Spark is closing the Public Switched Telephone Network

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The older analogue network (known as PSTN), which connects calls over copper lines is operated by Spark but used by some Vodafone customers. Spark has announced that PSTN technology is reaching end-of-life – they started decommissioning this network in 2017 and are taking an area by area approach with the aim of completing the work by 2023. This means that if you have a home phone using the copper network, it will stop working once Spark switches off the old PSTN in your area.

To prepare for the PSTN retirement your options are:

  • Move to an alternative phone and broadband service
  • Disconnect your phone service if you don’t need it anymore
  • Do nothing – if you choose to do nothing we will disconnect your phone service from the end of the notice period included our letter/s to you, and you will not be able to access the phone line services you currently use.

What does this mean for you?
You’ll need to be off the PSTN network by the date included in your letter/s from us, in order to avoid being left without your phone service at your place. But don’t worry, we’ve got broadband and phone solutions that we can switch you to that do not use the PSTN network, instead the voice calls will run over your broadband connection. Fibre, UltraFast HFC, Wireless, or Copper broadband may be Vodafone options available for you to choose from at your address. Wireless Broadband runs over our 4G/5G mobile network (it’s the mobile aspect that makes it wireless), so the voice calling will run over our mobile network. You’ll be able to keep your phone number on the broadband and phone service you choose.

What do you need to do?
It’s important you give us a call on 0800 000 047 before the reply date we included in our letter/s to you (between 11am and 7.30pm, weekdays) so that if you choose to take up an alternative voice service, we have enough time to ensure your phone service is set up and running before the connectivity on the PSTN is lost. Even if you don’t think you need your phone service anymore, please call us to let us know. You’ll be put through to our specialist team based here in NZ who will tell you all about our broadband and phone services and will get you switched over to one that suit your needs the most. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you might have.

Important things to know

  • If you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line it’s important that you call the company that monitors your alarm to ask if their services will work with voice calling over broadband/Wireless Broadband. If not, you’ll need to find an alternative before you switch to your chosen service.
  • As your new phone service will run over your broadband connection rather than the copper network, you’ll need power to make a phone call which means your phone line won’t work in a power cut. If you or someone you live with, don’t have another means to call 111 in a power cut and qualify as a Vulnerable Consumer, we’ll supply you with an alternative means to call 111 (eg mobile phone), free of charge. You can find out more about the register and apply online at vodafone.co.nz/vulnerability/.
  • You’ll be able to keep your phone number when you move to voice calling over broadband or Wireless Broadband.

When will my local PSTN service no longer be available?
Spark is taking an area by area approach to move people off the PSTN. Below are the areas where PSTN services are being retired at some addresses:

Locations/areas

Note: These dates are subject to change.

SwitchExchangesClosure date (note: these dates are subject to change)

Mir

DA

Miramar

Devonport

15 December 2020

TMK

WTH

FOR

TNA

BD

BKL

KIL

HTI

Tamaki

Wellington South

Forrest Hill

Takapuna

Birkenhead

Birkdale

Kilbirnie

Haitaitai

23 April 2021

ATN2

AR3

BEA2

BUR3/BUR4

EE2

GNH2

HFB2

MNG2

MTL3

MWN1

NBO3

PRM4

PC2

SV3

WOA4

TWA2

Alicetown

Ashburton

Beachlands

Burwood

Eastbourne

Greenhithe

Halfway Bush

Mornington

Mt Roskill

Mt Wellington

New Brighton

Paraparaumu

Port Chalmers

Stokes Valley

Wainuiomata

Tawa

30 September 2021

MRE4

PGA5

OH4

MKY1

MRN4

ETM1/ETM4/ETM5

OAA3/OAA7

KNH4

RAM1

TIB

MMA2

Mangere

Pakuranga

Otahuhu

Manukau City

Manurewa

East Tamaki

Otara

Khandallah

Raumati

Titahi Bay

Memorial Ave

15 November 2021

BHB5

ON4

TIS2

LYE2

STK2

JV4

LHT2

KRI2

Blockhouse Bay

Onehunga

Three Kings

Lynmore

Stoke

Johnsonville

Lower Hutt

Kaori

25 April 2022

FAQs

What is the PSTN network?

