Emergency Lift Phones | PSTN Replacement Gateways | Essential Services

The nbn™ network will soon replace most existing fixed phone (PSTN) and internet networks. When your premises are switched over to the nbn™ network, it may, unless you have already taken appropriate corrective action, affect the compliant operation of “Essential Services” such as your Emergency Lift Phones.

Equipment connected over the nbn™ network will not work during a power blackout.

Devices that are affected by power loss
If you use any of the following equipment, you should talk to Odessi Group about whether your device will work when connected to the nbn™ network and what alternative solutions are available if it doesn’t. Certain devices, including those of that are safety-critical such as medical alarms, may not be compatible with the nbn™ network at all times (including, but not limited to, during a power blackout). The links below contain more information:
• Lift emergency phone
• Medical alarm, autodialler or emergency call button
• Security alarm
• EFTPOS or health claim terminal
• Monitored fire alarm
• Fax and teletypewriter devices
• Other devices

We are getting the NBN™ network connected to our building, do I need to do anything?
Yes, you may need to upgrade your lift’s emergency phone to make sure passengers can contact the call centre at any time about a breakdown, even in a power failure. This will depend on the type of service you are being supplied; see the above point.

How will the NBN affect my lift?
Unlike the previous copper network, the NBN does not guarantee continuity of service during a power outage.
In many cases, existing infrastructure for lift emergency phones, fire alarm panels, back to base security systems, medical alert systems and landline phones can no longer be relied upon in such situations once the NBN has been connected.

What do I need to do to prepare for NBN?
Visit the NBN Co Fire and Lift Register and register your lift emergency phone.
This will ensure that NBN Co is aware that your phone line is being used as a lift emergency phone and that NBN Co will provide only a temporary deferral of the disconnection date.

Do I need to change my current lift emergency phone?
In most cases, existing lift emergency phones will not operate reliably in NBN connected premises. Contact Odessi to discuss the requirements of lifts in your building or refer to the Department of Communications Migration Guide.

How long do I have until I need to update my lift emergency phone?
Provided your Device has been registered with NBN, NBN Co will allow a transition period of 18months from the time of NBN connection to the disconnection of the copper network.
For lift emergency phones, which have been registered with NBN Co, an extension period will be granted until July 2017, or 18 months after NBN connection (whichever is the latter).

What happens if I do not register my Device?
Disconnection from the copper network will take place automatically once the NBN completes its installation. So, if your building is already connected to the NBN™ then the chances are that your lift phone has been migrated to the NBN™ fibre and as such will not operate in the event of a power failure. If your emergency telecommunication systems are working, it may be because the existing copper-based public switched telephone network (PSTN) is yet to be disconnected. In such a case the risk remains that your emergency telecommunication systems will no longer work when the PSTN is disconnected.

Why do I need to upgrade my emergency telephone?
The telephone is an integral part of your lift’s safety system which allows trapped passengers to call for help. The emergency telephone must be operational at all times, even in a power outage.
While the existing PSTN line usually works during a power outage due to telephone exchanges having their own backup power, the NBN™ network uses fibre optic technology in parts of the network, which cannot carry power. Therefore, many buildings will no longer have a landline that works during a power outage.
FTTB, FTTN or HFC type connections, will not work in the event of power failure anywhere along the line. To ensure the lift’s passengers can call for help to our 24/7 call centre, it is imperative buildings which receive these connection types upgrade their lift’s emergency telephone system. Not doing so could be a breach of your obligations under workplace health and safety legislation. NBN recommends that you should consider keeping a charged mobile phone in case there is a power outage of any sort. (Inside a Lift – mobile phones may not work in the event of a power failure in a building)

When do I need to upgrade my lift’s emergency telephone? 
Act NOW – We recommend that upgrade your lift’s emergency telephone system at any time prior to migrating to the NBN™ network. In that way, you will not need to register add an additional NBN fibre connection and organise the changeover or a new subscription with a Retail Service Provider (RSP)

What is my Duty of Care?
In New South Wales, SafeWork NSW makes the following statements:
People with management or control of lifts, escalators and moving walkways have duties to ensure they operate safety and are regularly inspected and maintained.
MUST DO’S
There are specific laws about working with plant.
Lift emergency communication systems
Every lift must have an emergency communication system to enable assistance in the event that passengers are trapped.
Information is available regarding the potential risks to health and safety when migrating emergency telecommunication systems to the nbn network.

