BT has confirmed that customers will not be able to keep their landline telephone number when they switch to its ultrafast fibre broadband service.
Speaking to the Telegraph, a spokesman said it made the decision as it believes not many people moving between Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) services or upgrading from slower copper-based systems will demand it.
However, this may change in the future, with customers being able to keep their numbers as part of an upgrade that will be completed in "the next few years".
The company was responding to a number of complaints from customers, including some small businesses, who are unhappy that they can't take their landline numbers when moving between FTTP services or upgrading to faster broadband.
James Brooke, whose 80-year-old mother has moved into a block of flats supplied by FTTP-based broadband, is among those to raise concerns.
"I couldn’t believe it when BT told me they couldn’t move the landline number, it’s been possible on copper lines since about 1860," he commented.
"It’s a massive own goal for BT given the fact their rivals can do this. Nobody in their right mind would use BT if they knew this."
Mr Brooke added that BT has a duty of care to tell its customers before converting them from copper to fibre that they will be unable to take their number with them.