Fiore honored with award, makes industry strides on The Hill

Thursday, November 24, 2005

VIENNA, Va.--Lou Fiore has seen it all. As former president of the Central Station Alarm Association, and the current chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee, he knows what the industry can accomplish, and knows that it still has much to do.
At CSAA's annual meeting this fall, Fiore received the 2005 Stanley C. Lott award, which is presented to an industry member who has made proactive contributions to CSAA and the industry. It is CSAA's most prestigious award and it is only given out in years when a worthy candidate is found.
As chairman of the AICC, which monitors developments at a federal level on telecommunications technology issues that affect the industry, Fiore is responsible for the industry's representation before the Federal Communications Commission and Congress. AICC's membership has doubled to include associations, alarm companies and manufacturers of telecommunications products, since Fiore has led the group.
The group's current initiatives include work on Voice over Internet Protocol compromise, an analog mobile phone service (AMPS) sunset clause and pushing through reciprocity legislation.
"We represent the whole industry, we go beyond paying dues," said Fiore. "This group feels they have to do more, like have representation in Washington."
In recent years, the committee has been in negotiation with the providers of VoIP and the FCC to try to get VoIP legislation favorable to what the industry needs. "We want indication from these VoIP companies that it could be a problem," he said.
The AICC goal is to develop a compromise. "There needs to be an up-front warning for customers to see, like the kind you see on cigarettes and alcohol," to ensure proper functioning of alarm and security system monitoring services and that consumers know switching to a VoIP service could compromise their security, he said.
"To the best of my knowledge there has not been a loss of life due to VoIP," he said. "We want to work with the providers of VoIP to prevent that from happening."
The AMPS sunset clause is the second reactive issue the group works to hone. The FCC announced that Feb. 18, 2008 is the last day on which cellular carriers must provide AMPS. After that date, cellular carriers can stop offering AMPS service and convert channels to digital, which creates capacity for broadband services. This will affect alarm companies that use AMPS technology, which is an inexpensive way to provide (radio) backup for an alarm company when a phone line is cut or unavailable, Fiore said. "We are working with cellular companies and manufacturers and hope to extend the time."
The committee has also drafted a bill that would establish a minimum reciprocity and regulation standard for alarm monitoring companies that may be adopted by states, called the Alarm Monitoring Licensing and Reciprocity Act, which Fiore said Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida has indicated he will sponsor.
Currently, many states have the same test for alarm installation and alarm monitoring; this act would encourage states with licensing to assume a minimum regulation for alarm monitoring companies, Fiore said.