security, security industry, alarms...
With concerns about crime – and insurance premiums – mounting, security services have never been more in demand. The UK security industry has grown by an average of 6.4% a year since 2016. But a new development is about to change the security landscape.
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), the backbone of the UK’s communication network for more than a century, is to be replaced by a new digital phone service by 2025. Many alarms rely on the PSTN, and will no longer work when it shuts down.
That means security too needs to go fully digital, moving to alarms that rely on mobile connectivity, always-on IP, or both.
356,000 burglaries were reported last year in the UK, and fire and rescue services attended 156,000 fires. That means futureproofing Britain’s alarm systems is a matter of life and death.
Most of the heavy lifting will be done not by end-users, but by installers. They’ll need new training, new equipment, and new suppliers.
And they’ll need to be prepared well before the final switch-off in 2025. When fibre coverage in the area served by an exchange reaches 75%, Openreach will ban sales of traditional phone services in that area. Communication providers will contact customers directly to let them know they’ll be upgrading to the new digital service. Installers may be left out of the loop. Luckily, alarm vendors are stepping up to provide them with support and training.
While the end of the PSTN will be the end of an era, it’s high time security joined the digital transformation. The new all-IP alarm devices will be faster, smarter and more reliable.
But with old-style devices becoming by 2025, if not sooner, it’s vital to start futureproofing alarm systems now. With proper support for installers, the process should be reasonably simple and, importantly, secure.