The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) Switch Off

What you need to know

The U.K.’s Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) infrastructure dates back to Victorian times and is undergoing the biggest transformation in over 100 years. Traditional telephone landlines or ‘copper wire’ are being replaced by IP fibre cable in order to provide better, faster services and clearer telephone calls.

Telephone exchanges are undergoing transformation work and ‘stop sell’ (stop sell being the term used by Openreach to signify the cessation of selling certain products or services). This does not mean that the product or service is completely withdrawn, and even when stop sell is applied, any customer already using the product will still be able to continue to use it until the product is withdrawn.

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Stop sell also means that you will no longer be able to facilitate working line takeovers, migrate a line, add or modify broadband to copper voice lines or add lines/channels to existing systems. Stop sells and withdrawals will largely be done on an individual exchange basis. You can find out more information about this on the Openreach website link below:

The changes in simple terms

What does this mean for SECOM’s monitored intruder & fire alarm customers?

Your phone/broadband services provider may be or may already have been in touch with you to transfer you from an analogue landline connection to a broadband connection – commonly known as ‘Digital Voice’, ‘IP Voice’ or other branded services such as ‘Sky Voice’ or ‘TalkTalk Voice’. These changes may affect services that have traditionally relied on the PSTN network and can include telecare, intruder alarm and fire alarm monitoring services.

secom intruder alarm

smart security panel

Your phone/broadband provider may advise you that existing PSTN / ISDN related services will be unaffected by their upgrading or changing your home/business router, however this is not necessarily always the case.

As your trusted security provider, we already have these checks in hand and will ensure that your monitored SECOM intruder alarm system remains operable after the planned PSTN switch off. In some instances, this may require SECOM to change your existing signalling equipment to either a compatible IP or GSM radio alternative.

So what happens next?

Don’t worry though, you do not have to do anything and where equipment needs to be changed to a compatible updated version, we will install a new signalling device and ensure that the new device meets or exceeds the polling performance of your existing device. SECOM will undertake these checks and replace signalling equipment if necessary, during one of your forthcoming planned maintenance inspections. If, for any reason, you do not want us to carry out this work, please contact us to inform us beforehand.

If you plan to change your phone/broadband service provider, you may need to contact us beforehand to arrange to undertake these checks ahead of your planned maintenance visit.

If you wish to discuss the changes and how they affect you in more detail, please email us at