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With the switch off of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) due to take place by 2025, beginning for some in 2021, what should installers be doing right now to get ready for the change? What do you think the switch over will mean for the security industry?

The move to an All IP Network will have a positive impact across the UK, providing ultra-fast fibre connectivity to homes and businesses. However, this will present a major challenge for the Security Sector as there are over 1 million monitored devices using PSTN today. Critically, if you don’t reconfigure or upgrade your PSTN device, it won’t be able to send alarms using the phone line. This could compromise your Police response, public safety and property.

The initial challenge is that the wider industry is working towards the final switch-off date of December 2025, when the reality is the work needs to start now. 220 exchanges nationwide, affecting over 2 million premises, have now announced a ‘Stop Sell’ of PSTN services starting from June 2021. New exchanges will be added every quarter up until September 2023. ‘Stop Sell’ doesn’t just mean you can’t buy new supply, it also means you can’t take over lines, transfer to different providers or reconnect a cancelled line.

The BSIA is urging installers to make plans to migrate their customers to future-proofed signalling platforms now as any breaks in signalling may incur insurance policy violations.
Clear communication to the end-user is very important as they need to know the impact on their alarm signalling and what their options are. If the communication is right and the planning is done correctly, then PSTN upgrades can be carried out successfully and economically on an upcoming maintenance visit. In some scenarios, there may only be 4 maintenance visits left to carry out this work.

Andy Fyvie, Head of European Customer Development, CSL

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