NextAlarm Monitoring Services, Inc. today issued a statement commenting on AT&T’s request to shut down the traditional phone line network. The request, made to the FCC in December 2009, outlined the need for a specific date on which support for PSTN telephone lines would cease. Doing so would allow AT&T and other major telecommunications carriers to extend broadband Internet coverage across the entire U.S. Voice over IP (VoIP) phone services would replace traditional phone lines nationwide. The FCC’s own National Broadband Plan, documenting the path to complete broadband coverage, calls the PSTN network "unsustainable."
NextAlarm is an alarm monitoring service provider and technology developer offering service across North America.
"This obviously has huge ramifications for the alarm industry," stated NextAlarm CEO Alex Elliot. "VoIP just isn’t suited for traditional alarm communications. Some signals might get through, but many won’t. Most systems out there will stop working reliably as POTS goes away. That’s even worse than if they stop working entirely. A customer could test one day and be told that everything is working, then have a break-in that night, only to find that their system can’t report the alarm. Cellular communicators and dedicated IP systems are a solution, but expensive, and time-consuming to install. Solutions like our VoIPAlarm platform are becoming more and more important to companies looking to keep their existing customers without replacing entire systems."
VoIPAlarm, an operating unit of NextAlarm, uses patented technology to convert existing phone line-based systems to use broadband Internet to communicate. The technology works with most existing alarm systems, including two-way voice and PERS, and adds additional features such as email and SMS notifications of alarm events, an online signal history, and automated voice notifications of non-emergency events. Systems using VoIPAlarm continue to send signals to the same dispatch center they used when communicating over a phone line, and provide line security, which is not available with POTS signaling.
VoIPAlarm provides true line security as the service "contacts" the adapter multiple times every hour. If for any reason the adapter does not respond, the Central Station and customer can be notified that there is a problem with the connection. This could be due to a broadband failure, a power outage, or other problem on site.
VoIPAlarm is also compatible with NextView, a budget-priced video monitoring product offered by NextAlarm. Up to sixteen cameras can be tied into the existing alarm system, offering a live video feed, as well as event-based video and archived video for up to two months. Video can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet, or on an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch, using the Apple-approved NextView app.