*Please note we have rescheduled the event to 8 November due to the rail strikes*
The telephone network upgrade happening now across the UK to move landline services onto digital connections presents both challenges and opportunities for local authorities. techUK is hosting an event aimed at public sector bodies helping them prepare for the digital phone switchover by focussing on potential impacts and hearing from telecommunication service providers as well as the LGA and fellow Local Authorities.
The analog network (the PSTN) is fast approaching its end of life and telecommunications providers are moving their customer base onto more future-proof telephone services. Phone lines will be upgraded to broadband lines and voice services will be provided over the top using Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP- also called Cloud Voice, IP Voice or Digital Voice).
The impact of this program extends beyond landlines – healthcare devices, burglar alarms, CCTV, traffic lights, payment systems and lifts are among other services that will need to operate on more modern technology so as to ensure continued functionality.
The transition is happening now – with December 2025 the date set by Openreach for national completion for providers using connections on their lines and Virgin Media O2 operating on a similar timescale.
Join us on 8 November to hear about how best to prepare and make the transition to digital phone lines a smooth experience.
(Please note lunch will be served after the meeting)
N.B: We are planning to accommodate those affected by the rail strikes with a virtual joining link. For those wishing to join virtually, please do register here but contact Tracy Modha for the link.
10:00 Introduction (techUK)
10:05 Panel 1 – Background to the Digital Phone Switchover
- Henry Shennan – DCMS Deputy Director, Broadband and Telecoms
- View from Government and role played within the migration program
- David Clarkson – Ofcom Competition Policy Director
- View from Ofcom and expectations of Communications Providers
- Phil Laws - Openreach
- Background and rationale to PSTN Closure from a network provider perspective and potential impact to local authorities
- Lucy Baker MBE – BT Digital Voice Consumer Program Director
- BT experience and future approach
Panel Discussion and Questions to the panel
10:45 Panel 2 – Case Studies
- David Christie- Senior Regulatory Specialist, Virgin Media O2
- Approach on working with Councils
- Adrian Martin – Future Voice Specialist, BT Enterprise
- Council use cases
- Ann Williams – Commissioner and Contract Manager, Liverpool City Council
- Local Authority perspective on challenges and opportunities for Social Care
Questions to Panel
11:15 Coffee Break
11:30 Panel 3 – Focus on Health and Social Care
- Mark Williams – LGA Adviser
- Role of LGA and activities
- Michael Swaffield – NHS Transformation Directorate
- Approach and recommendations – England
- Aaron Edwards – TEC NHS Wales
- Approach and experience – Wales
- Colin McFadyen – Digital Office Scotland
- Approach and experience – Scotland
- Graham Brown- Marketing Director, Tunstall Healthcare
- Delivering telecare in a digital world
Panel Discussion and questions to panel
12:15 Panel 4 – Communications
- Scott Room– Director, Brand Marketing & Digital Openreach tbc
- Openreach learnings and role
- Rick Hill MBE - Chair Communications Consumer Panel
- Digital Phone switchover research and recommendations
- John Steward - City Region Digital Infrastructure Policy Lead, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
- Progressing the delivery of local services and how local authorities work with industry
12:55 Wrap Up and Next Steps (techUK)
13.00 - Lunch