ADT Promotes Reliable Monitoring With IP-Based Phone Providers


ADT Security Services, a unit of Tyco Fire & Security, says it is joining forces with cable and telecommunications providers to help ensure its security systems will continue to be able to communicate with its monitoring centers if a customer switches to an IP-based telephone service. ADT outlined a set of characteristics that this next generation of phone services providers must meet in order to be a primary method of transmitting alarm signals to ADT’s 24-hour a day monitoring centers.

IP-based telephone providers Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Charter, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks have confirmed that their networks meet the characteristics required by ADT to be a primary method of alarm transmission. Cable IP-based phone services providers’ calls travel over privately managed networks, rather than the Internet used by many other IP-based phone services.

“ADT recognizes the customer benefits associated with alternative phone services, including VoIP, digital phone and other IP-based phone services,” says ADT COO John Koch. “We also recognize that not all of these services are created equal. The safety and security of our nearly 6 million monitored customers across the United States and Canada continues to be our chief focus as we review these new communication technologies and the potential differences in their ability to transmit alarm signals reliably to our customer monitoring center network.”

During the past several months, Koch says, ADT has brought together numerous parties from both the cable and telecommunications industries to better understand the differences among IP-based phone providers in how they set up and maintain their networks. The result is a set of phone network characteristics that ADT has taken into consideration in determining how to best serve the interests of its customers. Traditional telephone services already have acceptable characteristics in place and therefore are not affected by this change.

The characteristics outlined by ADT include whether the provider has a managed and maintained physical facilities network with major and minor disaster recovery plans in place that include specific network power restoration procedures; whether the provider makes available professional installation of its IP-based phone service that preserves primary line seizure for alarm signal transmission; and whether the provider’s physical facilities network provides real-time transmission of voice signals, carrying alarm formats unchanged.

If an IP-based phone services provider has not informed ADT that it meets these characteristics, ADT will continue to require its customers using such phone services to either keep their traditional phone line or to install a cellular transmission system.

Regardless of the type of phone service used, ADT always recommends that customers use an additional back-up method of communication to connect their alarm system to ADT’s monitoring centers, Koch says.

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