May 22, 2018

Traffic lights and security alarms affected by BT switch-off

Traffic lights, cash machines and security alarms will all have to be changed after BT switches off its ageing voice telephone network in 2025. Openreach, the arm of BT that controls the national network, has said it is now too expensive to keep fixing the Public Service Telephone Network, the analogue service that still connects 16m homes and businesses in the UK. Instead, all lines will switch to a fully digital network. While the network was designed for voice services it is also used for security alarms, bus stops, cash machines, elevators, traffic lights, the safety pendants in disabled toilets and even sluice gates in rivers and canals. Ofcom, the regulator that typically deals with the telecoms and media industries, has been meeting with security and fire alarm associations and healthcare companies to warn them of the impending switch off. An all-digital voice service may appeal to business customers still on the older network but people with old fire alarms will see little benefit.

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