Dear United Alarm Subscriber:
As you may be aware several changes are occurring in the telecommunication industry. The new telephone service being offered is called "Voice over Internet Protocol" (VoIP), or Internet telephone service. Because your security system communicates to our central station over telephone lines, you need to be aware how this may affect the communications of your alarm system.
Security alarms systems Today are manufactured to transmit signals over a "Plain Old Telephone Service" (POTS line), This is the industry standard. The new unregulated telephone service providers have not given proper considerations to you the alarm subscriber and the security industry itself when setting up their networks.
There are several things that need to be considered. First, what happens when your electric goes out? If there is no power to the Internet device an alarm signal cannot be transmitted. Secondly, the Internet can be down. If it is NOT working, signals cannot be passed. Next, an alarm cannot properly seize the phone line during an alarm condition. (This means that if someone picks up a telephone when an alarm occurs they can disrupt the transmission to our central station.) Also, if the VoIP phone line is unplugged for whatever reason, your alarm will not be able to transmit signals. Finally, there are some conditions, which make it totally impossible to receive signals from or download to your system (a feature which enables us to make program changes to your system from our office). The providers of this service currently say that their systems are "not compatible" or "will not support" security alarm systems
VoIP MAY NOT WORK WITH SOME ALARM SYSTEMS and MAY NOT BE SUPPORTED BY SOME PROVIDERS:
"Other restrictions may apply. Service will not function during a power or broadband service outage and is not compatible with home security systems. Service's 911 Emergency Dialing operates differently from traditional 911 Service. " A T&T Call Vantage
"Verizon VoiceWing, as a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) service, differs from regular telephone service . . . VoiceWing will not work if power is out. . . VoiceWing will, not support home security systems."
"Cablevision does not support the use of Optimum Voice as the connection between a customer's home security system and central station monitoring, and will neither connect to such services nor provide technical support. If you have a monitored alarm system.please notify the technician before he/she begins connecting the Optimum Home Wiring Solution."
"Cablevision does not guarantee that Optimum Voice will function as the connection between home security or emergency medical alert systems and central monitoring services, and will neither connect to such services nor provide technical support for the connection."
If you choose VoIP for your phone service please notify us upon ordering the service. It is imperative that certain changes are made to the way your phone lines are connected to your alarm system. Also, your system must be properly tested to verify signals are received properly. Some alarm panels may not work with a VoIP.
For VoIP users, there are several recommendations we are making to improve your security. First, use your VoIP line as a second phone line. Retain the first line for incoming calls and your alarm system. In most situations, NO change is needed. Secondly, install an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to your VoIP device. (In the event of a power outage this unit will provide back up power to the device. The larger the UPS, the longer it will continue to work.) Next, consider adding Daily Test Service (DTS-a daily testing of your alarm system to our central station) or Radio Back-Up (a secondary communications method.
We, at United Alarm hope this letter might help you understand how VoIP may affect your alarm systems ability to transmit an emergency signal to our central station. If you wish to further discuss services like Radio Back-Up or Daily Test Signals, please give us a call.
As always, thank you for allowing us to provide security for you and your family. If we can be of any further assistance please let us know.
I have read the above and am aware that my alarm panel may not be able to transmit alarm signals to the central station through an Internet phone service. I am requesting United Alarm to wire my alarm panel to the Internet phone service against the advice of United Alarm.