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“The UK’s fixed broadband networks have seen significantly more demand, with average monthly data usage increasing almost 80% in two years. It now stands at 429 GB per connection, up from 315 GB last year (itself up from 241 GB in 2018)”

Ofcom – Connected Nations 2020: UK report 2020

Modern Britain has an insatiable appetite for bandwidth and data, a situation exposed and exacerbated by events in 2020.

Because of our demand for digital access and the ever increasing needs of new technology for fast connections Openreach have committed to upgrading their networks to full fibre from copper wires by 2025.

What does that have to do with my insurance?

It’s important to ensure that this kind of change doesn’t affect one important part of your business that many companies may overlook as the engineers bring us faster internet.

If you have a property alarm that alerts a third party in the event of being triggered then this change may have an impact on your insurance.

Notification Alarms or Alarm Transmission System (ATS) as they may also be known are alarms that alert a third party when they are triggered, this can be a call centre, yourself or the police. But BT’s planned changes may leave you dangerously exposed.

As the copper lines are turned off and removed your alarm may lose its connection to the outside world, not only meaning that no one gets the alert in the event of the alarm being set off, but it may also mean that your insurance is no longer valid, leaving your business without help and exposed when you need it most.

This is because some insurers insist on the added protection of what’s called a dual path alarm system.

A dual path system is an alarm that has more than one connection to the UK communications network.

What alarms are known to be affected?

Single path alarms are alarm systems with only one connection to the world and these systems are most likely to suffer when the change happens in your area.

These are systems like Connected / Self Response Alarms, Digital Communicators (DigiCom), Digi-Air, Redcare or Redcare (Classic).

What should I do next?

If you are using one of these alarms or a similar single path system, we highly recommend that you reach out to your insurer and alarm provider to ask about dual path systems (alarms with more than one connection to the outside world).

In fact, the two largest players in the property security industry Redcare and Dual-Com have already made new systems available to the market based on newer technologies.

Call your insurer to see if your alarm needs changing and if it does, contact your security provider to enquire about a dual path system as soon as possible.

Because even though Openreach plans to complete by 2025 the new communications network may arrive in your area earlier.

They have already stopped selling access to the old PSTN connection to businesses in over 160 locations, and will stop across the entire UK in 2023.

Openreach have also started to switch their exchanges at Sailsbury and Mildenhall over to the new fully fibre system.

Do you need to talk to a qualified insurance advisor about your business’s alarm requirements?

We’re ready to help call 020 3883 7976 any weekday 9am to 5:30pm or complete the form below to book a call back and an FSB Insurance Service agent can help you today.