Industry Challenged by Changing Telco Standards And Its Own Apathy


Jimmy Salinas of Southwestern Bell, who, in March 2000, rocked the security industry when he revealed that digital subscriber line (DSL) service could impede alarm systems from seizing the telephone line during an incident, shared more troubling news at the International Security Conference and Exposition (ISC) West.

Speaking at separate National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) and Security Industry Association (SIA) meetings, Salinas explained that the DSL dilemma was only the tip of the iceberg and urged members of the security community to become more involved in changing technology, standards and regulations.

Salinas explained that, while the security industry is still trying to solve the DSL-alarm panel conflict, new technologies are in the works that will likely create more compatibility problems.

Specifically, Salinas identified telephone company plans to replace copper wiring with fiber optics, paving the way for passive optical networks replacing DSL. In addition, in order to turn off echo cancel and voice compression functions, alarm communication devices will soon have to conform to using a 2100Hz tone on phone lines.

Speaking to a meeting of SIA members, Salinas said the biggest concern would be with legacy panels not equipped to use that tone. A SIA subcommittee was organized to tackle this issue. Salinas also addressed lingering concerns about the DSL situation, explaining that a splitter standard has been established for devices that can be used on the lines to ensure the integrity of alarm signals.

Above all else, Salinas gave the alarm industry a wake-up call to become more active in these times of accelerated technological advancement. For example, he added that the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) has turned the establishment of regulations over to a new coalition – the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) – that has no security industry representation.

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