October 13, 2020
Did you know your alarm system will need to be IP-compatible soon?
You should be aware that things are changing if your alarm system relies on standard phone lines to connect to a remote monitoring station.
You will need to make sure your system will be reliable and effective with an Internet Protocol (IP) transmission service.
Here we answer some of the questions you might have about the need to change.
What is IP and why do I need it?
Many alarm systems currently use analogue Public Switched Telephone Network(PSTN) lines to connect to their monitoring provider.
BT says it is shutting down all its analogue Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and PSTN phone lines in phases. The aim is to update the whole network and move everything online by December 2025.
Existing connections will need to be replaced with General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) wireless communication or an IP service.
When will the PSTN service end?
From the end of this year businesses won’t have access to new ISDN and PSTN services. Home users can already receive BT Digital Voice as part of their broadband package.
BT Special Service providers, including telecare alarms, intruder alarms and other signalling equipment, have been told that their service will change. Users are being advised to contact their providers.
Due to the phased shut down you could be affected at any time during the next five years. It’s possible that your notification of when you will be affected could be late or missed all together.
Will I have to change my alarm system?
It has been suggested that existing alarm systems that use PSTN lines will still work after the switchover.
If you want to keep your existing system you will need to connect it to a broadband hub. In many cases broadband routers won’t have an analogue interface to connect with your existing system, so you will need to check if this is possible.
Even where your system can be connected, its function and reliability could be affected because the new IP network isn’t designed to work with these analogue systems. This means alert messages might not be recognised, leaving you and your premises at risk.
When should I change my alarm system?
Almost every alarm system in the country must use IP by 2025 there will be high demand for new systems which could lead to delays for equipment delivery and installation.
The best approach is to plan your change now to avoid the rush later. We certainly can’t recommend waiting until 2025.
Are there standards for alarm transmission systems?
Yes. British Standard (BS) PD 6669:2017 provides guidance and recommendations for alarm transmission systems (ATS) used to send alarm messages such as fire, intruder, access control or social alarms to an alarm receiving centre (ARC). It adds to the existing BS EN 50136 series for ATS with additional guidance on performance, availability, fitting and installation advice.
If you would like advice about your existing alarm system please get in touch.
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