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Concern for 1.5 million UK homes without internet connection grows as the ‘All IP' telephone network upgrade ramps up

As All IP becomes a reality with 15 exchanges upgraded to date, we are starting to see more and more messaging surrounding the PSTN switch-off in the mainstream press. Recent articles by The BBC, The Metro, The Daily Mail and many others are aiming to help prepare people for the switchover of every home and business phone in the UK to an internet-based connection instead of traditional, copper-wire landlines. It’s a transition that is being likened to the switch to digital TV in 2012.

For the Fire & Security industry, we know this also means that alarm systems which rely on a copper landline will be affected. Staggeringly, around 1.5 million premises in the UK don’t have an internet connection. Which means phones and alarms at these locations will no longer work following the switchover as an internet connection is required to make a call or send an alarm over the All IP network.

As part of the switchover every home and business with an existing internet connection will receive a letter notifying them of the upgrade in their area. Next, a new Smart Router will arrive which replaces the Master Phone socket that a landline telephone uses. Many existing telephone handsets will operate as normal once plugged into the new Router, providing there is an existing internet connection. For those homes without an internet connection, it’s not so simple. Especially, if they have a wired alarm system currently installed to the telephone line.

Since the first significant number of exchanges were upgraded in June, telephone line provider forums have been inundated with queries from end-users trying to understand the impact to their telephones and alarms. This is a great opportunity for installers to kick off the discussion with their customers, about upgrading an alarm system to a fully digital solution ahead of the switchover. To find out more, please visit our dedicated All IP hub where we discuss the upgrade process for both the UK and the Republic of Ireland – click here to visit the hub

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