Most local Police and Sheriff departments nationwide require ALL alarm companies to follow the same standardized emergency dispatch procedure known as ECV (Enhanced Call Verification). Standard, Traditional, or Basic Monitoring during an alarm event is relatively similar industry wide – Also, ALL alarm companies rely upon your phone service to transmit alarm signals for this Standard Monitoring Service. The consistency and quality of customer service and records keeping to guarantee a FAST Alarm response while following these procedures varies widely between companies.
As a Certified California Small Business, we develop tight-knit relationships with our clients, therefore less errors or false alarms which equates to higher overall satisfaction, but more importantly…
CPP Alarm and Video provides
Fast help when you need it - Friendly assistance for the occasional accident.
Traditional (if you prefer: Standard or Basic) Monitoring requires phone service on-site
via one of 3 possible alarm communication pathways:
POTS Land-line Phone such as AT&T (Best Option)
VoIP Phone Facilities Based such as Comcast (Acceptable Option but… Not Reccommended)
VoIP Phone Non-Facilities Based such as Vonage – (UN-Acceptable Option)
POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service)
Land-line Phone Service Provider (Such as AT&T)
Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS)
POTS provides greater reliability than any other telephony system…
“dial-tone availability” more than 99.999%
While it provides limited features, low bandwidth and no mobile capabilities, POTS reliability is an often cited benchmark in marketing and systems-engineering comparisons, called the “five nines” reliability standard. It is equivalent to having a dial-tone available for all but about five minutes each year. Originally known as the Post Office Telephone Service/System (POTS) in many countries, the term was dropped as telephone services were removed from the control of national post offices. POTS is the voice-grade telephone service that remains the basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network in many parts of the world.
POTS has been available almost since the introduction of the public telephone system in the late 19th century, in a form mostly unchanged to the normal user despite the introduction of touch-tone dialing, electronic telephone exchanges and fiber-optic communication public switched telephone network (PSTN). Due to the wide availability of POTS, new forms of communications devices such as modems and facsimile machines are designed to use POTS to transmit digital information. In the United States, the pair of wires from the central switch office to a subscriber’s home is called a subscriber loop. The subscriber loop typically carries a “load” of about 300 ohms, and does not pose a threat of electrocution to human beings (although shorting the loop can be felt as an unpleasant sensation). It is typically
powered by −48Vdirect current (DC) and backed up by a large bank of batteries (connected in series) in the central office, resulting in continuation of service during most commercial power outages.
The communications circuits of the PSTN continue to be modernized by advances in digital communications; however, other than improving sound quality, these changes have been mainly transparent to the POTS customer. In most cases, the function of the POTS local loop presented to the customer for connection to telephone equipment is practically unchanged and remains compatible with old pulse dialing telephones, even ones dating back to the early 20th century.
Edited from a citation on Wilkipedia.com
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
How VoIP Works
Regardless of which type of provider is chosen, the fundamental principle is that the analog voice or analog alarm signal from a control panel must first be converted into a digital format using a chosen compression method. Then the signal is translated to a series of Internet packets that are routed over a network (either a managed network or the public Internet). This process is then reversed at the other end so that the person hears the voice or an alarm receiver can hear the alarm signal that was sent.
Problems with VoIP
Those VoIP providers that use the Internet, not a controlled network, are subject to the possible delays of the Internet. For instance, when the Internet is slow, this can cause digital communications to slow down as well. If you send a digital signal over this network during such times, the timing is thrown off. The arrival time of the individual packets could be slowed. For example:
Honeywell ADEMCO Contact ID sends 1 signal in about 1.4 seconds. If the Internet is slow it could take 4-5 seconds for a signal to be transmitted and re-assembled, thus causing communication failures.
Another limitation of VoIP in general is when you lose power, your phone service is also down.
There is no power provided by the VoIP provider like a traditional phone company. Furthermore, when a failure of the VoIP network occurs, some equipment leaves the voltage on the phone line, thus the panel believes there is no problem with the circuit when in fact there really is. There are other limitations when trying to upload/download. The alarm panel may not answer or may connect, but will not allow you to upload or download the program.
As far as installation goes, proper wiring procedures need to be followed by the VoIP provider to insure the same level of line seizure capability that was originally installed with the traditional phone service. Although many VoIP providers are sensitive to this requirement, all carriers in all areas do not consistently apply it. Sometimes the connection is made in such a way that should an alarm occur, the signal would be attempting to talk to the older POTS line and not the new VoIP circuit. Diligence in these areas is a must for a reliable connection that has the fundamentals of approaching the traditional installation reliability of traditional POTS circuits.
FACILITIES BASED & NON-FACILITIES BASED PROVIDERS
Cable Companies – Facilities Based (such as Comcast)
The traditional cable companies that are providing service in North America today can be categorized as, “Facilities-based” providers of VoIP services. By this we mean that their networks are privately managed, and as such, are capable of being operated in a manner consistent with telephone standards for the communication of alarm signals. This does not say that at all times they are operating their networks in a manner consistent with proper passage of alarm signals but that they are capable of such levels of service.
Other VoIP Providers – Non-facilities Based (Such as Vonage)
There are a host of other companies offering VoIP services to consumers that are categorized as, “Non-Facilities based.” These providers rely on the public Internet connection for the circuit that is used for voice communications. In this environment, the public Internet presents the greatest variable in successful delivery of alarm signals and since it is not in anybody’s control, is the least desirable form of VoIP for the communication of alarm signals.
The Facilities-based VoIP providers have begun to work with key alarm companies in the United States to help in providing cost effective communication alternatives to traditional phone lines. Establishing local contacts that can work out specific installation practices will be a key initiative for installing companies in bridging the gap with VoIP.
PoTS & VoIP = Dead End in the near future…