The rollout of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) for homes across the UK means that many people will soon be able to access broadband that hits speeds of up to 300mbps. However, it’s proving to not be without its faults – especially for BT customers.
Confused BT customers are hammering the BT contact details for answers as to why they can’t keep their landline telephone number when moving to the providers new ultra-fast FTTP powered broadband service.
The new FTTP service is being run by Openreach, part of the BT group, and connects to the home directly for superior speed. To date, hundreds of thousands of addresses have been connected to FTTP as Openreach upgrade the system nationwide. It’s a system that every broadband company can utilise, although Virgin operate their own service.
But customers are being told that they can’t take their landline number with them when moving between FTTP services, and in some cases when moving from the old copper cable to the new fibre optic system. That’s a huge problem for local businesses and a serious inconvenience for individuals who have held on to their phone number for years and, in some cases, decades.
One ccustomer’s80-year-old mother found that when she moved into a new block of flats BT could not move the phone number. Speaking on her behalf, her son said “I couldn’t believe it when BT told me they couldn’t move the landline number, it’s been possible on copper lines since about 1860.
“It’s a massive own goal for BT given the fact their rivals can do this. Nobody in their right mind would use BT if they knew this. They have a duty of care to tell their customers before converting them from copper to fibre that they can’t take their number with them.
“Imagine you’re a small business at new offices with fibre broadband only and have to change your phone number. It’s absolutely bonkers.”
He’s pledged to leave BT for another company and, if that trend is borne out by even a fraction of BTs customer base, it could be a serious problem. However, BT have said that customers will eventually be able to keep their numbers as part of a planned update to be completed “over the next few years”
A spokesperson speaking for BT added that people moving from FTTC may also be forced to move to a new number. BT couldn’t say how many customers will be affected or comment on how many customers use FTTP or FTTC, however Ofcom estimate that around 2% of the UK currently have FTTC connections.
BT are one of the UK’s biggest broadband suppliers, with around eight million customers taking broadband from them.