FCC says 'no' to AMPS extension
WASHINGTON--It's official: On Friday, June 15, the FCC denied the AMPS extension request filed by the Alarm Industry Communications Commission and ADT Security, and will maintain the February 18, 2008 sunset of cellular licensee analog service equipment.
The original request was for a two-year extension on the requirement that cellular licensees provide analog service to subscribers and roamers whose equipment conforms to the Advanced Mobile Phone Service, or AMPS.
Lou Fiore, chairman of the AICC and Central Station Alarm Association officer, said, "After a long struggle and many meetings with the FCC, the alarm industry and the cellular industry both aired their viewpoints, and the cellular industry prevailed. We feel that certain facts may not have been given the weight they deserved regarding the availability of replacement equipment, the role of AMPS alarm radios and the feasibility of replacing these radios. However, we as an industry, both from the association side and the manufacturing side, have done all we could to make the FCC aware of our situation and dealers aware of the impending AMPS sunset."
According to Fiore, industry analysts believe that more than half a million AMPS alarm radios may still be in service on the February 18, 2008 sunset date. Installers who are switching out customers' AMPS equipment have several choices for hardware providers, he said. They are, in alphabetical order: AES, DSC, Honeywell, Telular and Uplink. The FCC staff is urging alarm dealers to prioritize their AMPS conversions so that government installations, domestic abuse victims, and those relying on AMPS as their sole link to the central station, are replaced first.
Said Fiore, "I would like to try to reach out to alarm product distributors and third-party monitoring companies to make sure that they alert all their dealers, many of which do not belong to one of the industry's associations. I fear that still many companies, especially smaller ones, have yet to get the word."