Many of our customers have been contacted by their phone or internet provider advising them that the PSTN network (underground copper phone lines) will be closing down and that they will be upgraded to a new service – voice calling over broadband. This has caused quite a bit of confusion for those of you that are busy or not especially tech-savvy and are not understanding what exactly the change is!
What is happening is that Chorus has started phasing out the traditional copper land line service to be completed by 2022, and replace it with an internet-based phone system. Vodafone and Spark have decided not to wait for Chorus’s PSTN shutdown and are currently starting to migrate customers to broadband phones. Essentially you will still be able to have the same phone number, it will just be run over a different network.
Although telecommunications providers have decided to upgrade to IP technology, the biggest drawback is that you will then rely solely on your internet modem and mains power electricity for your phone to work. Many parts of our country have poor cell phone and internet coverage, so Spark and Vodafone will need to mitigate issues with coverage and reliability.
A few important things to note:
- If you currently have your security alarm monitored through your copper phone line, this will stop working. In most instances, we have a solution available that can be fitted to your security alarm to send signals over the cell phone data network (GPRS).
- On the upside, your new monitoring connection via cell data network is tested by our monitoring station every three minutes (previous test was 24 hours!), and the connection is faster and independent of phone, internet and 230v power.
- This change will also affect medical alarms, dial up EFTPOS machines and older SKY boxes.
- You do not have to agree to be upgraded right now. The PSTN network is not being shut down until 2022 and they are progressively moving customers over, but you can OPT OUT until the end of your fixed contract if you choose to.
PSTN : Public Switched Telephone Network GPRS : Global Packet Radio Service.
United Security Northland – servicing the coast since 1979