Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the (a) progress of the nationwide switch from copper phone lines to fibre and (b) resilience of fibre phone lines in rural areas.
The move from traditional to digital telephony, known as Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) migration, is being led by the telecoms industry and not the government.
While DCMS meets regularly with telecoms providers to discuss the progress of their migration, we do not assess overall progress given each provider has their own schedule and plans for the upgrade including how and when they will migrate customers. Regardless, telecoms providers have said they remain committed to the 2025 deadline.
Telecommunications equipment is usually highly resilient and major outages are extremely rare. However, in general, fibre connections are less affected than copper cables by environmental factors, such as temperature and electro-magnetic fluctuations.