The Queensland government has set aside AU$3 million in its budget to replace the fire alarm monitoring service for over 6,500 buildings such as hospitals, schools and shopping centres.
The move was prompted by Telstra's decision to decommission its Voice Grade Dedicated Line effective 31 December 2009, according to a Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) spokesperson.
The QFRS was advised of the decommissioning of the line, which is used to send alarm signals to a fire communication centre, in April 2007 and started replacing it immediately with a managed alarm system.
The service between the Kedron headquarters and the seven regional communications sites was finished by October 2007, after which planning for replacement of the line to the alarmed premises began, with an implementation phase beginning in March.
The new system will improve the service according to the spokesperson, by allowing for a backup line at the premises and providing a more reliable alarm signal, while remote areas which haven't previously had a fire alarm monitoring system will now be serviced for the first time.
The QFRS will have complete control over the service, the spokesperson said — previously the premises had individual contracts with Telstra.
The QFRS-managed service will be cheaper than the Telstra equivalent in most cases, with ROI expected by 2009/2010.