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Internet Phone Services

 Important notice:

Companies have been aggressively marketing the packaging of high speed internet/phone services/cable TV. This technology is VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) that converts analog telephone calls into digital packets which are transported over the Internet or a privately owned and managed network to the destination, where the packets are reconverted into an analog stream. 

According to the National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, “the alarm industry has found and reported a wide variety of problems with the transmission of alarm signal formats over VoIP”.  As different VoIP suppliers may use one of several compression format options, an alarm format may work well when connected to one vendor’s VoIP service, but not to another.  Without set standards across the VoIP industry, an individual company providing VoIP services may change its format at any time without notice to the alarm company or VoIP customer.  According to the National Fire and Burglar Alarm Association, “Then, one day, the cable company changes the codec (compression format) it is using, and your panels can no longer talk to the central station”.

To avoid conflicts with your security system and this evolving technology, it is recommended to maintain your existing phone line or install a cellular back-up transmitter for sending alarm signals.  Some national/international alarm companies are requiring the maintenance of traditional phone line services or the installation of a cellular back-up transmitter.  Organizations that establish standards applicable to the security industry currently accept only these methods for transmission of alarm signals. 

The NFBAA suggests that the following should be considered before installing VoIP:

  • It may be difficult for you to connect with a local 911-dispatch center or for the

dispatch center to identify the location of the Internet based 911 call.

  • In addition to alarm system battery back-up equipment, VoIP may need additional

battery back-up to maintain communications in the event of a power outage.

  • There could be costs and modifications for your alarm system to communicate

through VoIP.

If you decide to install VoIP services:

  • Make sure the company installing the VoIP knows that you have an alarm system.
  • If a phone number change is required when switching to VoIP, make sure to notify your security company about this change.
  • As always, after any phone work, please test your system and verify that it is working to your satisfaction, prior to letting your phone services technician leave the premises. Then continue to test regulary.

 

Thank you