PSTN switch off means monitored alarms could be left hanging

PTSN switch off

By the end of next year BT will be switching off all PSTN analogue telephone systems and any security or fire systems will no longer signal alerts. Without an upgrade, homes, businesses and individuals with monitored security or fire alarms could be left exposed.

Ofcom has been overseeing the transition to ensure consumers are protected, for example in the case of a power cut, there must be battery back up and alternative provision for the vulnerable.

What is PSTN?

PSTN is Public Switch Telephone Netwok – basically old copper wire networks that all phone systems ran on.

Why is PSTN switch off a problem for alarm systems?

There are still nearly 3 million PSTN connected intruder alarms in the UK and 1.2million premises with monitored systems could be affected by the switch over. If a system is reliant on an analogue line to connect to an alarm receiving centre (ARC), the signals will no longer be transmitted. This means the security or fire alarm will no longer raise an alarm to the remote monitoring centre leaving individuals and properties vulnerable to harm.

What is the solution?

All telephone and data will be transmitted via the internet, either mobile or cable internet. Since most homes and business have wifi, the transition can be managed fairly easily.

Why is BT stopping PSTN?

Basically, it is getting expensive to maintain the old systems. With the roll out of fibre, the telecoms industry has decided to phase our traditional analogue lines in favour of voice over internet. This is a much more secure method of sending data and allows encryption which is not possible with analogue.

What should I do if I have an alarm that’s monitored on PSTN?

There are a few ways we can help you, contact us for a free review of your system and we can advise you of the best option.


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