Australia’s ISDN Sunset
Australia’s ISDN Sunset – From the end of August 2022 Telstra in Australia will no longer support the Integrated Services Digital Network – end users and their installer contractors need to ensure no security systems get caught up in the shut-down.
Telstra gave business a deadline of May 2022 to switch from ISDN data, voice, and signaling services but according to some installers, some customers still have not made the change. But they will need to act – Telstra will start pulling ISDN cable out of the ground to make way for NBN at the end of 2022.
Legacy fire alarms, security alarms, medical alarms and medical alarms are the sorts of items most likely to still reside on ISDN lines – particularly in semi-industrial applications, or on large sites, or in remote areas.
Navigating comms upgrades takes time – the easiest fix for most users given the sunset issues hanging over 3G will be making jump to 4G communicators, which are increasingly affordable, especially given the modest bitrates required by alarm communicators.
For end users it’s important to go through phone bills and hunt down any ISDN lines that remain live – in a large organisation with many sites this process is likely to be challenging. Something else to consider is what sort of services you’ll need to switch to – comms changes are an opportunity to future-proof business systems, and you will need to ensure that you don’t switch to a service that has a limited future.
You’ll also need to establish exactly what you’re using a comms path for, and what the needs of the location might be during the decision-making process. Something to bear in mind is that the heavy rain across Australia’s East Coast has highlighted the frailty of internet and wireless comms paths in highly localised ways. Establishing the most reliable comms solution for a site is likely to involve consideration of the challenges facing that region and if life safety is at stake, then a second technology may be required.
Users who don’t make changes to communications will find that services drop out – with alarm systems, this may breach duty of care or insurance policies and create serious business liabilities.
It’s possible that in remote applications workarounds can be found that allow sites to continue to use legacy copper as the pathway of a hybrid communications solution but ultimately these workarounds are a stop-gap, and should only be used during the time it takes for a reliable and future-proof solution to be found. SIP trunking is the modern equivalent of ISDN.
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