Good news for broadband customers across the country who feel miffed at paying for a landline they never use. BT have announced plans to trial an internet only service. This will eliminate the need to pay for a redundant phone line.
Mobile phones are the primary calling device for many across the country, with online communication services such as Skype or Facetime closely following. With a wealth of much cheaper alternatives out there than the conventional landline, many, including myself are annoyed at paying line rental charges which rise each year, when they never use the landline.
Landlines have become somewhat of an annoyance, targeted by telemarketers and nuisance callers. In the majority of cases, if you want to hear from someone they’ll be calling your mobile or messaging you through WhatsApp, Facebook and so on. Ofcom have found that nearly 9 out of 10 households have reported receiving nuisance calls at least once per month! For this reason, many people don’t even bother to plug a handset in to the line, let alone make use of it.
Landline usage has been decreasing, while they are still used by some, a recent Ofcom survey shows usage down by more than 10% in the third quarter of 2015, compared with the same quarter the previous year. While the total amount of calling minutes used fell, the number of land lines in service is on the rise, but this is of course partly attributed to rising broadband connections.
The trial, by BT Openreach will begin in the Autumn, removing the need for the coupling of a voice service from fibre broadband. The best news here is that all the telecoms groups on the BT Openreach network can take advantage of this including Sky and Talk Talk.
It’s been rumoured that telecoms providers may start trialling their own VoIP services to compete with the likes of Skype.
The need to have a landline for internet services is outdated. Gone are the days when a dial up connection is required. Why should customers pay for an unnecessary service?
A BT spokesman said: “Services such as Skype and FaceTime have become increasingly popular over the last decade, and we believe all-IP [internet protocol] services will be the norm for the whole UK by 2025.”
This move could cut the cost of telecoms services to customers who do not require a landline, whilst making it easier for customers to work out what they’re paying for, no more confusing bundles.
BT are on a drive to switch of their traditional voice network in favour of an internet based service as early as 2025. Whilst this will undoubtedly upset some users, especially older generations who find it difficult to get to grips with technology, it will bring favour with many.
A BT Spokesperson says, “This would use the same underlying infrastructure from Openreach — so it would need similar levels of investment to build and maintain — but it would offer service providers a simpler option for their customers who only use their landline to connect to the internet,” said the spokesman. “It is early days, and Openreach is working closely with service providers to develop the product in advance of trials in 2017.”