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However, analogue telephone lines are gradually being phased out in favour of modern, high-speed fibre optic connections due to the latter's superior performance and efficiency.

Traditional analogue telephone services are being replaced with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology by fixed-line operators such as BT, Openreach and Virgin Media. Replacement has already started, and the upgrade of the entire UK network is expected to be completed by 2025. All analogue systems will need to be upgraded by this date.

Dual-tone multi-frequency (DTMF) signalling and a dial tone are the key operating requirements of a lift alarm system that uses an analogue telephone line, and many systems will also use the line's DC voltage.

While an "analogue telephone adaptor" (ATA) may be offered to support fibre connections by some providers, the dial tone and DTMF signalling still might not work. ATAs also run off the main's power, so you would need an alternative power supply if there was a problem with the main's power supply.

In the future, VoIP will be used over a fibre connection for lift alarm communication systems, but this is not currently widely available. Again, a backup power supply would still be needed for this type of hardware as fibre does not carry a voltage.

Transitioning from analogue telephone lines to fibre connections requires lift owners to take several necessary actions to ensure the continued safety and functionality of their lift alarm communication system, as the telephone line is the responsibility of the building owner. Here are the key steps lift owners should consider:

Assess current lift alarm system compatibility

Lift owners must assess their existing lift alarm systems to determine if they are compatible with fibre connections. If their systems are outdated or rely solely on analogue telephone lines, they may need to consider upgrading or retrofitting them to work seamlessly with the new fibre infrastructure.

Engage with telecommunications providers

Lift owners should proactively engage with local telecommunications providers to understand the timeline and scope of the digital switchover in their area.

Speak to your lift maintenance provider

They can offer valuable insights and support in adapting the lift alarm systems to the new communication infrastructure and advise on the equipment that can be fitted, such as GSM solutions.

Train staff and tenants

Properly educating building staff and tenants about the changes in lift alarm communication systems is essential. Training should cover how to use the upgraded system, what to expect during emergencies, and whom to contact in case of any issues.

 

YPO’s 882 Building Internal Fit-Out and Maintenance DPS can help you procure all works in relation to goods or passenger lift maintenance, inspection, or specification services. Contact our Buildings procurement team for FREE advice here.

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Author

Louise Hardcastle

Category Buyer for Buildings
YPO