Introducing our new ultrafast fibre network

We’re excited to announce that we’re modernising our network by launching a brand new home phone service delivered via a fibre network. Read below to see what this could mean for you.




         

Say hello to our new fibre phone line service

We’ve launched a new phone service delivered by our incredible fibre network. Here’s everything you need to know about the new service.

 

We’re bringing our home phone service into the 21st century. Instead of the old, traditional copper network, we’re moving our phone service on to our ultrafast fibre network. This means that new phone lines will be delivered over the same network we use for our  broadband service.

Ever since our network was first built, we’ve used the same technology to provide our home phone services. This is becoming outdated and we want to be ready for the future, making sure our customers always get the best possible experience. That’s why we’re investing billions to expand our network and bring our ultrafast connectivity to more people.

For now, it’s only offered to new home phone customers and selected existing home phone customers. We’re working hard so all customers will be able to get the new service and we’re aiming to swap all of our customers over by 2025. The only exception will be customers who live in areas without any mobile coverage. You can read more about why here.  

As we’re updating our whole network by 2025, everyone will have to change by this date. We’ll write to every customer when it’s their time to move so you might not get a letter yet. We’ll always inform you before we make any change. The only exception will be customers who live in areas without any mobile coverage.

No. We won’t ever change your service to a fibre phone line without letting you know in advance what we’re planning to do and the next steps.

No. The fibre phone line will cost the same as our current service.

No, you can keep using it. The new fibre phone line is designed to work with the same phones as our current Virgin Phone service.

Although we’ll be upgrading our whole network to ultrafast fibre over the next few years, your area is one of the first to benefit from the new fibre phone line. Updating our network will provide a  home phone service that’s designed to work with the latest kit, now and in the future.

We’ve sent the letter to all customers affected by this change and we’ll be calling them to give more details over the coming months. We’re aiming to switch these customers’ home phone lines to fibre by the end of 2019.

If you don’t want to switch over, we can talk about your options including your right to cancel when we call you.

Getting this letter means we’re about to swap your Virgin Phone service over to the new fibre phone line. The switch will be completed by the end of 2019, as that’s when the current copper network goes into retirement.

We'll be ringing you in a few days. On this call, make sure you let us know about any accessibility needs and if any devices need to stay connected while we switch you over.

1. What's the difference between my current copper phone line and the new fibre phone line?


Sub-section A: Power and network outages

 

Unfortunately not. Your new phone service uses our fibre network to make and receive calls. This means if your broadband service is interrupted, your phone service won’t work either. If this happens, we recommend keeping a mobile phone handy.

We’ll offer customers with accessibility needs an Emergency Backup Line at no extra cost to make sure they have access to a phone line to call emergency services.

You can find out more about the Emergency Backup Line, here.

     

Sub-section B: Compatibility and connectivity

Everything you need to know about other devices connected to your phone line

If you have other devices connected to your home phone line, like telecare devices, care alarms, fire alarms and security alarms, please read the next bit carefully.

 

Most devices will work with the fibre phone line. It’s best you check with your device provider, as some older systems may only work with the old phone line and don’t meet new standards. Your provider will also be able to tell you if you need to update your equipment to make sure it works with the new fibre phone line.

Just so you know, your device provider may call the fibre phone line ‘IP voice' or 'digital voice'.

Our fibre phone line uses our broadband network which doesn’t have its own power source. If there’s ever a local power cut or network outage, your fibre phone line service will stop working. This means any service or equipment that uses the fibre phone line to make calls or send signals won’t work.

If you need your connected devices to work during a power cut or network outage, please speak to your device providers to make sure your kits have a separate, dedicated back-up (like its own battery and SIM card).

If the devices you need working 24/7 don’t have their own back-up, they won’t work with the fibre phone line during a power cut or network outage and our fibre phone line isn’t right for you at the moment.

You may need to restart the Hub which can take a few minutes. If you have any problems after a power cut or network outage, please get in touch.

Let us know about any devices you’ve got attached to your phone and we’ll help as much as we can to reconnect them. Only your device provider can confirm that your is reconnected and working correctly, so it’s very important that you ask them to check.

We’ve been working with alarm and telecare providers to make sure they know about our switch to a fibre phone line.

We’ll do our best to make sure you have as much information as possible before switching you over. If we think you use devices connected to the home phone, we’ll try to contact you to discuss your needs and decide whether our fibre phone line is right for you.

