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Wiltshire Council advises of coming changes to landline services in the Salisbury area

People in the Salisbury area are being advised that their telephone landlines are due to be upgraded to a digital network, moving from copper wires to fibre, with the switch completed by April 2023.

Published 15 July 2022

People in the Salisbury area are being advised that their telephone landlines are due to be upgraded to a digital network, moving from copper wires to fibre, with the switch completed by April 2023. All residents and business in Salisbury will be contacted by their telephone or broadband providers before this date to get them moved across to the new fibre network.

The upgrade is being led by Openreach, which has already rolled out a full fibre network to most of the Salisbury exchange area and will replace the old copper network and exchange equipment, last upgraded in the 1980s.

This is part of the national switch off of the Public Telephone Switched Network (PTSN) and Salisbury will be the first area in the UK to get the benefit of this new fibre network. 

Salisbury has been chosen as one of two test sites in the country, along with Mildenhall in Suffolk; 95% of the city has access to the full fibre network, which is the largest concentration in the UK.

The actual date that each customer's landline will move to the new full fibre network will depend on which company they buy their telephone and broadband services from. Over the coming months, people will be informed by their supplier, which will send them information that explains what the customer will have to do to complete the switch over.

Unless contacted directly by Openreach, people do not have to do anything until they are contacted by their telephone or broadband supplier.

Cllr Ashley O'Neill, Cabinet Member for Broadband, said: "The upgrade of landlines in the Salisbury area from analogue to digital will be completed by April 2023, and people should be prepared for this change.

"The change is not being run or managed by Wiltshire Council, but we feel that it's really important we share the message as widely as possible, as it will affect so many of our residents.

"Of particular concern to us are older or vulnerable residents, so we'd ask that people help to share the message with their family, friends and neighbours, so they know that unless they are contacted directly by Openreach, they should wait until their telephone or broadband provider contacts them about the switch, and that they don't need to do anything until then.

"Schemes such as this will also invariably be the target of scammers - so please always be aware of any unauthorised people offering to change or upgrade your service, either on your doorstep, or through phones calls, text messages or emails. If you're unsure, please contact your telephone or broadband provider directly.

"The rest of Wiltshire will be part of the UK landline switch off in December 2025."

James Tappenden, Openreach's Fibre First Director, said: "We completed the fastest city-wide network build in the UK - replacing analogue, copper-based products with a new digital phone line alternative, ultrafast and ultra-reliable full fibre broadband, which is now available to homes and businesses in Salisbury.

"Our long-term partnership with Wiltshire Council has allowed us to communicate with residents early to ensure that they can be upgraded smoothly and any issues can be addressed quickly.

"In April 2023, we'll be turning off the old landline phone network in Salisbury. For your phone to continue working, and anything else that's plugged into it like an alarm, health pendant service, fax machine or card machine, you'll need to switch to a digital phone line.

"This investment in Salisbury will deliver a great service which helps the community to thrive and supports people to work from home easily, keep in touch with their loved ones and build connections and opportunities."

People who have questions or concerns should not contact Wiltshire Council about this; they should contact their telephone or broadband provider. People can also find out more at www.openreach.com/locations/salisbury (opens new window) and Ofcom: Upgrading landlines to digital technology – what you need to know (opens new window).

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