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Openreach Announcement: Navigating the Extended Timeline for Digital Switchover


1​6 May 2024


The digital transformation of phone networks from analogue to digital systems is a significant endeavour that impacts many sectors, including, as we all know very well, Technology Enabled Care (TEC). Today, Openreach have announced a revision in the deadline for this transformation, extending it from the initial target of 31 December 2025, to 31 January 2027. This article outlines the implications of this extension and the necessary steps telecare service providers must take to adapt effectively.

Continued Urgency in Migration Efforts

Despite the extension of the digital switchover deadline, we emphasise the importance of maintaining momentum in migration efforts. This new timeline should not be perceived as a pause but as a strategic extension to ensure that the migration process is comprehensive and minimally disruptive. The extension provides a realistic framework for completing the migration tasks, reflecting the complexities involved in such a vast national transition.

Risk Management Amid Extended Deadlines

As the transformation of Openreach’s phone networks continues, the reliability of analogue TEC systems over digital phone lines is decreasing. This ongoing change underscores the urgency of transitioning to reliable digital solutions sooner rather than later. The risks associated with delayed migration, such as increased failed call rates in analogue systems, could have dire consequences, particularly for vulnerable populations relying on TEC services.

Additional Transitional Products

BT will launch their Pre-Digital Phone Line (PDPL) today to support certain customers during the migration period. Whilst the PDPL will mitigate against some of the challenges posed by the migration (Engineer Visits, Routers, Battery Backups not required), the challenge of the reliability of analogue Telecare protocols over the core IP network still remains. BT cannot control the end to end journey of analogue Telecare calls over the entire UK telecommunications network so much more testing of connectivity from PDPL lines to other networks is planned and results will be shared over the summer of 2024, in advance of product launch in October 2024. The lifespan for the PDPL is until 2030 at the latest and this product is intended as a temporary ‘Product of Last Resort’ for problematic analogue to digital cases rather than a mainstream solution.

Varied Deadlines Across Providers

It’s important to note that different telecommunication providers may have varying timelines. For example, we believe that Virgin Media O2 will still aim to complete its migration by the end of December 2025. It is therefore crucial that migration efforts continue at pace.

TSA’s Supportive Role

To aid stakeholders in this transition, we offer a variety of resources and guidance:

  • A2D Migration Tools: As the independent advisory body for the technology enabled care (TEC) sector we’ve created comprehensive information and guidance on our website. We also run a digital helpdesk for anyone, from a local authority telecare monitoring to a member of the public, to contact if they have an analogue to digital query, including support around telecoms outages. We also hold regular surgeries where care organisations can get free advice about the switchover issues they are facing. Get in touch with TSA here:
  • Testing and Collaboration: Continual testing of analogue equipment on digital networks is vital. TSA encourages telecare service providers to engage with telecoms providers for testing and to share their findings to promote collective learning and preparedness.

Ensuring Safety and Quality

The extension of the migration deadline does not imply a relaxation in standards. On the contrary, it is a critical period to ensure that all TEC service providers adhere strictly to their migration plans and are certified through TEC Quality’s Quality Standards Framework (QSF). This certification is crucial to ensure that quality and safety measures are rigorously maintained during the transition.


As the deadline for the digital switchover extends, the TSA urges all stakeholders in the TEC sector not to become complacent but to use this time to enhance their preparations and ensure a smooth transition. By doing so, they can safeguard the functionality and reliability of TEC services, ultimately protecting those who depend on them most.

For more information, email


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