The Digital Switchover: What It Means for TASK Connect Telecare Clients

The digital switchover refers to the transition from traditional analogue phone lines that use the copper landline network (Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN) to digital (IP-based) networks throughout the UK. The transition is particularly important for telecare users as it impacts how telecare systems operate and connect to monitoring centres. Originally planned for completion by December 2025, the deadline has now been pushed back to January 2027 following incidents where telecare devices stopped working. Further information about the industry wide change can be found on the UK government website. Ofcom, the UK Communications regulator, also has details about moving landlines to digital on their website. 

As regards TASK Connect’s UK customers, the transition will affect those who have been using an analogue landline via the old copper phone networks to connect their telecare device to the monitoring center. However, if you are already using your broadband service to connect, you should not be affected.

To check your connection type, look to see if your telecare alarm connects to the back of a broadband hub at home. Please note that although not shown in the picture below, it will also have a cable running from the telecare base unit into a standard electrical socket. If it does, you likely have a broadband system and don’t need to take any further action other than continuing your monthly test call on the telecare unit.

If you are unsure about what type of alarm system you have, you can call us at 028 2036 0280 for confirmation.

Picture: Broadband Router (Left) and Telecare Base Unit (Right). Please note that although not shown here, there will also be a cable from the telecare base unit into a standard electrical socket.

TASK Connect’s Landline and Digital Telecare Systems

Unlike the last generation of analogue-only telecare alarms that would need to be completely replaced once a person switches from the old analogue phone network to a digital service, since 2018, TASK Connect has been supplying digital telecare systems manufactured by TeleAlarm (pictured below) that are compatible with both analogue landline and digital phone lines. This forward-thinking approach means that most of TASK Connect’s Northern Ireland and UK clients, can continue to use their existing telecare system, and should experience minimal disruption during the digital switchover.

What If I Am Currently Using An Analogue Landline?

If you are a TASK Connect client, currently using a landline without a digital service for your telecare connection, providing you are using the TeleAlarm unit (pictured below) in most cases only a minor reconfiguration of your existing system should be necessary when your services switch to digital. In most cases, the same alarm unit can still be used, but a new cable will need to be purchased to complete the switchover. If you are unsure, or if you have a different telecare alarm with TASK Connect, please contact us.

Pictured: The TeleAlarm Digital Telecare Alarm, supplied to many TASK Connect customers throughout the UK

Steps to Take Once Your Broadband Provider Contacts You About the Switchover

  1. Contact TASK Connect: Once your broadband provider informs you about the switchover, promptly call TASK Connect to arrange for a new cable to be sent to you.
  2. Receive Your New Cable: TASK Connect will mail you a new cable (with a £15 charge to cover the cable and postage) along with comprehensive instructions for switching your telecare system to the digital service.
  3. Reconfigure Your System: Follow the provided instructions to reconfigure your telecare system. Typically, this involves scheduling a call with our technical support team, who will guide you through the process. If you need assistance from a friend or family member, inform us so we can coordinate with them. Rest assured, most of the work will be handled by our team in the background, requiring you to press just a few of the large coloured buttons on the front of your telecare unit, to ensure a smooth transition.

Considerations for Power Outages

Although the TASK telecare alarm does have a backup battery, it is important to note that unlike the old analogue systems which worked over the copper network, in a power outage, the digital alarm is unlikely to work unless the broadband service has a backup battery to keep the service functioning. You will need to check this with your broadband provider to ensure continuous protection during power outages or take extra precautions during such times, such as ensuring someone checks on you more often. Also try to keep a mobile phone close at all times, if possible.

Additional Protection with GSM Backup

For customers seeking extra protection during digital service disruptions, TASK supplies an IP telecare alarm with a GSM backup. This system uses the mobile network as a backup, so that even if the broadband service fails, your telecare alarm will still function through the mobile network. Further, we only use multi-network SIM’s, so your telecare alarm will attach to the strongest available UK phone network, increasing the likelihood of your call getting through – even in areas with low signal strength or at times when certain mobile phone networks may be congested.

The digital switchover is a significant change, but with TASK Connect’s forward-compatible telecare systems that we have been supplying for over five years, throughout Ireland and the UK, the transition should be smooth and straightforward for our clients. By ensuring your system is reconfigured and equipped with the necessary cables, you can continue to benefit from reliable and advanced 24/7 telecare support.

For more information or assistance, please contact TASK Connect directly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content