Change is coming to UK phone and broadband networks with millions of PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) phone lines phased out over the next 4 years to make way for new technology – also known as the big switch off.
As Ofcom & Openreach roll out plans to switch off all PSTN phone lines in phases over the next 4 years and with a final completion date of 31st December 2025, we need to make you aware of the impact this will have on your alarm systems monitoring.
Your current alarm system monitoring utilises a device which connects to a PSTN phone line to send a signal from your panel to the Alarm Receiving Centre and this means you are going to need to talk to us about what action you can take so you don’t lose the connection.
To understand the impacts of the big switch off, you need to understand what is happening. The UK’s telephone infrastructure started being built in 1876 and is known as the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network).
Since then, it has been developed and updated beyond recognition, with numerous developments having been ‘bolted on’, including the first wave of broadband lines (ISDN, or Integrated Services Digital Networks) operating on the old infrastructure from the 1980’s onward, but at its heart, it is a very old system that isn’t fit for the 21st century.
Around 20 years ago, BT announced plans to replace the PSTN with their ‘Network for the 21st Century’, a move calculated to save them billions over the years in the maintenance of copper lines and to provide a better performing, more reliable network.
After decades of work, the end of the PSTN is finally in view, with trials already underway in several areas and rolling out to other areas from 2021 onwards.
You may hear about the switch off from your phone provider and your broadband provider but might not have considered that services such as fire alarms and intruder alarms may also be using the same connection.
As you are one of the 31.7 million remaining users of a PSTN line you will need to move to an alternative by the time the switch off reaches your area, or risk being left with no connection for single path signalling connection (PSTN), or a reduced level of connection if your alarm utilises a dual-path signalling connection (PSTN & GPRS).
The security risk of losing connection to your alarm system during the switch off is a concern for many, but it is one that can be easily avoided by taking the right steps now. A recent study by BT showed that nearly a third of those surveyed were taking a ‘watch and wait’ approach to the switch off, but we believe that taking action now will help you avoid the worry as the switch off dates approach.
Your insurance cover or police response may rely on alarm connectivity, so there is even more reason to move to a more modern signalling device now.
Here at Chevron Alarms, we are committed to working with our customers to smoothly transition their customers’ alarms to a new generation device.
Unfortunately, the short answer is No, any device that relies on a PSTN phoneline will stop working and will need to be replaced.
New generation devices have been launched by the major suppliers and are available for installation immediately.
You can talk to us at Chevron Alarms so you can determine what signalling device you currently have in place and your choices for replacement with a new compatible device. Different devices have different levels of resiliency and feature sets and your insurers may have specific requirements so you may also need to consult with them before making a decision.
Further Information on The Big Switch Off and new signalling options available can be found by following these links:
Chevron Alarms have become only the 5th company in the UK to achieve the newly anticipated BS8629:2019 (BAFE SP207) accreditation awarded to them by the NSI.
Going forward all new high-rise residential blocks over a height of 18m will (after consultation with the Fire & Rescue Services) be required to have a Fire Evacuation Alert System installed that will enable specific floors or sub-sections of the building to be automatically evacuated by the fire officer in charge should an emergency situation arise, and the buildings usual stay put policy become untenable.
We look forward to working closely with building architects, local authorities, The Fire & Rescue Services and ultimately the people living within our community to give reassurance and make these homes a much safer place to live.
For an initial no obligation meeting to discuss your Evacuation System needs, please contact our specialist evacuation systems designer Phil Layden on 01784 438822 or email him directly via, firstname.lastname@example.org
Everything seems to be going over to IP these days and now even your old fashioned telephone as you know it has its days numbered, and that all important number seems to be 2025!
You may have heard rumours before that the BT network is going to be fully digital and now BT have confirmed this fact and given the industry a date for when all ‘dial tones’ will be switched off on copper phone lines as being by the end of the year 2025.
This may seem a long way off right now but like everything else in this fast moving times it will be upon us before we know it!
BT intend on starting with publicising the changeover with national newspaper, TV and radio campaigns from early 2019 and just like the changeover from analogue to digital TV’s a few years ago this change will be supported by OFCOM as well as telephone equipment providers and in the case of monitored alarm systems the intruder alarm installers.
Rest assured that we here at Chevron Alarms are not resting on our laurels, but we instead are already working closely with our alarm receiving centre, communications manufacturers and of course intruder alarm panel manufacturers to help ensure that this change over is as seamless as possible and that it will be done in plenty of time and with the least amount of cost (if indeed any!) and of course with minimal disruption.
With this on the horizon for some time now some of our existing customers from the last 3 or 4 years will in fact already have communications devices fitted that are future proofed and as such they will require little or no work when the changeover happens on their own telephone exchange.
Going forward all future alarm systems installed by Chevron Alarms will have the 2025 changeover in mind and be geared towards a fully digital solution which is going to be both cost effective and reliable.
For our loyal existing client base we will start to contact our customers on a case by case basis from next year and discussing exactly how the changeover specifically will effect them.
The CTSP Register has been formed as a means of registering Technical Security Professionals who are qualified to at least level 3 B-TEC in each discipline to work within the industry of the installation and maintenance of security and fire systems and it allows end consumers and main or sub-contractors to search the register to validate a professional persons competence.
Chevron Alarms are proud to announce our ISO 9001 standard certification recertification from ISO 9001:2008 to the latest revised standard, ISO 9001:2015.
ISO 9001 is the world’s most widely recognized quality management standard and helps organisations to meet the expectations and needs of their customers. As part of the ISO 9001:2015 certification process, Chevron Alarms engaged in a rigorous audit of our business processes and procedures as well as our product quality environments.
As a previously ISO 9001:2008 certified organisation, we have successfully completed the transition to the 2015 revision nearly one full year before the deadline to do so.
By achieving this level of certification, we continue to demonstrate our commitment, ability and desire to effectively and efficiently provide a quality management system whilst continuously improving our products and services to provide a high-quality and consistent service for our customers as well as our internal processes and procedures.
Chevron Alarms would like to thank Victoria Brennan of Fletcher Consultancy (www.fletcher-consultancy.co.uk) for her involvement in our certification. This achievement would not have been possible without her support and help in seamlessly implementing ISO 9001:2015.
Mike Tugwood – Engineering & Quality Assurance Manager
Chevron Alarms can design and install Intruder alarm systems to satisfy any requirement to protect either your home or business.