A significant upgrade to the UK’s telephone network means intruder and fire alarms that signal over the telephone network will stop working at the end of 2025.
Here’s the lowdown and what to do if your alarm is affected.
BT and other telephone providers are upgrading the landline network, also known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), from analogue to digital or Internet Protocol (IP). The old copper telephone lines are being placed with fibre optic, and digital technology called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) will deliver landline calls via broadband.
Increasing demand for faster networks and connectivity coupled with it becoming harder and more expensive to maintain the PSTN has driven the change.
How does the upgrade affect alarms?
When the upgrade is complete, intruder and fire alarms that depend on an analogue telephone line will fail to signal to the alarm receiving centre, rendering them useless.
What do you need to do?
If your alarm currently signals via the telephone network, you’ll need to upgrade your signalling device to a digital one. However, if you have an old security system supported only by circuit-switched technology, it won’t be compatible with any other technology and will need to be replaced.
What are the advantages of digital signalling?
Signalling via the mobile network means you could save costs. For example, you’ll no longer have any call charges relating to your intruder alarm on your phone bill, and you won’t need to pay for line rental. Also, there will be no risk of your phone cable being cut and disabling your alarm.
When is this change happening?
BT will be retiring the PSTN by December 2025, with other providers following a broadly similar timescale. However, BT is already switching off analogue lines in some local exchanges as it migrates customers, so it’s important to take action now.
What to do next
If you have a security system connected to an analogue phone line, your security provider should be in touch.