The humble landline is probably something we don’t pay much attention to in this age of 5G and fibre optic broadband. But for many people, it’s still a literal lifeline and in 4 years, that lifeline is quite literally going to be cut off.
At the end of 2025, the old copper lines that have been the beating heart of the UK’s phone lines for decades are going to be put out to pasture. But what exactly is this change going to look like and what’s it going to mean for our security and alarm systems?
What is the switch all about?
In December 2025, BT Openreach will be withdrawing the PSTN (public switched telephone network) and ISDN (integrated services digital network) telephone systems and replacing them with fibre optic lines instead. This means that in just over four years all of the systems that rely on analogue phone lines will cease to function and that includes many older security and alarm systems.
The decision to switch off PSTN and ISDN services by 2025 has been in the works since 2015 but almost half of all businesses have no idea that it’s happening and over three quarters haven’t prepared for the disruption the switch-off could cause.
What does it mean for me?
Essentially, all future phone services are going to need to connect over broadband rather than through the traditional wall socket. In many homes across the country, this is probably going to be welcomed, as it’s going to mean cheaper phone bills and a neater living room. For businesses, however, now is the time to start preparing and the future of your business could depend on it.
As we drive towards new technologies, swapping copper for fibre optic cables is going to mean lower costs and better functionality and modern security systems won’t even register the switch off as they won’t be utilising copper wiring at all. However, in 2019 there were still almost 3 million PSTN alarms in the UK.
The key takeaway here? You need to act now! If your system is more than 10 years old then it’s probably a PSTN or ISDN system. Some solutions allow you to connect older systems through voice over internet protocol (VoIP) that could give you a few more years of use. But, generally speaking, you’ll want to invest in a new system.
A future proof security and alarm system uses the same infrastructure as your broadband and can be monitored and controlled remotely from your smart devices. It’s smart, flexible and going to keep you and your business safe for years and even decades to come. The good news is you still have four years left to make that investment.