By Alastair Stannah, Managing Director, Stannah Lifts Distribution & Service
The digital switchover of telephone lines in the United Kingdom is happening now. By 2025, Openreach will have phased out all copper analogue telephone lines in favour of optical fibre networks. Many building managers may already be aware of the need to change phone lines in the building, but some may not have realised that their lifts will be affected by the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) switch off.
As part of the Remote Alarm on Passenger and Goods Passenger Lifts Standards EN 81-28 (2003), all lifts in the UK are required to have an emergency alarm that was traditionally connected to a rescue service via telephone. With the analogue to digital switchover, lift owners must now manage the transition of their emergency alarms from analogue phone lines to other digital alternatives. Choosing the right solution ahead of time is becoming essential for building owners and managers to keep their lifts compliant and their passengers safe.
Why the switchover is happening
In November 2017, BT Openreach announced that traditional copper-based telephony lines, which includes PSTN lines, would be phased out and eventually deactivated by the end of December 2025. New analogue telephone lines have not been installed in the UK for some years, but due to a rolling programme for telephone exchanges, a total national “stop sell” is planned for September 2023. Then, at the end of 2025, all support for analogue lines will be removed.
Phasing out the UK’s ageing network of copper will help Openreach prioritise the development of optical fibre networks for high-speed broadband in the United Kingdom and meet the government target for at least 85% of UK premises to have access to gigabit-broadband by 2025.