We are just in the final stages of our VOIP deployment and I was wondering if anyones knows any legal reason (UK) why critical phones like security, firealarms, lift phones and intruder alarms can't be on VOIP?
All critical VOIP components and edge switches have UPS so it all works in a powercut.
If it is ok are there regulations we need to follow? Minimum uptime of UPS etc?
I'd rather avoid having to put in BT lines for all these systems.
I am not aware of such a restrictions. I've deployed such phones in several countries including UK. Some customers prefer to leave these on POTS as they feel they want them to continue to run in case of network outage that might take VoIP system down.
This doesn't answer the question in the UK; however, I'm adding a US answer in case others find this thread in the results.
In the US, there is NFPA 72 which most local ordinances are based on. The last updated in 2010 included guidance on carrier-side SIP with some contingencies such as a minimum of eight hours of battery runtime for the carrier NID equipment; however, it still requires a straight analog loop from the carrier demarc on. This forbids the customer from placing fire panels, and possibly alarms in some cases, through any customer VoIP or TDM equipment.
When I'm going through a design I always tell the customer to put elevators, fire panels, and alarm panels in traditional analog loops. If they push back I typically have them check with their fire inspector and/or whomever is managing their fire panel (e.g. SimplexGrinnell) for guidence. Even if they get an "it's ok" I ensure that I have my recommendation in writing. Nothing says lawsuit faster than someone stuck in an elevator.. or worse.
The only concern I would have is SRST registration time. If registered CUCM server is separated by WAN and that WAN link goes down these critical phones could have a few minutes of non-functional time. Just a thought.
Take a look at the following ofcom document regarding access to UK emergency services, the two specific attributes is that VoIP users are provided emergency access and caller location information, such that when you make an emergency call over VoIP that the call uses a local PTSN breakout, which could be an issue if you have a centralised cluster with no local PTSN breakout:
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