broadband End User mobile connectivity

When did you last phone “home”?

Landline use in decline

Landline use seems to be in decline. When I got into the office this morning I called home. I’d lost a tie and thought I might have dropped it on our drive.

When I want to call someone my usual way is to go to the logs on my phone and click on the relevant number/name. As often as not the person I want to talk to is high up on the list of recent calls – wife, kids, stockbroker, shrink (etc).

I called my wife’s mobile. She didn’t answer. So I called “Home”. I had to scroll a very long way down the list of logs to find Home. In fact I last called Home at 20.08 on the 1st November. 70 calls or text messages down the list. Anne answered the Home phone and you will be happy to know that she found the tie, a very smart blue bow tie, and has it safe in the house.My point is that we are using our landline less and less. Typically for calls to grandparents. I’ve even taken to answering the home phone by saying “Newport Arch Chinese Restaurant” as quite often its a scammer on the other end of the line.

Everyone in our house has a mobile phone. All the adults are on all you can eat plans and it makes no different whether we use the fixed or mobile phone. Nobody rings me on the Home phone. The kids rarely use their phone for voice calls. They either text their friends or they use it to access the internet for Facebook Messaging. The youngest often goes online on the XBox if he needs to chat to a friend!

I’d like to bet that for a large proportion of the population the landline number is hardly used at all and is effectively only there because you need a landline to get Broadband.

There have occasionally been calls for BT (Openreach) to provide data only lines, known as “naked DSL” without the costs and overhead of the voice service. BT has always pushed back on this, saying there is no demand and that the costs would not be greatly reduced.

It would be interesting to see how many households don’t use their landline at all. My bet is that millions of us would put our hands up and voluntarily relinquish possession of our old fashioned phone. It might be worth having the debate…

Business Regs voip

Voice over IP – a techno-regulatory view

Here is an article written by Trefor Davies and Louise Lancaster in the Institute of Telecoms Professionals’ Journal and published this month.

It covers a bit of the history of VoIP technology, where it has evolved to today and some current issues such as number porting and naked DSL.


For more information on the ITP you can visit their website at

Business ofcom Regs

Naked DSL? Not on your Nellie says Ofcom!

I hear that according to Ofcom naked DSL is officially dead in the UK water and that they are not interested in pursuing it. Naked DSL is the product that would allow VoIP providers to offer voice over broadband without having to pay for the voice element of the underlying analogue phone line.

If a consumer or business is only using his telephone line as a means to carry ADSL and not to make phone calls they don’t need the cost element of the underlying line that enables telephony. This is available in some other countries but not in the UK!

Not a forward step from Ofcom – and this is coming from someone who sells both analogue lines, ADSL and VoIP.

On the other hand one of the bugbears of VoIP pure play operators such as Vonage is that when a customer wants to port his telephony service to them, from BT say, the act of doing so effectively cuts off the original phone line and by default the broadband connection and the VoIP service that would run over it. Anti-competitive I’d say.

The Office of the Telecoms Adjudicator (OTA) is championing a change here and we can hopefully expect that this is something we will see by the end of 2010. The notional solution is that BT will provide a new “ghost” number for the analogue line so that it doesn’t get cut off.