It comes after BT admitted some customers in isolated areas could be left unable to dial 999 in an emergency during a sustained blackout on its internet-powered phones, after customers were cut off during Storm Eunice. 

Some 1.5 million BT customers have already had their old landlines replaced with new digital systems. Around 15pc of landlines are now accessed over broadband, up from 8pc last year, according to regulator Ofcom. 

Caroline Abrahams of Age UK, Britain’s biggest charity for the elderly, said “public communications about the switchover have been poor to date and urgently need attention”. “Older people need to know from their telecoms provider, Ofcom and the Government what will happen when, and what their options are,” she added. 

Chris Howe of BT, who is in charge of customer service for the digital phones rollout, said the firm was working with providers to prepare them for the change.

However, he conceded there was a challenge in identifying all of the numerous devices that still used analogue technology and said concerned customers should get in touch and ask for help. He added BT would not cover the cost of replacing or upgrading systems that did not work with its new “digital voice” phones. 

Customers face upgrading to new devices that work with the new technology, or replacing them with more costly alternatives, such as alarms that use mobile sim networks to make emergency calls, rather than over the landline. 

A BT spokesman added:“We recognise the concern of our customers who use personal alarms and health pendants that run on the analogue network. Our short-term simple solution is to delay upgrades for these more vulnerable customers and we can reassure our customers that we are working to remove them from the upgrade programme for now.”