PSTN Switch Off – Why it’s not all bad news for security installers?    
BT is closing its analogue phone network (PSTN), which could cause issues for monitored security customers who haven’t yet switched to digital. You may be thinking this is another headache that you don’t need to deal with, but this article will discuss the potential opportunities  for security installers and their customers.  

Remind me, what is the PSTN network and why is it being switched off? 

All of the UK’s analogue phone lines, which currently run-on BT’s Public Service Telephone Network (PSTN), are being switched off and converted to digital or VOIP lines. This means that any alarm signalling devices which rely on an analogue phone connection will stop working when their local exchange is permanently closed – you may even have already received letters from BT or your landline or broadband provider.  

You may have heard the date 2025 mentioned – but it’s important to bear in mind that that’s the end date for BT’s PSTN switch-off project.  

We already know of customers who have been moved across to digital communication, this will gather pace over the next few weeks and months. In fact, Openreach has published details of over 450 telephone exchanges that have either stopped selling new analogue lines or will soon do so. Once they go into that “stop sell” phase, there will be a maximum of a year before the analogue lines are switched off. 

Here's a helpful article we wrote about the PSTN switch-off when it first became public knowledge, we’ve since updated it with new details. 











Doesn’t that mean the PSTN switch-off is bad news for my security customers?  

The PSTN switch-off will certainly raise some challenges for security installers and security monitoring service providers. In effect, all of your customers’ systems will need to be checked to ensure that they’re digital-ready, and those that aren’t will need to be upgraded. 

But this also presents an opportunity to security installers and their customers: 

  • Customers will need an upgrade if they have an alarm signalling device that currently relies on an analogue phone line. The latest devices run on roaming SIM cards or a Wi-Fi / LAN connection and are completely independent of the phone lines.  

    So, it is a great opportunity to ensure that your customers are being protected by up-to-date equipment and that their coverage remains connected before and after their local PSTN exchange is permanently closed. Some of our customers have already turned this initial challenge into a successful path to revenue growth (not to mention customer retention by providing this vital service). 

  • Old Digicom devices can rack up big phone bills for the end-user if they’re not properly set up and maintained– every time they dial into an alarm response centre (ARC) it ends up costing them money.  

    Replacing these devices with digital communication isn’t just a requirement for future-proofing their security, it can also be surprisingly cost-effective. 

  • There are some self-monitored systems out there that use analogue phone lines. These will suffer the same fate when the PSTN lines are switched off. There are two upgrade opportunities here. 

    Firstly, moving the customer to a new device that utilises the latest technological advances. Secondly, enabling more of your customers to access professional security monitoring, with all the benefits of 24/7 high integrity monitoring cover that provides. 

As you can see, preparing your customers for a digital future is not just an essential part of your service to them, it can even improve their experience with you as a provider. You have a long-term relationship with your customers as their maintenance and monitoring provider and showing that you are on top of the technological developments can only enhance their trust in you. 













 

How do I prepare my customers for the PSTN switch-off? 

The most important advice we can offer security installers is to act fast in preparing their customers for the PSTN switch-off. As mentioned above, BT is already well underway in its work on permanently closing the analogue network. 

We expect that there will inevitably come a point where too many installers are trying to switch their customers to digital communication all at once because they left it too late. That’s why we’re helping security installers to start the process right now, so you can get the essential work done well in time, before your competition.  

The first step is to reach out to our friendly team at enquiries@southernmonitoring.co.uk – we can look at the published information on exchange switchovers and advise how close it is coming to the area where you’re operating and when. That will help you put a timescale on your strategy to check your customers’ accounts and plan the necessary work 

Secondly, start talking to your customers now and give them a warning that this major change is coming – it may take them a while to fully understand what it means and make their own decisions about upgrading their security. This can actually provide an opportunity to begin a dialogue with your customers about their accounts, perhaps they’re due to book in a maintenance call or their security system is due to an upgrade anyway. 

Finally, make sure you are up to date on all the available options in the market. Many of the main suppliers have released devices to make upgrading to digital a simple process – it can even be a quick job too.  Whether you’re looking for Dualcom, Redcare, or parts from another equipment manufacturer we can help you with that too. 

To close, this is definitely coming our way so please don’t leave it too late to get the upgrades organised. Nobody likes to lose a customer! 

Why wait to get prepared?

We're working with the leading manufacturers to provide security systems that enable installers to provide the best protection to their customers. Plus, they can benefit from one of the best-in-class monitoring services in the UK, from our two fully-accredited ARCs.

We also offer a wide range of security solutions for homes and businesses, such as guard replacement, CCTV, personal safety, fire detection, and intruder alarm monitoring. 

You can always speak to one of our friendly agents to find out more about providing your customers with the best possible protection for their home or business.  Just contact us at enquiries@southermonitoring.co.uk or give us a call on 0844 871 2223.  

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