Phone lines switched to modern network

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MANX Telecom has begun work on switching its Peel customers’ landlines to its next generation network (NGN).

This is part of a £25m programme to replace the entire fixed, mobile and broadband network with an IP (internet protocol) telecommunications system which will converge voice calls, data, television, and video, onto one network.

A spokesman for Manx Telecom said: ‘As telecommunications technology continues to develop NGN will benefit all of Manx Telecom’s customers and the island as a whole.’

Each of the island’s 55,000 landlines has to be switched from the existing network to NGN – a process known as migration. The migration process is the final phase of the NGN project and started with switching landlines from the Laxey exchange last December. All landlines are expected to have been migrated to NGN by the end of this year.

Work on the Peel exchange (numbers beginning with 84) started on March 10 and is due to be finished by April 4. The work is taking place between 8am and 5pm Monday to Friday with each line being taken out of service for a maximum of five minutes within this period.

Mike Readshaw, NGN programme manager, said: ‘Unfortunately, due to the size and complexity of the switch-over, Manx Telecom is unable to provide specific dates and times for the change-over of individual lines and we wish to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

‘Extensive testing has already taken place, so we do not envisage any further service disruption other than the initial switch-over. However, if customers do subsequently experience any problems with their service, we would ask them to phone our 24/7 local helpline on 624624 and follow the options for support.’

Customers should not notice any change with most phones and modems. However, some devices will not work on the new system.

A list of telephones that have already been tested on the new network can be found at www.manxtelecom.com/ngn

If your telephone is not listed, and you wish to test it, Manx Telecom has test lines at its Victoria Street shop in Douglas.

Business customers using third party supplied telecom equipment that currently connects to the fixed line network, are advised to contact their suppliers for confirmation that the equipment will be compatible with an IP based network. If your supplier is unable to help, contact Manx Telecom, providing details of the equipment in use, by emailing ngninformation@manx-telecom.com

The Manx Telecom website provides more information on the migration to NGN and will be updated frequently.

The purpose of changing to NGN is so people will be able to have their communications and entertainment via one network to make it simpler, faster, more accessible and affordable.

The NGN programme is one of the biggest technology investments the Isle of Man has ever seen.

Manx Telecom is entering the final stages of this project with the change-over of existing fixed line telephone exchange equipment to NGN.

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