How to prepare your restaurant for the digital switchover

How to prepare your restaurant for the digital switchover

We are in the midst of a telecommunications revolution. Similar to when the UK made the switch from analogue to digital TV, the same is now happening for landlines that are connected using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – and it’s about time! We explore everything you need to know about preparing your restaurant for the digital switchover.

What does the digital switchover mean for restaurants?

Whilst technology has advanced dramatically over the last few decades, the complexity of the telecommunications industry means it’s been hard for it to keep up. The current technology is old, costly and difficult to maintain, which is why the digital switchover is both timely and important. 

When does the digital switchover happen?

All analogue telephone services accessed by the PSTN will be switched off by 2025, and whilst many know about the impact it will have their phone lines, few know about other important implications – like how it will impact a business’s security. 

Adapt to make sure changes don’t impact your business

The digital switchover will help bring telecommunications systems into the 21st century, but there are other implications for those in the hospitality industry. All devices that currently connect to the PSTN – whether that be telephone handsets, ePOS systems or alarm systems – will need reconnecting, upgrading, or replacing. Otherwise, the digital switchover becomes the digital switch off.

The move to a digital phone network will have an impact on any security system that is remotely monitored through a landline. For many restaurants, this could include CCTV, access control, fire and smoke alarms, security monitoring and police response systems. Ensuring security devices are able to connect to the new digital network, will minimise downtime and ensure a business remains protected and not vulnerable to theft or damage.

It is vital for both security protection and insurance reasons to ensure that the process of upgrading systems to those compatible with the switchover is completed in time. Put simply, insurance policies will be at risk of being invalid if a business doesn’t switch to a fully compliant system. 

For those in the restaurant business, this is even more important. With ovens and stoves being used on a daily basis, the risk of fire is even greater than in a normal business. If insurance policies aren’t valid because the fire and smoke alarm system hasn’t been upgraded restaurants could make themselves vulnerable to losing protection and money. 

Luckily, most security companies are already fully prepared for the digital switchover. It’s a simple case of contacting your existing supplier or reaching out to a new supplier who can make these changes for you. For example, with ADT it can take less than two weeks for your system to be upgraded. Simply fill out the online form and the team will organise a free security audit to be conducted at a time that best suits you. Once this has been done, their security expert will be able to advise on the best security package to suit your business needs and be fully compatible with the digital switchover – with minimal impact and downtime for your business.

The digital switchover is a much-welcomed modernisation and will bring many benefits for those in the hospitality sector. Even though 2025 may seem far away, the switchover is happening gradually from now across the country – so it’s worth considering getting ahead of the curve and upgrading your systems sooner rather than later.

By Peter Stanton, Security Systems Product Manager at ADT