BT Openreach, who manage the UK landline telephone network, is now part way through their ‘All Internet Protocol (IP)’ programme whereby the traditional copper wire system is being phased out in favour of modern digital technology utilising fibre optic cables.
This programme is due to be completed by the end of 2025, with many areas and exchanges already switched over to digital and the remainder scheduled over the next 2½ years.
Most Alarm Transmission Systems (ATS) that connect Intruder and Fire Alarms to Alarm Receiving Centres use a landline as a communication path.
One consequence of the digital switchover is that some signalling systems that rely on the traditional copper wire system may no longer function reliably, or indeed at all.
What action do companies need to take?
Businesses that have alarm systems with remote monitoring should, therefore, contact their Alarm Company now and ask them about their plans to check, and as necessary reconfigure/upgrade their alarm system(s), to ensure vital communication link(s) remain operative.
In preparation for the network transition to digital any upgrades can be done immediately rather than waiting for local exchange upgrades.
Companies should also consider what contingency arrangements might be required during any switchover dates, and the measures required to ensure efficient security remains in place. Intruder alarms are often a significant security requirement for any insurance policy, and ensuring this continues to be adhered to is essential.
About the author
This article is provided by our insurer partner, Arch and is written by Arch Insurance Risk Managers and/or surveyors and has not been verified for accuracy by a third party. This article is for general guidance only and aims to provide general information on a relevant topic in a concise form. None of the information should be taken as legal or professional advice and we recommend that for further information, you should speak to an expert in this field.