BSIA urges alarm installers to take action on their alarm signalling estates in advance of the UK’s transition to an IP voice-based telephony service

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) is urging security installers to take swift action on their alarm signalling estates in advance of the transition to an all IP (Internet Protocol) fibre based voice service with migration in some areas taking place as early as this autumn.  Installers need to be aware of the following:

  •  Openreach is upgrading the existing analogue telephone network to an all IP service with the plan to migrate to a full Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) digital platform by the end of 2025. These changes are happening because the PSTN system is dated, difficult to maintain and because there is a global drive towards digital technology.
  • You may not be aware that the Electronic Security Industry will see the effects of the migration later this year when BT Consumer plan to expand their Digital Voice customer criteria to include ‘special services’ like security & fire alarms and care pendants. So, you may start to get enquiries from your customers asking how their alarm system may be affected.
  • Openreach are running IP voice trials in the Salisbury & Mildenhall exchange areas and PSTN services will no longer be sold in these areas from December 2020 and May 2021 respectively. Based on Openreach data, approx. 30,000 residential and business premises are in these exchange footprints. Any of these premises with an alarm that currently uses a PSTN line for signalling will be affected.
  • From June 2021 a further 117 priority exchanges across the UK will be migrated to the IP voice service affecting up to 1.2 million customers. After this date, PSTN services will no longer be sold in these exchange areas, which includes Belfast, Birmingham, Cornwall, London, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool.
  • There are 5600 Openreach exchanges to upgrade in total and quarterly announcements are expected for exchanges subject to migration to meet the 2025 deadline.
  • Many security systems are subject to Police and/or insurance policy conditions and customers have an expectation that their system will function on the new IP Voice service. Installers need to be diligent in ensuring this remains the case.
  • Ofcom and all telecoms stakeholders are also urging security Installers and the wider industry to take action to be prepared for the changes. Alarm signalling will be affected and Installers should contact their signalling service providers to limit the impact of the all IP transition on their customers.

Further detailed information supporting this statement can be found here.

David Wilkinson, Director of Technical Services, BSIA, said: “we have been keeping our industry sector up to date with the changes as they have developed, and given the recent announcements from Openreach, Ofcom and communication providers, our message has escalated to a ‘call to action’ asking installers to take proactive steps to mitigate the risks of systems that may fail to operate if left unchecked.”

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