IP Voice testing
++++IMPORTANT UPDATE: Openreach priority message to alarm users in trial areas of Salisbury & Mildenhall – important action++++
Action is needed from alarm companies in the migration trial areas of Salisbury and Mildenhall, where signalling equipment MAY NOT work or is INCOMPATIBLE with the ALL-IP environment.
Openreach are reaching out to alarm companies to see if you would be willing and/or able to share with Openreach the end phone numbers of any customers with alarms, that need to be given special care if in case the lines were cut off.
The Openreach note reads:
Openreach had previously intended to cease all remaining “in scope” copper assets (WLR only) within the Salisbury and Mildenhall trial areas in April 2023. By “in scope” we mean assets within the fibre footprint (Full fibre for Salisbury, Full fibre or a fibre alternative for Mildenhall) who have not had an exemption granted – for example where a key piece of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) will not work in an All-IP environment. Despite ongoing communications from our Communication Providers (CPs) to engage their customers, there are still a number of customers who have not responded. We are therefore looking at ways to prompt end customers to have a conversation with their CP about next steps. These include slowing the broadband speed, and / or routing non Freefone numbers directly to the CP. Once CPs engage with their customers in Salisbury and Mildenhall they will either move them to full fibre (in Salisbury) or a fibre alternative (in Mildenhall) or, if alarm customers and they cannot move to an All-IP product, apply to us for an exemption (removing them from risk of cessation or service degradation). We are trying to further identify these alarm customers, which is why we are reaching out to you.
As per previous conversations, it is important that alarm customers (users of alarm devices) are not impacted by these changes.
We would be grateful if could you identify alarm users in the Salisbury and Mildenhall areas (identifiable by having a 01722 or 01638 telephone number dialling code). Clearly, we do not need sensitive name and address detail, just the customers telephone number. If you can share this information or have any queries, please send it to our ALL-IP enquiries email.
The transformation of the UK’s telephone service from analogue to digital voice is well under way with its target completion still set to be achieved by the end of 2025. The Openreach initial trials of the digital access network in Salisbury and Mildenhall paved the way for the ‘learning process’ ready for the full transformation to come.
So whilst testing of alarm signalling equipment on these emerging digital services is important, it is vital that installers/maintainers of security systems assess their signalling systems ‘estate’ with respect to any risks that the change to digital voice may identify.
Some Communication Providers (CP’s) are also being cautious in their approach to end-users in alerting them to the possible impacts of connected alarm systems (more commonly known as Special Services in the comms world), some going as far as advising against upgrading their service if such systems are connected whilst in these early testing stages.
We have also recently updated our industry supported guidance and top tips on how to stay safe and secure.
Digital Voice - important considerations to accompany the notification of testing the alarm
- Testing is undertaken on the Communication Providers (CP’s) own digital voice service and does not account for other CP’s digital platforms or all permutations of network hopping / routing.
- Consideration should also be given to testing on a CP’s residential and commercial service (where provided) for any differences in performance
- Products that have been tested and deemed to operate, do not provide a guarantee of operation on all digital networks.
- Digital voice services deployed at the premises may require consideration of back-up power to network equipment (such as a router / hub) used to transmit alarm messages off site.
- The alarm company should be consulted when any changes to the phone service / network is changed.
- Wiring configurations at the alarmed premises are likely to be affected as a result of the change to a digital voice service
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