People in Wolverhampton are being urged to check what they need to do to be ready for the digital switchover which is upgrading the UK's telephone network – particularly residents with devices such as alarms connected to their phone line.

Between now and 2025 most telephone providers will be moving their customers from old analogue landlines over to new upgraded landline services using digital technology, meaning services that rely on the old landline system such as home phones and healthcare devices will need to be switched over.

For most consumers and businesses, this change will be straightforward. Many customers are already making the switch when they upgrade to full fibre broadband, while telecoms providers Virgin Media O2 and BT will contact customers before their switchover is due to take place.

If you or someone you know depends on their landline or uses a telecare device connected to a phone line, such as a fall monitor, lifeline or personal alarm, you should notify the provider of this service so that they can advise on how the switch could affect you.

If you have other devices connected to your phone line, such as alarm systems, you may need to upgrade your device to make sure it is compatible. If you are unsure about how a device in your home or business might be affected, it is recommended you contact the equipment supplier or device manufacturer to find out whether it will remain functional on a digital phone line.

Digital landlines cannot carry a power connection, so in the event of a power cut they will not work. If you have a mobile phone this can still be used, but if you’ve no other means of calling the emergency services your telecoms provider will offer a solution to allow calls to be made in an emergency.

Becky Wilkinson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Adult Services, said: "The way we communicate is changing and our old telephone lines are being replaced with a digital network which promises a more reliable, future proof service that will support residents for years to come.

"The change will affect anything that sends a signal through the old line from personal alarm buttons to old style home telephones.

“Anyone with these services should check how the digital switchover will affect them, so their service isn’t disrupted, so please make sure you know what you, your family and neighbours need to do to be ready.”

For more information please visit Guidance: UK transition from analogue to digital landlines.