Tech Talk: Overcoming Monitoring Changes, Competitors

Alarm monitoring is in the midst of sweeping changes in communications trends and technologies. Two of the top priorities for providers is understanding wireless alternatives and the municipal monitoring environment.

AICC Busy Behind the Scenes

On the surface it may appear that the control for sanity in alarm communications has become a losing battle. However, many in the industry may not be aware that behind the scenes one organization is fighting for the alarm trade. This organization is the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC).

AICC ( is a subcommittee of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) that also includes the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), and major alarm companies and manufacturers. AICC began in the late 1960s and provides coordination in a variety of areas between the alarm industry and the FCC, other regulatory agencies and members of Congress. 

I can recall the famous industry battles by AICC in 1996 prohibiting the “baby bells” from entering the alarm industry for five years. The group was also involved in the AMPS Cellular Sunset battle that affected many in our industry. AICC Chairman Lou F
iore recently commented, “AICC stands as the only organized group to handle the communications needs, both wired and wireless, of our industry.” 

The alarm industry has been frustrated with how poorly customers are informed about their transfer to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. As many in our industry already know, haphazard switching from plain old telephone service (POTS) to VoIP can cause unreliable alarm communications and compromised phone line seizure. AICC is attempting to add a federal legislative provision requiring disclosure by a VoIP provider for the need to test the alarm system immediately after the VoIP installation.

Some other recent AICC projects include the recognition of priority restoration of dedicated telephone lines after emergency or disasters per the Department of Homeland Security program called Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP). Recently, AICC began fighting for industry exemption from the FCC’s desire to add FM radio broadcasts to cell phones. This would mean that GSM modules used in alarm signaling would be required to receive FM broadcasts — not very practical. 



About the Author


Bob is currently a Security Sales & Integration "Tech Talk" columnist and a contributing technical writer. Bob installed his first DIY home intercom system at the age of 13, and formally started his technology career as a Navy communication electronics technician during the Vietnam War. He then attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and went on to complete a Security Management program at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Since 1976, Bob has served in a variety of technical, training and project management positions with organizations such ADT, Rollins, National Guardian, Lockheed Martin, American Alarm Supply, Sonitrol and Ingersoll Rand. Early in his career, Bob started and operated his own alarm dealership. He has also served as treasurer of the Wisconsin Burglar and Fire Alarm Association and on Security Industry Association (SIA) standards committees. Bob also provides media and training consulting to the security industry.

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