What is Digital Voice?
Its our new home phone service, powered by your broadband connection
and comes with lots of features included like Call Protect and Voicemail.
Why is it being introduced?
We're making the switch because the analogue network that most home phones work on today is no longer fit for purpose and can't keep up with the demands of modern life. That outdated network will be switched off for all phone providers by 2025. This is a once in a generation upgrade to ensure that everyone stays connected now and into the future.
This new home phone service runs on the broadband network. It offers lots of benefits and improved features over the existing system, like advanced spam call blocking.
What does this mean for you?
For most people, Digital Phone lines will have no impact on how you use your home phone. You'll still have the same service, and your price plan and bills will stay the same. We'll be in contact when it's time to switch over, with simple instructions on what to do when it's your turn to make the switch.
If you're a new BT customer or have chosen to move to Digital Voice by upgrading or changing your broadband package, you'll receive emails/letters and postcards along the way letting you know how to simply switch over.
How much does Digital Voice cost?
Switching to Digital Voice won't cost anything, and you won't pay more than your current home phone plan,
unless you’ve chosen to upgrade to Digital Voice while recontracting your home broadband plan.
Digital Voice equipment
When you switch to a digital phone line you can still use your current home phone by plugging it into the back of your hub. If you need an adaptor, you can order one for free. Or, to get the benefits of HD calling, you could choose one of these discounted Digital Home Phones:
- Essential Digital Home Phone
- Advanced Digital Home Phone with Alexa built in
Free Digital Voice calling features
Using multiple digital home phones, more than one person can make a call at once.
3 Way Calling
Chat with 2 other people at the same time.
See who’s calling and decide whether to answer.
Divert calls to any phone, including your mobile.*
* Calls that are outside of any plan will be charged at standard rates.
Permanent Withhold Number
Stop your number being shared with the people you call.
Prevent unwanted calls and send them to your junk voicemail.
Get an alert if someone calls while you’re on the phone.
Dial 1571 for your messages. You'll hear a specific tone when you have a message.*
* Essential voicemail is free to all digital voice customers, advanced voicemail is also available for a monthly charge.
Crystal clear HD call quality.*
* With Digital Home phones only
Want more information?
You'll find more useful tips on our help pages.
How do you set up Digital Voice?
It’s quick and easy. Just watch our video to find out how to get ready.
Keeping connected during a power cut
If there’s a power cut or your broadband fails, you’ll be unable to make any calls using Digital Voice, including 999 calls. You’ll still be able to use a mobile phone, just make sure you keep it charged at all times. If you don’t have a mobile phone or are in an area with no mobile signal, please contact us on 0800 800 150.
Customers who need extra support may be offered a battery backup unit to make sure you can still make calls. The unit will keep you connected for a short time if there is a power cut. We advise that you limit your usage to essential calls only to preserve battery life during any outage. If you believe you will need a battery backup unit, please contact us.
Telecare, burglar alarms and Digital Voice
We're working closely with telecare and alarm providers to make sure that we know who is using their equipment. We want to make sure that you aren't moved over before your provider is ready, so please speak to your provider and they may ask you to call us to let us know which equipment you're using.
Get more help
Want to know more about Digital Voice? You’ll find lots of useful articles on our help pages.
Frequently asked questions
If you’re an existing BT customer:
We’ll contact you when it’s your time to move. Once you receive your first letter, it’s around four weeks until your official switch date. If you have any questions or need help, please call us on 0800 800 150.
We’ll then send you a postcard letting you know about the equipment you may need to order.
You may also be offered Digital Voice if you make a change to your broadband plan.
For most households, it’s a simple case of unplugging your phone from its current socket and plugging it into your Smart Hub 2 on Switch Over Day.
If you’re new to BT or an existing customer changing your broadband plan:
Simply choose a phone plan (or a broadband and phone plan) that works for you. As part of your order, you’ll be offered Digital Voice if it’s available in your area.
If you’re getting Digital Voice, and don’t already have a Smart Hub 2, we’ll send you one. If you want to keep your current phone and are not able to connect into the back of your Smart Hub 2, you might need an adaptor which we will send you for free. The process is the same - just plug your phone into your Smart Hub 2 or adaptor on Switch Over Day.
It works by using something called a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It converts your voice into a digital signal so it can be sent between devices over the internet. It’s a similar technology used by other voice and video services like WhatsApp, FaceTime and Skype.
By 2025, the UK’s current phone network will be retired and upgraded from copper analogue lines to a digital service. So, if you want to keep your home phone, you’ll have to switch to Digital Voice by then.
If you don’t want to switch, or you no longer need a home phone, we can transfer you to a broadband only plan instead.
If you change your broadband package to Full Fibre broadband and want a home phone, we’ll upgrade you to Digital Voice as part of your order. In order to get everyone switched over to the new service, we're already switching some customers over across the UK.
Most cordless digital phones are compatible with Digital Voice and the phone’s base unit can be connected directly to your Smart Hub 2. If you don’t want to have your
phone near the Smart Hub 2 or if you want to keep your existing phone, you can use an adaptor.
If you’re an existing customer, you’ll receive a postcard when it’s your turn to switch. This lets you know how to order a free adaptor (if needed) ahead of your Switch Over Day. If you need a Smart Hub 2, we’ll send you one automatically, there’s no need to order one.
If you’re new to BT, or switching to Digital Voice as part of a change to your broadband plan, you’ll get an adaptor (if required) or you can order a Digital Home Phone handset at a discounted rate.
Yes, you’ll be able to keep your current phone number, this won’t be affected by the switch to Digital Voice.
Specialist phones will still work with Digital Voice. To set them up and connect on your Switch Over Day, you’ll need to plug them into the back of your Smart Hub 2. If you have a second specialist phone, or want to have your phone away from your Smart Hub 2, you’ll need to order an adaptor for free.
Depending on the kind of phone you have, you may not get all the features that come with Digital Voice. But you’ll still have a much clearer line and, if your phone has special features, these will still work.
Please note: while corded big button phones currently work during a power cut, they won’t on Digital Voice. If there’s a power cut, we recommend using a mobile phone. If this isn’t possible, please phone us on 0800 800 150, and we’ll help find a solution for you.
We’ll contact you with details of your Switch Over Day (this is the day we activate Digital Voice in your home). We’ll send you emails/letters and postcards along the way. These will give you all the information you need to make your switch as easy as possible. If you have any questions or concerns when we contact you just give us a call on 0800 800 150.
We'll give all customers plenty of notice when we are preparing to switch you to the new service. If you identify as having additional needs or use a telecare alarm system, please let us know by calling 0800 800 150 so that we can provide a solution that works best for your needs.
Yes you’ll be able to nominate a friend or family member who will help you switch. We’ll contact you before you switch over, so you can let us know who you would like to nominate.
We’re currently working on different solutions to keep people who have no Broadband connected. We’ll be sure to let you know well in advance what your options are. Rest assured, you won’t be left without a home phone service and you won't pay more than you do today.
If you think that you live in an area with poor mobile reception, and there’s a power cut, we’ll provide you with a solution to make sure you can make calls for a short period of time. Get in touch by calling 0800 800 150 and we can walk you through your options.
Yes, while the mass rollout of Digital Voice is currently paused for most customers, we’ll be moving all our UK home phone customers over to Digital Voice in the next few years. You may still be eligible to be switched to Digital Voice during this pause, under certain scenarios.