Make sure you’re dialled in to BT’s digital changes

Johnny McQuiod


21 November 2017


The UK is a digitally connected nation. Today, more than 99 per cent of UK homes and businesses can access broadband and EE’s 4G network coverage extends to more than 99 per cent of the UK’s population. As both rollouts continue, the foundations are laid for the UK to take the next step in its digital transformation.

This is the dawn of a new era. Today, telephone calls are the only form of communication that still travel over analogue networks. But that is set to change. We’re bringing our telephone service, based on 20th century technology into the 21st century digital age.

Following the lead and learning of countries such as Germany and Switzerland, we’re upgrading to a digital telephone service for all our UK customers to enable crystal clear calls and a host of new features and benefits. We’ll start towards the end of 2018 and we plan to finish by the end of 2025.

The change is complementary to the one happening in your industry. As telecare services look to realise the full potential of digital connectivity, the upgrade to BT’s telephone network will enable telehealth care providers to truly embrace the opportunities that digital brings.

Fully digital networks can give a much richer view of the health of those in your care. The telecare industry will be able to fully embrace the Internet of Things, providing more intuitive services and ultimately helping people achieve their goal of staying independent for longer.

The main change for our customers is essentially that their new digital telephone service will run over broadband. Customers will no longer need to plug their phone into the white phone socket on the wall, new digital phones will just need a power supply (they talk wirelessly to the broadband router using DECT technology). Extension wiring will no longer be required.

Any customer across the UK can choose to upgrade and we want to work with you to identify customers who use telecare services and manage their upgrades carefully. We’re asking all alarm receiving centres or other telehealth suppliers to provide us with some key information that helps us identify BT customers who may have a special service and ensure they have alerted their provider before upgrading.

We’re also opening a new test facility at Adastral Park near Ipswich, our research and development site, early next year for you to come and test your equipment in this new digital world.

We want to work with you to ensure you’re aware of how the changes to our network will affect your current products and services, and to help you benefit from this opportunity to develop innovative new ones.

We’re already speaking and working with many of you but if we haven’t been in touch directly yet, we’d like to hear from you. You can contact us at btdigitalvoice@bt.com. We look forward to working with you.

Johnny McQuoid is Managing Director, Customer & Enterprise Transformation, BT Group.