FAQ – Telephones

telephone12Do I need to keep my phone line?

No.  If you have a high speed broadband service which doesn’t use a BT phone line  then you can change to a Voice over Internet Protocol phone – or you could just use your mobile phone.  VoIP allows you to make ordinary phone calls using the internet to provide the connection.  F4RN broadband will be ideal for this, and you will no longer need a connection to the BT socket.

What will I need for VoIP phone? 

Although you could use your computer to make VoIP calls (Skype is an example), most people want to use their existing phones, so you use a small adapter which plugs into your broadband router, and then connect your existing phones to this.  There are also routers which have these special phone sockets already built in, or you can buy phones designed for internet connection.

To make phone calls over the internet, you need to register with an internet phone service provider, and there are many to choose from.  Some of these can be free if you are calling people on the same system, and others have contracts, either with a monthly standing charge and a free calls allowance, or no monthly charge and pay-per call.  The link below provides a summary of some of the VoIP phone providers for the UK.

VoIP phone providers

Promotional Offer

Please note that F4RN is not providing any phone services directly, and we are not affiliated to any VoIP provider.  However, Vonage have offered to give a rebate of £90 to any customers who subscribe to F4RN broadband and sign up for Vonage.   You can use the link below, or the phone number 0333 2120147.   F4RN will obtain the cashback after you have been a Vonage customer for 3 months, and will pass it on to you.   Vonage Offer

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 £9.25 per month and includes unlimited free calls to UK 01, 02, and 03 numbers.

Can I keep my existing phone number?

Provided you set up your new contract before you cancel your BT line, many VoIP services allow you to apply to transfer your existing number.  You ask your VoIP provider to transfer the number for you, and this should automatically cancel your old BT service.

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.