Before buying any devices that need to be connected to your home phone line, please contact the provider to make sure their service will work with our fibre phone line. It’s possible your equipment may need its own independent back-up. Your device provider may call the fibre phone line ‘IP voice’ or ‘digital voice’.

If you’re buying a connected device because your circumstances have changed and you feel more vulnerable (e.g. you now need a care alarm), please let us know so we can provide the best support possible. If our fibre phone line is suitable for your needs, you could also get an Emergency Backup Line to make sure you can call 999/112 even in a power cut or network outage. You can find out more about the Emergency Backup Line here.

Yep, when our technician pops around to install your new Hub they'll make sure all your phones work. Please make sure you respond to our calls to schedule a technician visit.

Ideally the Hub and your phone should be within 2 metres of each other. Our technician will talk to you about this when they connect the Hub.

Three Way Calling, Anonymous Caller Rejection, Call Waiting, Call Reminder and speed dial will all be available as standard . You can find out more about these features and the ones that will no longer be available like Ring Back When Free – in our home phone guide.

As it’s a completely new service, you’ll need to reset your set up and activation codes along with any personalised feature settings, like speed dials, Call Diverts and in some cases your Virgin Media Wi-Fi settings. You can read more in our home phone guide.

Our new phone service uses our fibre broadband network, so you’ll need to be connected to the Hub to make and receive calls. Don’t worry, you’ll get this at no extra cost.

So you know, you won’t be able to use our broadband service through the new Hub unless you've got one of our broadband packages.

Nope the new Hub won’t affect your existing broadband service unless you've opted for a new broadband pack when you agreed to switch to the fibre phone line.

Our new fibre phone line only works with our newer Hub. We’ll let you know if you need a new Hub.

2. What’s the Emergency Backup Line and how can it help me? 

As our fibre phone line runs over our broadband network, it doesn’t have its own back-up power source. This means if there’s a local power cut or network outage, the fibre phone line will stop working and you won’t be able to make calls.

If you have accessibility needs or don't have a mobile phone, we’ll give you an Emergency Backup Line at no extra cost. This lets you call 999/112 emergency services during a power cut or network outage.

 

The Emergency Backup Line is a small box that connects the fibre phone line from the Hub to your home phone handset. It won’t change the way you use your home phone but if there’s ever a power cut or network outage, it’ll automatically connect to the mobile network so you can still call emergency services.

One of our technicians will pop by and install it for you. Just make sure you keep the Emergency Backup Line connected to the mains power its rechargeable battery is always fully charged and ready to use.

Customers with accessibility needs and customers without access to a mobile phone can get our Emergency Backup Line, at no extra cost.

The Emergency Backup Line connects to any available mobile network, which means the device will work wherever there’s mobile coverage.

However, in areas where there’s no mobile coverage, our Emergency Backup Line won’t work. We want to make sure that you’re always safe and can contact emergency services which is why we won’t offer our fibre phone line to customers who live in areas without mobile coverage.

If you need an Emergency Backup Line, get in touch and we’ll arrange a time for one of our technicians to install it for you.

Our technician will install it for you and make sure that it’s working. You can read more about the Emergency Backup Line in our home phone guide.

Yes keep the Emergency Backup Line and Hub plugged in all the time. It’s important not to turn them off at night or at any other time as they need to be turned on to charge. If there’s ever a power cut or network outage the Emergency Backup Line device will recharge as soon as the power comes back on.

The Emergency Backup Line device is designed to provide around 24 hours of standby and 1 hour of talk time if it’s disconnected from the mains supply. Just make sure the Emergency Backup Line is connected to the mains supply so the battery can keep itself charged.

The Hub needs to stay plugged into the mains at all times or you can't make and receive calls. If you do switch it off, make sure you have an alternative way to make emergency calls, like a mobile phone, it takes a few minutes for the Hub to work after restarting. 

The Emergency Backup Line only lets you call 999 and 112 numbers. You can’t call non-emergency numbers.

It’s important to us that we treat all our customers fairly and support those who need a little extra help. If you have any specific needs or requirements, visit our accessibility page to learn about the extra support we can offer.

If you need any of the services you see on our accessibility webpage, including the Emergency Backup Line, please let us know and we’ll help sort it for you.

No worries just get in touch and we can arrange a return.