Who is liable for the new equipment and service charges?
Unless otherwise stated, the owner of the lift is responsible for all modifications, upgrades and service charges associated with lift hardware.

What is the solution? 
The industry standard is to install equipment that provides a 3G or 4G wireless connection for the lift emergency phone. For buildings that require an alternate pathway, Odessi has two main solutions available to ensure your lift’s emergency telephone lines continue to work under all conditions. 
The first solution is to replace your existing PSTN line with a 3G or 4G dual-path gateway. This unit which has battery backup, simulates the existing PSTN line but has no requirement to connect to the NBN™, meaning it can be a standalone system. It uses cellular networks, like that of your mobile phone. By utilising dual-path technology with sim cards from separate providers, the system allows for unforeseen circumstances such as one of the mobile networks not being available when you need it most.
The second option is to install just a single path wireless gateway. This solution may be suitable where there is only one lift connected to the phone line and in areas of reliable network coverage.

What is the advantage of acting now?
You do not risk having your service disconnected.

Who organises the SIM card?
Odessi is able to provide two separate SIM cards, included in the install of your Wireless Gateway. These SIM cards are chosen by Odessi to be compatible with the nearest existing Carrier Base Station(s) serving your area. Having two separate radios and two separate carriers, provides the peace of mind that the Wireless Gateway will automatically select the best signal at any given time when a call is initiated.
During installation, our technicians will test and confirm the signal strength at potential installation sites for the Wireless Gateway. This ensures the best possible coverage for your PSTN replacement.

Will my existing lift emergency phone work on the new NBN™ network?
Generally, no, the phone cannot be relied upon to work at all times on a new phone service provided over the NBN™ network, because the NBN™ network is not guaranteed to work in the event of a power failure or blackout.
If you are provided with a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) connection, please ask your service provider if they will supply a UNI-V port with battery backup. It is only available for a small amount of connections.

How do I know when the NBN™ network is available in my area?
Rollout plans and times differ depending on your area. You can find out when your area will be ready for the NBN™ network by inputting the building’s address on the nbn’s website at the following link: http://www.nbnco.com.au/

Why can’t I just connect a battery backup to the equipment in my building?
Connecting a battery backup to the equipment inside your building will only protect the line from a power outage related to the building. If there is a power outage anywhere along the supply route for the telephone line (e.g. in the NBN™ network in the street and beyond) the telephone may not work and you may not know about it. (The Odessi Dual SIM Wireless Gateway is constantly monitoring both Cellular Radios as well as the state of the battery. Additionally, any change of state is transmitted through to the Odessi Monitoring Platform.

Mobiles work poorly in lifts – how does the Odessi Wireless 3G Gateway solution get around this?
Odessi’s 3G/4G Wireless Gateway uses a much larger external antenna than is found in a typical mobile phone, so it achieves better reception and transmission. Also, in most cases, the wireless gateway will be installed away from the machine room or the top of the lift shaft where the signal may be stronger.

Can I use any other systems such as VoIP?
Using VoIP doesn’t address the key issue which is that devices and services connected over the NBN™ network not working during a power outage

What about the NBN™ Power back–up capability?
While the nbn™ network has in-built power resiliency in parts, it’s not within nbn’s control to guarantee power at both ends of the network at all times.

Can I use one device to connect multiple lifts or other pieces of equipment like my alarm?
The lift industry standard is for all lifts to have their own dedicated gateway. Therefore, it is not recommended to install one gateway for multiple lifts or to connect other equipment to the same gateway. The gateway must be dedicated for one lift only.

How do I know what type of connection or service I am receiving?
The best way of determining your connection type (FTTB/FTTN/FTTP etc.) is to contact the retail service provider (RSP) for your phone and internet service, e.g. Telstra, Optus, TPG, etc. Please note only a small amount of connections are receiving FTTP connections with a battery backup as an option and all other connections will need to upgraded.

Can I migrate to the 3G solution early?
Yes, you can now migrate to the Odessi 3G/4G solution. By migrating directly to a Wireless Gateway, you will be able to have the peace of mind that your service will be available at all times unlike the NBN which will not be available in the event of a power failure on your premises.