Many years ago, phone calls were connected by a switchboard operator at the exchange. They would insert the phone plug into the right socket so the call could be connected. Automated systems to connect phone calls eventually replaced the switchboard operators in the 1980s.



Since then, phone calls have been connected through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) which is operated by Spark. It’s a network of switches that automatically connect calls from one person to another over copper lines. The parts needed to keep it going aren’t being made any more, so Spark is retiring the PSTN network.

How do I know if I have a traditional phone line?

If your home phone is plugged into a phone jack in your wall, it’s most likely that you have a traditional phone line that uses the old PSTN network. We’ll be in touch with a recommended alternative service for you – either voice calling over broadband or Wireless Broadband.

Can I still use my phone jack in the wall after the change?

If you have integrated wiring, your phones can be plugged into phone jacks in the wall. If you don’t have integrated wiring, you’ll need to plug your phone directly into the Phone 1 port on the back of your Vodafone modem. For more info or help getting set up, head to vodafone.co.nz/setupvoice

I’m not good with change – how can I get extra support to help me through this?

We have an NZ-based team that can help you through this and can even arrange for a Noel Leeming's Tech Support home visit on us to get your new service set up at your place. Please call us on 0800 000 047 between 11am to 7.30pm, Monday-Friday.

Can I talk to someone about this?

Yes – we have an NZ-based team that can help you. Please call us on 0800 000 047 between 11am to 7.30pm, Monday-Friday.

What if I don’t want my home phone anymore?

We can remove your home phone line from your Vodafone account. Please call our NZ-based team on 0800 000 047 between 11am to 7.30pm, Monday-Friday and they'll get this sorted for you.

What if I don’t want to change anything?

When Spark closes down your local PSTN exchange, your phone line will stop working and you won’t be able to use the same traditional phone line with any other provider either.

If you still need a phone service, here are your options:

  • Your phone line moves to voice calling over broadband;
  • Your phone line moves to run over Wireless Broadband; or
  • You only use a mobile phone instead.

What if I don’t get in touch with Vodafone in time?

We’ll try to contact you but if we can’t get in touch and don’t hear back from you then we won’t be able to move you to an alternative service. If this happens, we’ll assume that you no longer need your phone line and will take steps to remove it from your Vodafone account. This means:

  • You won’t be charged for your phone line from the date given in the letter/email from us (or we’ll give you a credit if your bill had already been sent to you).
  • You’ll lose your phone number and if you have Vodafone voicemail or call divert set up these will be cancelled.
  • If you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line this will also stop working.
  • These phone line changes will not impact your Broadband services with us.

Do I need to do anything right now?

If you haven’t heard from us and you have a traditional home phone, please call our NZ based team on 0800 000 047 between 11am to 7.30pm, Monday-Friday.

If you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line, it’s important that you call the company that monitors your alarm to ask if their services will work with voice calling over broadband/Wireless Broadband. If not, you’ll need to find an alternative before you switch to one of these services.

Do you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line?

If you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line, it’s important that you call the company that monitors your alarm to ask if their services will work with voice calling over broadband/Wireless Broadband. If not, you’ll need to find an alternative before you switch to one of these services.

Do you have a way to call 111 during a power cut?

If you or someone in your household relies on your Vodafone landline service, in order to contact 111 for medical, safety or disability reasons, you may be able to apply to be listed as a Vulnerable consumer.
If you qualify, Vodafone will provide you with a means to call 111 for emergency services in the event of a power cut. This will be provided at no cost.
To learn if you or someone you live with is eligible see our Vulnerable Customer or Medical Dependency Registration.

Will the price of my service change?

The price of your service may change – our NZ based team will talk you through your options and how much they will cost. Please call them on 0800 000 047 between 11am to 7.30pm, Monday-Friday.

Will any discounts I currently have continue?

Any discounts you have on your current plan will be removed when you move to a new service. If you have an eligible Pay Monthly mobile plan, you’ll still be able to get a $10 monthly discount off the price of your new plan.

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