SIA releases IP standard, encourages compatibility

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Security Industry Association on Nov. 14 released a digital communication standard for Internet Protocol Event Reporting, ANSI/SIA DC-09-2007. This standard is intended to ensure equipment compatibility for IP-based reporting from a panel back to a receiver at a central station.
“What this standard does, is it establishes a preferred protocol for manufacturer-independent implementation of Internet reporting,” said Ted Nesse, DC-09 technical editor for SIA and vice president of technology for Sequel Technologies. “Now any manufacturer that implements this protocol can expect its panel to be able to report into a receiver at a central station that has a receiver which implements this protocol,” he said.
This standard is intended to alleviate the need for central stations to own manufacturer-specific receivers to receive signals over IP. Morgan Hertel, vice president of The Command Center, a California contract central station, said that this incompatibility causes a lot of confusion and cost for central stations. “For every manufacturer, we have to invest a significant amount of cash into equipment” to receive their specific signals, he said. Nesse of SIA said “the manufacturers I’ve talked to have been waiting for this day when the standard is officially released for sale…Manufacturers realize that open design standards are the way to go.”
Sascha Kylau, business development manager of Digital Security Controls, the manufacturer of Sur-Gard receivers, was involved in the development of the IP standard and said he believes manufacturers will embrace this standard. “Standards just make it easier for everyone … I think a lot of the manufacturers will implement this standard, but I think it’s going to take time and, for receiver manufacturers like myself, this will take time to implement.” Kylau couldn’t elaborate on the timeframe for Sur-Gard products to comply with this standard, but Nesse said he expects this standard to have “solid commercial solutions in 2008.”
While the standard seems to be welcomed overall by the industry, Hertel of The Command Center thinks SIA took too much time to release this standard.
“Five years is too long to crank out a standard,” he said. “I realize some of the timeline is mandated within the ANSI process and the intent is to protect the process so there’s plenty of time for public comment, but none of that causes a five-year timeline.”
Kylau of DSC also acknowledged that the “standard is probably a little late” but said that it “took time to get all the manufacturers together and get everyone on the same page and agreeing to what the standard should be.”
Despite the delay, neither Hertel nor Kylau think the standard is too late to be effective.
“IP is not as prevalent, especially in North America, because of a lack of a standard. ... Hopefully, this will make it easier for central stations to have IP,” said Kylau.
Hertel agreed, saying: “It’s not that IP deployment has been so huge that we’re too late [with this standard]. Central stations may have one or two percent [of their accounts over IP] ... most central stations are not near a rapid deployment of IP, so we need to start with this standard and move forward.”