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The switch to digital: how will it affect security?

In 2017, Openreach announced that they will be switching off analogue PSTN and ADSL lines in 2025. PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) lines were the traditional method of delivering telephone services and have been in use for over a century, with ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Lines) lines serving older internet connections. However, they have become outdated and the copper lines are no longer sufficient to provide the growing demand for faster connectivity and higher bandwidth.

Openreach is on course to replace all copper connections by the end of 2025, meaning analogue lines will become obsolete, as they are being replaced by digital technologies, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and fibre networks that offer more advanced features, increased reliability, and better quality of service.

The switch to digital allows for more efficient use of limited network space and cost savings for telecom providers. Digital technologies also provide greater security and allow for easier integration with other technologies, such as computers and the internet. As analogue lines are being phased out, many people are being encouraged to switch to fibre services.

What does this mean for security systems?

Many monitored CCTV systems use ADSL broadband lines to connect the control equipment to the internet, so that monitoring stations can dial in and view the cameras in real-time. In order to keep these monitoring services in place following the switch off, lines need to be upgraded to fibre (or FTTP). FTTP offers much higher speeds than traditional copper-based networks which is ideal for high-bandwidth applications including streaming video. Fibre-optic cables are also less susceptible to interference and signal degradation, and are more secure for sensitive data transmissions.

Numerous legacy intruder alarm systems use PSTN as a signalling channel to send alarm activations and notifications to Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) which will no longer signal once lines have been made redundant. It is therefore recommended to upgrade your signalling device. There are a variety of devices that use radio or IP paths to signal to ARCs, including the CSL Dualcom communicator, which is what we recommend for our customers at Watch Systems Ltd.


Watch Systems Ltd can help to prepare your premises for the transition to digital and ensure your security systems will continue to work as they should. For advice regarding the switch , contact us here.


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