This page gets out of date but is updated now and again and maybe still of use.

Now a live voice line has become just one of many ways to communicate from home and on the move. After moving through several phone companies including defunct TPO, and the Coop no longer offering Pay As You Go, we are now with GiffGaff, part of O2, but found Ecotalk to consider as an alternative.

Mobile Phone OS and Apps

After many years of using Virgin Media (previously Telewest) for my home phone (and broadband) I found their deal has got relatively poorer over time, and me as well as a couple of friends have been totally messed about by them. They accepted deposits for services they could not supply, and with one spending 3 hours in persons home installing stuff only next day to say they wanted to come round and remove it because they could not supply service. They will not give compensation so there is no incentive for them to get there act together and have a system in place where the info about line available is know to them, in fact it is very much like double booking aircraft seats, they are relying on fact others will cancel service in same switch area. They spent similar time trying to install a second line later and failed. The last mess up with them was the failure twice of them to collect their equipment when I moved, and twice promised call back to re-arrange pick up time which not made, they did not want it to be dropped off at HQ or their stores and in the end clear they had abandoned it so went for alternative disposal. Having said that I went back to using them as their cable internet service is a solid technical offering that I felt was better the alternatives at the time but even then used VoIP from Andrews & Arnold for phone calls, until got so fed up with having to negotiate price hard with them at end of contract period as well as privacy concerns with them as a big ISP, in the end I moved fully to using Andrews & Arnold (AAISP), who served me well if a bit pricey, but the internet connection is so vital that reassuring to be with AAISP. At time of writing they top the customer review rating at ISP Review, I moved to Zen as cheaper to switch at same time as upgrading to Fibre to Premises. I switch back from Zen at end of contract period to AAISP if have any unresolved issues with them. Upgrading to fibre to premises can be tricky with regards to where new ONT to be located with getting fibre to it, and attaching new fibre cable to your house.

AAISP are top rated on ISP Review, so a pity to leave them but when budget is tight I think Zen worthy a try to save on cost of switching to Fibre to Premises as well as FTTP now being cheaper than FFTC. I have used AAISP twice for broadband first on ADSL and then on FTTC. I have and will continue to use them for VoIP phone lines. They know their stuff. They don't supply phone services direct over copper (PTSN) only VoIP.

Those that have phoneline from BT can now switch line rental as well as calls to other companies; BT no longer has monopoly. So if one uses a BT (Openreach) reseller for line rental, calls and broadband one is not as locked in as with 'Cable'.

I suggest if you are still with BT that you switch to Zen (but don't rely on sign up offer of voucher as I never got mine) or Your Coop, as the big BT is not much better then Virgin with people been messed around as well. Also see reviews on Which.

There are many providers of directory enquiries one of the cheapest is provided by the Phone Coop 118114, it shows the power of advertising that many people use the more expensive numbers advertised on TV

Also you can get internet access with these companies, but see another net access page.

To reduce number of unsolicited phone calls sign up with TPS

On a traditional POTS line to check what number a phone is connected to and on BT test if it rings, just dial 175 .

To find alternative number to ripoff 'national rate' number try .

A site with wide range of phone call info is

History of Phones &: Telecoms

Glossary and links covering telecoms terms

End of Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) dial tone on Openreach lines

Openreach is upgrading it whole system to digital phone lines

Industry affected by Openreach's upgrade to digital phone lines


BT Optical Network Terminal available via AAISP

City Fibre ONT available via AAISP.


Single Order Generic Ethernet Access

Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) is broadband without a phoneline from BT Openreach


Single Order Transitional Access Product (SOTAP) is an offering from Openreach to allow providers to supply internet serivces over phone line (without a dial tone / phone number from Openreach

Also see: computing page and internet page.