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Verizon getting out of home security?

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It was big news in 2011 when Verizon got into home security/home automation with the launch of its Home Monitoring and Control service, which did not have a professional monitoring component. Now there’s an even bigger buzz because it has now apparently discontinued the $9.99 per month DIY product.

Verizon this past October stopped accepting new orders for the product, although it is continuing to let existing FiOS subscribers continue with it, according to the FierceCable website.

I haven’t heard back from Verizon yet, but I have some questions. Does this mean that Verizon is getting out of home security and home automation?

Or perhaps it’s just dropping home security and will offer a new stand-alone home automation product? There’s some precedent for that. I reported last year that Comcast last year was offering Xfinity Home Control, a home management package for customers who don’t want security but do want home automation. That offering is distinct from Xfinity Home Secure, a product that has professional monitoring.

It’s not clear what Verizon’s latest move portends but FierceCable did report this:

“Verizon officials suggested that the telco may introduce a new home automation product, but wouldn't say if the company is considering adopting a wireless-based approach similar to AT&T Digital Life.”

I’ll continue to follow on this story. Stay posted.
 

Is the 2G sunset causing outages?

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Friday, September 27, 2013

AT&T’s 2012 announcement that it would phase out 2G service left most in the alarm industry, well, unfazed. With wireless technology, such changes come with the territory. Moreover, it’s not the alarm industry but the mobile phone industry that dictates network “sunsets.” As Lou Fiore, Chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Commission, put it in a recent conversation: “As long as you go cellular, there is no endgame here.”

A few months after the initial announcement, AT&T attached a deadline (Jan 1, 2017) to its 2G sunset. Since that time, the AICC has established a regular line of communication with AT&T, which sends a representative to attend the organization’s quarterly meetings.

AT&T informed AICC that, while interim changes would take place in advance of the 2G sunset, the changes would not affect the alarm industry. AICC members, Fiore said, were “skeptical.”

“We tried to impress upon [AT&T] the fact that our control sets hang on the wall, and if you change the operating parameters of that network, it may not work anymore,” Fiore said. “You can’t ask the homeowner to move the unit around to see if it works.”

Fiore, who is in the process of gathering information regarding possible outages for units tied to AT&T’s 2G network, said that in given locations, customers might still get 2G coverage but that there’s a chance it “won’t be as deep as it was before.”

Fortunately, there are some steps alarm companies can take to mitigate outages. Companies can switch to AT&T's 3G or 4G network by choosing matching hardware from a cellular alarm communicator, or to one of AT&T's competitors (the 3G and 4G networks of Verizon and Sprint are an option, Fiore said). Certain companies may be able to go with a wired network, but this is highly contingent upon business model, Fiore noted.

Still three years from the deadline, AT&T’s 2G sunset promises to be a story with several more chapters. I’ll be watching closely to see what kind of ripple effects it has on the industry.

Influx of telecoms, cablecos into security not alarming, study says

According to IMS Research, the new players will help boost the home penetration rate very rapidly over the new few years
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06/07/2013

AUSTIN, Texas—The penetration rate for U.S. residential intruder alarm products will increase by 5 to 8 percent during the next three years, aided by the entrance of new telecom and cableco players in the market, according to a recent study from IMS Research, now part of IHS.

Fireproofing the cloud

What’s the fire survivability of the data center where your cloud provider retains your company’s information?
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04/24/2013

“Is my cloud provider secure?” That’s a question security integrators often pose as they move their data off site to the cloud.

ADT targeted over early termination fees, unilateral price increases

A federal class-action lawsuit calls the practices 'deceptive and unlawful'
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03/20/2013

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.—It’s standard practice for security companies to charge customers early termination fees, but now a federal class-action lawsuit is targeting ADT for the penalties it imposes for early termination and also its unilateral price increases on monitoring contracts. The practices violate federal and state consumer protection laws, the lawsuit contends.

Proprietary ‘smart home’ systems losing ground to open standards

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03/06/2013

Annual shipments of proprietary wireless technologies for home automation are expected to double by 2017, but proportionately their deployment in “smart homes” will be cut in half as service providers including ADT and AT&T drive a move toward open standards, according to a new report by IMS Research.

SW24's Fusion Centre a lifeline during Sandy

N.J. central station doubles as emergency command post for police, officials
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11/07/2012

NEW YORK—With Hurricane Sandy making landfall and forecasters’ worst fears coming true, Gene Dellaglio drove out into the night on Oct. 29 to check on SecureWatch 24’s new Fusion Centre in Moonachie, N.J.

‘Make sure mobile is part of the solution you offer’

Industry experts say mobile apps must be part of a successful security business today
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09/07/2012

A smart revolution quietly occurred this year—one that’s dramatically changing the security industry.

As of February, a Nielsen report showed, about half of all Americans with mobile phones—49.7 percent—now own smartphones. And the number of smartphone owners is rapidly growing.

Massachusetts installers battle Comcast, Verizon in court

Lawsuit filed by installers’ group claims the cableco and telecom are endangering the public by not being licensed for the security alarm work they do in the state
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08/29/2012

SHARON, Mass.—A Massachusetts security systems installers’ group has taken Comcast and Verizon to court, charging the cableco and telecom lack the required state licenses to do security alarm-related work in Massachusetts.

Bill to deregulate telecoms in Pa. concerns industry

AICC says legislation would give telecoms like Verizon unfair advantage over security company competitors, but Verizon denies that
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08/08/2012

HARRISBURG, Pa.—Proposed legislation in Pennsylvania to deregulate the telecommunications industry in the state would give an unfair advantage to telecom providers of home security services, according to an attorney with the Alarm Industry Communications Committee (AICC).

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