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Telephony, old and new

November 15th, 2021

The old
The UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has proposed stronger rules to protect the remaining, iconic, red phone boxes that are often used to symbolise life in the UK in supposedly more tranquil times.
These public payphone boxes may look like obsolete relics in an age of ubiquitous smartphones, but regulator Ofcom said they can still be a “lifeline” for people in need.
The regulator is proposing rules to prevent 5,000 call boxes in areas with poor mobile coverage from being removed from service. Phone boxes in areas with high incidents of accidents or suicide attempts will also be protected.

And the new
Telephony has in the last few years undergone perhaps the most significant changes since the first telephone call was made almost 150 years ago.
The adoption of voice over IP technology by public telephony providers and businesses has changed the telephony landscape, and the use of Internet telephony and video conferencing has become ubiquitous.
PTT’s new online course “Introduction to telephony” covers the principles of operation, structure, and management of both legacy circuit-switched systems and those employing voice over IP techniques.
Both private and public telephone networks are discussed providing a valuable introduction for technicians joining the telecoms and ICT sectors.


Full fibre deployment expansion

July 21st, 2021

Although the UK has been slow in deploying fibre to the premises (FTTP or “full fibre”) compared with some other countries, commercial investment in FTTP is gaining momentum with major investments by established and alternative network operators. Over 5 million premises are now within areas in the UK where a full fibre service is available.

The UK government’s industrial strategy has the aim of connecting 15 million premises to full fibre broadband by 2025 and provide full fibre broadband coverage across all the UK by 2033.

Such a deployment expansion will require many more personnel with the necessary skills and knowledge to install, test and maintain the access networks that deliver FTTP services.

Digital apprenticeships are an important supply route for trained personnel in the telecoms and ICT sectors and PTT courses provide a Covid-secure and cost-effective method of delivering the knowledge requirements of such apprenticeships.

PTT has just released a new online course “Telecoms testing and fault-finding” course which together with its companion course “Telecoms access networks” supports the delivery of the new Telecoms field operative apprenticeship standard.


Closure of the PSTN

July 15th, 2021

Ahead of its planned closure of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) in 2025, broadband provider Openreach is calling on UK businesses to start planning for life without the analogue phone network, by conducting an audit of their systems and devices to discover potential compatibility issues.

The analogue telephone service is being replaced with a voice over IP (VoIP) service delivered over broadband connections. Then telephones are plugged into a VoIP-enabled router instead of being connected to the copper telephone line.

Over 16 million telephone lines in the UK will need to be moved to a VoIP service to meet the 2025 deadline.
The migration to VoIP may impact services such as security and fire alarms, telecare devices and retail payment terminals which rely on some attributes of the PSTN that may not be fully replicated in VoIP-based platforms.
The PTT online courses “Voice over IP” and “VoIP systems” cover in detail the principles and provision of a public telephony service using VoIP.