potential outages. Since VOIP relies on the internet to function, homes may face challenges staying connected during web outages unless they also own a smartphone. Addressing these concerns, Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan emphasized, "The safety of vulnerable customers comes before anything else and that's why I called on the industry to listen to concerns and take action to make sure the right protections are in place."

The UK government has intervened to ensure suppliers maintain connectivity for all users. A new agreement has been reached to better protect those using personal alarms, known as telecare, which offer remote support to elderly, disabled, and vulnerable individuals. As London embraces the digital future with the rollout of FTTP, authorities are working to address the needs of all residents during this significant technological transition.

Key Takeaways

  • London's Barking, Dagenham, Havering, and Southwark boroughs switch to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology.
  • FTTP replaces copper wires with fibre cables, boosting broadband speeds and introducing VOIP phone services.
  • 84 new UK locations will transition to FTTP in the next 12 months, affecting 880,000 premises.
  • Concerns raised about potential outages and higher costs, especially for vulnerable populations.
  • UK government intervenes to ensure suppliers maintain connectivity for all users, including vulnerable individuals.