FAQ – Telephones

telephone12Do I need to keep my old phone line?

No.  Fibre broadband does not support a traditional, wired phone connection. But you can subscribe to a voice-over-internet service.

With VoIP, you get a small adapter which plugs into your router and gives you a standard phone socket for you to use your existing phones and answerphone.

REMEMBER that in event of failure of the broadband connection, you will need an alternative means to make emergency calls, usually using a mobile phone.

Vonage  https://www.vonageforhome.co.uk  is the most common  VoIP service used by F4RN customers.

What are the benefits of VoIP?

Calls made with VoIP phones are normally much cheaper than traditional landline calls, and have more facilities for voicemail, call diversion, etc.  For example, the basic Vonage package costs about £6.99 per month and includes unlimited free calls to UK 01, 02, and 03 numbers.

Can I keep my existing phone number?

Yes, if you do it in the right order.  Subscribe to a VoIP service and get it working (they give you a temporary number which you can continue with if you are not bothered about your old number).  Ask your VoIP provider to transfer your number for you, and give them authority to take it from BT or any other previous supplier.  This will automatically cancel your old service when the number is moved.  Note that there may be cancellation charges on, your old contract depending on timing.

Other Considerations

E-mail Addresses.  If your e-mail address accounts are provided by your current broadband provider, e.g.  fred@btinternet.com, these may be discontinued when you cancel your old broadband service.  Some will allow you to keep the e-mail service for a monthly fee, but generally it is better not to have your e-mail tied in to a particular broadband service, so it may be time for a change.  There are several free e-mail services to choose from, like Google mail (gmail) and Outlook (previously Hotmail).  You can easily set one of these up at any time, and run them in parallel to your old account, and gradually  move things like on-line shopping and banking to the new address.

TV Packages.  If you have packages like BT Sport which is part of your broadband service, you will need to check how you can continue to access the features when you change your broadband service.

Emergency Calls.  Some VoIP providers like Vonage and Voipfone allow you to register your address with your VoIP number so this can be provided automatically to the emergency services.  More details are on the Vonage and Voipfone web sites.  Where this is not the case, the emergency operator will check your address and contact details when you make the call.

Power Cuts and Service Failures.   In the same way that if your existing BT phone line is out of service, or your mains power is off and you only have modern DECT phones, you are unable to make calls, similarly if the broadband connection is out of service, or your mains is off, your VoIP phone won’t work.  You should think about an alternative method of making emergency calls, such as using a mobile phone.

Some information from Ofcom 

Other Equipment.  If you have dial-up equipment such as monitored burglar alarm, fax machine, dial-up credit card machine, or medical equipment, you may need to check that it can work through a broadband connection before ending your BT line.