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Broadband Copper Pair

Broadband (i.e. ADSL or VDSL) needs a copper pair to work (FTTP does not). Normally people just use a BT telephone line that is used for something else like normal telephone service or fax or credit card machine. We can provide a copper pair specially for broadband for £10 pcm (£10+VAT pcm for business grade lines). Installing a new copper pair is £60. This is sometimes referred to as "Naked DSL" in that there is no telephone service as such, and no need to separately purchase a phone line to have the broadband service.

Bear in mind that BT have announced the end of normal phone service lines by 2025 so copper pairs used solely for broadband, and fibre services (FTTP) are the way things are going in the long term.

Single contact for bills

We are one supplier providing the whole service. This can be helpful as accounts departments in large companies are fond of cutting off random single phone lines if they do not know what they are for. Being on the broadband bill avoids the problem. It also helps put the bill in the right budget.

Whilst the copper pair is provided for broadband only use, it is normally listed separately on the bill. The copper pair is billed from the date it is provided even if the broadband is not yet provided, and billed to the date it is ceased (or migrated) even if the broadband has already ceased. The copper pair has no initial term. We do not generally offer copper pairs without an associated broadband service, so ceasing a broadband service means the copper pair is also ceased.

Single contact for faults

This also provides one point of contact for any fault with the services. This is useful as normally faults have to be classified as voice or broadband at the start and reported to the voice provider or us accordingly. Having one point of contact means we have to sort it either way.

Keeping your number

Many people see using a copper pair for actual telephony as somewhat antiquated and would like to move the copper pair to us for broadband but move their number to Voice over IP. This is the way things are going and BT have announced they expect to stop normal phone service over copper pairs by 2025. Normally moving a number to VoIP kills the phone line and broadband, but we can do this without a break in service. This only works where the number is originally a BT number, not ported from another provider.

When ordering broadband you are offered the option to take over the line and port the number. You can order this if you already have broadband from us. The process then works like this...

  • We set up the number on our VoIP system right away, but initially is it not enabled for incoming or outgoing calls. You should be able to configure it ready.
  • Once the phone line moves to us (which normally takes 2 weeks) you will no longer be able to make calls on the line. We send an order to BT to renumber and export to VoIP and at that point we enable your VoIP service for outgoing calls. Incoming calls will come in on the phone line still. At this point any incoming call features you had on the line, like Caller Display will be lost. This stage usually lasts for a day and lasts from around 3am to 5pm.
  • Finally, once the number port is complete the incoming calls start to come in via VoIP instead of the phone line. At that point you can no longer make or receive calls on the physical line, it is only for broadband.

A good way to manage this is to get something like the Gigaset DECT phone base and handset as this can work on VoIP but still connect to the phone line to allow incoming calls on the line until the process is complete. You should remember to program it to send any 999 calls to VoIP though, and ensure you have set the 999 address details on our control pages.

Installing a new line

In many cases we can take over an existing line or start a stopped line, but if you need a new line installed then an engineer will have to visit and complete the installation. This means we will arrange an appointment (morning or afternoon) and you need to ensure someone is there at that time (otherwise there is an abortive visit fee).

The engineer will install a new master socket. This is normally where the cables enter the property or somewhere convenient nearby. He may have to drill holes, fix cable anchors to walls, run internal cabling, and other similar work - so ensure you have permission of landlord if renting. You can ask the engineer to put the socket elsewhere as long as that is less than an hour's work in your property. Please ensure you agree where the socket is to go when the engineer arrives. The engineer only installs one master socket and does not install extension cabling or additional sockets. If you need a more complex installation, contact our sales team in advance, but you may find it cheaper to engage an electrician or run extension cabling yourself.

How to order

Simply order your broadband service. As part of the ordering process we will ask if you want a copper pair with your broadband and take details of where you need it.


The copper pair itself is installed by Openreach just like a BT phone line, on our behalf. No telephone service is provided on this copper pair, it is purely for broadband use.

Whilst there is no telephone service as such, the pair may have some audio when connected to a telephone - this is purely to stop any engineers thinking the pair is unused and taking it for another installation or fault repair. It also allows a quiet line test so one can hear crackles or interference that may be the cause of a fault. As such we still expect customers to have a telephone handset available for fault repair and diagnostics.

However, as BT move towards no longer offering normal phone line services by 2025 more and more services will have no dial tone, or message, on the copper pair. BT have assured us this will not result in apparently idle pairs being re-used for other customers. Existing customers may be re-graded from a service with a tone or message on the line to one without.

We do not allow any calls in or out. For older customers where, for historical reasons, we have allowed calls on a line they are charged at whatever Openreach charge us plus 20%