Alertacall - Digital Switchover

In this section we look at what the technical changes are - why certain devices, such as hard wired alarms and warden intercoms, may become unreliable and the impact for residents in their own home. Digital Switchover - what is happening? Digital Switchover, is a term for a programme of changes that the telecommunications companies will be making to telephone lines in the UK. Over the next few years, internet connectivity will be enabled on every telephone line in the country and calls will be sent using ‘digital’ signals similar to those used in internet applications, such as Skype or WhatsApp. The upgrade will simplify the management of the telephone exchanges and make it easier for the telecoms companies to provide newer services in the future. How do telephone lines work now? Essentially, a landline telephone line is a thin copper wire that goes from a telephone exchange into a building. The traditional telephone lines are sometimes referred to as PSTN lines which stands for ‘Public Switched Telephone Network’. Currently, it is possible on a telephone line to: 1. make a traditional telephone call - using a traditional telephone 2. have an internet connection using a broadband router device Telephone lines carry an electrical current over them, which is why a traditional telephone has power and works when you lift the receiver. Telephones are powered by electricity from the telephone exchange, this is why your phone still often works even if you have a power cut in your area. “Noise” e.g your voice, is also turned into “pulses” in that current by your telephone and sent over the wire to the exchange. If the call is going to a traditional telephone line, the pulses are sent across that telephone line too and turned back into noise by the recipient’s telephone. Uses network packets for the internet and pulses for traditional phone lines. Sound is converted in to electrical pulses. Before Digital Switchover - without internet Before Digital Switchover - with internet 4 1 What is Digital Switchover?