Accularm Security Systems
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Protecting Families, Homes and Businesses Since 1978 

VOIP & Alarms

 


Warning!

 

Changing to VoIP telephone service will disrupt the communication of your traditional Burglar/Fire Alarm with our Monitoring Station!

 

What is VoIP?

VoIP is a new internet or cable phone service option available to anyone with a high speed modem. VoIP allows phone calls to be made over an internet connection instead of through traditional  phone lines. VoIP offers unlimited local, regional, and long distance calling within the US and Canada along with popular calling features, at an attractively low monthly rate when compared to traditional phone service. However, at this time VoIP is not fully regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), because it is viewed as a service option, not a primary means of telephone communication. Consequently, while there are standards being created to promote uniformity, there is nothing currently mandating that all VoIP service providers abide by these standards. The process of transmitting voice as digitized data used in VoIP has created an unreliable means of communication between security systems and monitoring centers. Many VoIP suppliers specify in their literature and websites that alarm systems should not be connected to VoIP. They encourage customers to keep one traditional phone line active for emergencies, such as 911 calls, which also may not always work with VoIP.

The following statements have been taken from the websites of companies offering VoIP:

 

Taken from AT&T U-verse Voice

 

  • Prior to your AT&T U-verse Voice installation, AT&T strongly recommends that you notify your alarm company of your switch to AT&T U-verse Voice service and your scheduled U-verse installation date in order for your alarm company to test and check the status of your alarm system with you prior to installation and once installation is complete. If your telephone number has changed, you will need to notify your alarm company to update your account with the new telephone number. Failure to notify your alarm company of a change of service or new telephone number could potentially impact your home alarm contract.
  • You will be responsible for testing your home alarm system with your alarm company after installation of AT&T U-verse Voice is complete, and on an ongoing basis.
  • If your alarm company determines that your existing alarm panel does not work with AT&T U-verse Voice, your alarm company may be able to install an alternative alarm panel that will work with AT&T U-verse Voice, or a panel that uses cellular phone service, or an IP-based panel that uses your Internet access service. (Talk to your home alarm company about these alternatives and any additional equipment and/or monitoring service charges). Note: If your alarm company installs an IP-based panel that will use AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet as the communications pathway, you must ensure you have functioning battery backup power for your Residential Gateway (and your Optical Network Terminal, if you have one) for your high speed Internet service to work with your alarm panel during a power outage. See learn more about AT&T U-verse Voice and Residential Gateway with Battery Backup.

Taken from Verizon Voice Wing

 

Verizon Voice Wing, as a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service, differs from regular telephone service.... Voice Wingwill not work if the power is out.... Voice Wing will not support home security systems.

Taken from Vonage.Com

 

A telephone based monitored alarm system uses a phone line to contact a central monitoring center in the event of a fire or break in. The monitoring station usually tries to contact the home owner to verify the event prior to contacting the police, fire department, or ambulance. "Vonage does not support the use of a telephone based monitored alarm system, and recommends against using a telephone based monitored alarm system with Vonage."

Taken from Comcast

 

Q: If my alarm system must be re-activated after my installation, will I be compensated since it's not the fault of my alarm company?

 

A: No, Comcast does advise customers prior to installation to contact their alarm company to inform them of the installation date and time. Your alarm company should make arrangements to be available on the day of your Comcast Digital Voice service installation.

 

Q: How does Comcast Digital Voice service work with monitored alarm systems?

 

A: Comcast Digital Voice works with most modern home alarm systems that use tone dailing and standard data protocols. Comcast does not guarantee that  Comcast Digital Voice (including, without limitation, the feed between the alarm panel and the Comcast supplied eMT A) will be uninterrupted or compatible with each and every make or model of home alarm systems.

 

The following information provides an overview of the potential problems associated with VoIP internet and cable phone service in relation to monitored alarm systems

Reasons why VoIP may not work with your alarm system

If the VoIP adapter was not correctly wired by your phone or cable technician at the time of installation.

• The VoIP adapter was wired correctly, but signals will still not go through for various reasons, such as the alarm user  accessing other internet services at the time an alarm is tripped.

• Even when internet or cable phone service is working fine, alarm signals may cease to transmit properly due to fluctuations in the signal compression technology that VoIP uses.

• VoIP providers use different internet communication methods, depending on cost savings, to carry their internet or cable phone service. The customer will not be aware of any alarm incompatible change until it is discovered that the alarm is no longer able to transmit signals.

• VoIP requires continuous power. If you lose power, you will not be able to use any phone equipment connected to VoIP. More importantly, the alarm system will not be able to send signals to the monitoring station.

• Traditional telephone line providers are required to have their own power supply and will always work in a typical power outage. VoIP is not currently required to have a backup power supply and may not work during a power outage.

 

There are several different options to consider in dealing with these issues, .ie keeping a traditional phone line active with a minimal plan to keep costs low, and/or Cellular backup technology. We usually recommend a combination of technologies working in tandem, so that in the event of failure in one path, there is another communication path for your alarm signals to take. Please call or email us if you have any further questions regarding your current alarm monitoring design.