How long is 3G technology going to be supported?
There is currently no concrete plan for the decommissioning of the 3G networks. Telstra has recently commented at a recent CommsDay Summit conference, “As we go beyond 2020 there’s [also] a time when we’ll need to shut down our 3G network, save some of those costs and reuse some of those network assets.” The Odessi Solution will also work on the 4G Network when it provides the ability to deliver voice services.

hat information do I need to order my solution online?
If you wish to order your solution online through Odessi, please provide the following information onto the Order Acceptance Form and Email Us at info@odessigroup.com
• Address of the building to be connected
• Site contact person, their role, email address and phone number
• Existing Lift manufacturer and lift maintenance provider’s details
• Billing details including company name, ABN, contact person and mailing address
• Lift’s existing telephone number (if you do not have this, you can hold down the alarm button in the lift car for 5 seconds and ask your Lift Maintenance Customer Care Centre.
• Purchase order number (if applicable)
• Strata plan number (if applicable)
• Lift number (if possible) – you may be able to find this in the display of your lift car’s control panel

What happens if I don’t upgrade my emergency telephone?
In most cases, if the emergency telephone is not upgraded, the lift telephone will continue to work under normal conditions (though it won’t automatically be moved over to the NBN™ network, and will be totally disconnected 18 months after the NBN™ network becomes available to your building).
Additionally, in the event of a power failure in your building or anywhere along the supply route for the telephone line, the lift emergency telephone may not work and any passengers trapped inside the lift may not be able to call for help.

Who pays for the cost of the new equipment?
The upgrade to the NBN™ network was initiated by the Australian Government. As with all of the hardware on your elevator system, the customer owns the lift telephone, therefore the cost of upgrading the system must covered by the customer. During meetings with NBN™ Odessi has been informed that cost is the lift owner’s responsibility. Odessi has a number of plans available with varying costs as shown within the PSTN Replacement Flyer.

Further questions?
If you have any further questions regarding your Essential Services and the NBN™ network migration, please register your details with us and someone will be in contact with you as soon as possible. You may also refer to the Australian Department of Communications FAQ on the Migration of Monitored Fire Alarms and Lift Phones

Other providers are already offering NBN™ lift emergency phone solutions.
Many of the solutions that are currently available do not meet proposed changes to building legislation.
Whilst Lift vendors are currently testing compliant solutions and will have several compatible solutions available sometime in the future, Odessi has the only ACMA approved, monitored, dual carrier wireless PSTN replacement solution available today.
Additionally, some Lift vendors are providing Tri/Multi-Operator SIMS, these SIMs are not fit for purpose and are unable to guarantee Quality of Service and are generally UK or US based numbers generally sold to travellers (backpackers). Devices that use Multi Oprator SIMs will regularly re-boot to search for an alternate network.
Radiocommunications devices suitable for use in Australia will bear either the C-Tick, A-Tick or the RCM regulatory compliance marks.

The compliance mark can be on a label affixed to the device, an electronic symbol where the screen has a display or included in the documentation of the device.
The type of compliance mark will depend on when the device was first supplied to market and what, if any, additional features the device has. The RCM has been introduced as a single compliance mark from 1 March 2013 replacing over time all other compliance marks. Radiocommunications devices will bear the C-Tick or RCM. Radiocommunications devices that are also telecommunications devices will bear the A-Tick or the RCM.
The use and (sometimes) possession of radiocommunications equipment not specifically designed to comply with Australian standards may be illegal. There are penalties for operation, possession for the purpose of operation and supply of radiocommunications equipment that does not comply with applicable Australian standards. The Radiocommunications Act prescribes penalties of up to $18,000 for breaches of the Act, including supply of product without a lable, applying a lable before satisfying requirements of the EMC LN and failing to keep records.

Definitions

• nbn is the new National Broadband Network (NBN™ network)
• Lift emergency telephone is the device which is operated by holding down the lift car’s alarm button for 5 seconds. It connects passengers inside the lift to a permanently staffed call centre which will organise a technician to respond to a lift breakdown
• FTTP is Fibre to The Premise
• FTTN is Fibre to The Node
• FTTB is Fibre to the Building
• HFC is Hybrid-Fibre Coaxial (e.g. Telstra/Foxtel cable network)
• UNI-V is an NBN User Network Interface – Voice
• Wireless network is a 3G or 4G network also used for mobile phone connections
• Emergency telephone gateway is a device which simulates the operation of your existing telephone PSTN connection.
• PSTN is a Public Switched Telephone Network – the landline telephone connection in most buildings.
• Battery Backup – capable of standby operation in the event of power outage for a minimum of 4 hours, including 1 hour of talk-time.
• Power outage refers to the loss of power not only in your building but anywhere along the RSP’s network
• RSP is a retail service provider who supplies your building the phone and internet service