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Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Switch Off and BT Redcare Announcement

    The Knowledge
    20th June 2024

    The PSTN Switch Off / All IP Network Migration

    It is estimated that approximately 4 million fire and security systems that communicate to alarm receiving centres’ (ARCs) use the PSTN network.  The PSTN is the traditional analogue / copper wire telephone network. Legacy products were reliant on the PSTN to carry a signal to the ARCs.
    The PSTN will be switched off at different times across the UK as the upgrade is undertaken.  This process started in December 2020 and by the end of December 2025; all PSTNs will be switched off, which will impact intruder and fire alarm system signalling. From the 1st of January 2026, analogue will be no more, and all phone calls and signalling will be via the Internet.
    The industry will upgrade landline services to new digital technologies using Internet connection, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Digital Voice or All-IP telephony.

    BT Redcare

    BT Redcare announced on the 1st of February 2024 that they will stop selling new alarm signalling products from the end of February 2024 and are withdrawing all their signalling products and services by the 1st of August 2025. Systems that utilise BT Redcare signalling products will need their signalling devices replaced.
    This announcement raises concerns with the UK security and fire industries, including the installers, Police, inspectorates, insurers and ARCs.
    Based on information obtained from the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), there are approximately 120,000 live systems which will need to be upgraded before operations cease on the 1st of August 2025.   It is estimated that 90,000 of these systems are legacy products, reliant on the PSTN.  This means, that they will need to be upgraded by the end of December 2025, if not before, as part of the All-IP Network migration. BT Redcare’s Next Generation IP/Radio products have an estimated 30,000 installed devices.

    Travelers’ thoughts

    Insurers normally have a minimum performance requirement for alarm signalling, and it is crucial that as part of these changes (PSTN Switch Off and BT Redcare withdrawing from the market) the signalling performance is not downgraded.
    While it depends on the type of and grade of BT Product you have in place, it is important that, as a minimum, your replacement signalling is changed to a ‘like for like’ performance level.  However, these changes may provide you with a good opportunity to consider upgrading the signalling to performance level Dual Path Grade 3 (DP3) which is a benchmark standard.
    You should approach intruder and fire alarm contractors at the earliest opportunity to discuss the available options. If you require further advice, please seek guidance from your insurance broker or insurer to ensure that the changes you propose to the signalling are acceptable.
    The information provided is intended for use as a guideline and is not intended as, nor does it constitute, legal or professional advice. Travelers does not warrant that adherence to, or compliance with, any recommendations, best practices, checklists, or guidelines will result in a particular outcome. Furthermore, laws, regulations, standards or codes may change from time to time and you should always refer to the most current requirements and take specific advice when dealing with specific situations.