Ensure your alarm system technology is compatible with the changes being made to the UK telephone networks.
What changes are being made to the UK’s phone network?
To ensure the UK’s telephone services are fit for the future, telephone providers are upgrading the landline network, also known as the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) from analogue to digital or IP (Internet Protocol). This means that in the future voice telephone calls will be carried in the same way as data through a Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service.
The change is led by broadband and phone companies and is supported by the Government and the communications regulator, Ofcom.
Whilst the transition is expected to be straightforward for most customers, it will impact some services that rely on communications through the PSTN. This includes security and fire alarms, telecare devices, retail payment terminals and equipment for monitoring and controlling networks.
How do changes to the phone network affect fire and security systems?
Fire and security alarms that are monitored use the phone network to communicate. This issue will not just affect some Banham customers with older or legacy systems – many fire and security systems across the UK communicate to alarm receiving centres (ARCs) via a PSTN line.
If a fire, intruder, access control or CCTV system is monitored and uses signalling through PSTN, the changes will impact the signalling capability of these systems. If older signalling technology is not upgraded before the telecoms provider completes the switch, the security or fire system cannot be monitored, putting safety and security at risk.
Many security and fire systems are subject to insurance policy conditions that insist on a monitored alarm system – if the system is not able to communicate then insurance policies may be compromised.
How do I know if my security or fire alarm system is affected?
The systems that are affected contain older signalling technology which will be obsolete once the switch from PSTN to IP or VOIP has taken place.
Our dedicated PSTN team will be informing all Banham customers about the change.
In the meantime, if you are concerned, please email us at email@example.com with your account number and we will be able to assist you and advise whether your system requires an upgrade to latest communication technology.
When is the change happening?
Initial migrations have already started and will be completed by December 2025. As decisions to retire the PSTN lies with individual telecoms companies, the switch will be undertaken by companies at different times and in various locations.
If my security or alarm system is affected, when should I upgrade my technology?
The migration from PSTN to IP has already started so sooner the better. We cannot predict which customers the telecoms providers will choose to switch when. BT have announced that from June 2021 a further 117 priority exchanges across the UK will be migrated to the IP voice service affecting up to 1.2 million customers.
For more detail about the switch from PSTN to IP, from the telecoms industry and the Government you can visit the Future of Voice Website www.futureofvoice.co.uk