VoIPs burglar alarm transmission vulnerabilities described

While we don't reprint press releases here, electronic premises security company Supreme Security Systemsraises some very valid pointsabout what it terms the risks of sending burglar alarm alerts to alert services via VoIP.Two of the key issuesSupreme Securityraises are signal distortion and line seizure.

While we don't reprint press releases here, electronic premises security company Supreme Security Systemsraises some very valid pointsabout what it terms the risks of sending burglar alarm alerts to alert services via VoIP.

Two of the key issuesSupreme Securityraises are signal distortion and line seizure. The New Jersey-based company says these vulnerablities candegrade theinformation associated with the alert when itreceived at a central monitoring station.

Let's look at both concerns, the way Supreme Security sees them:

Signal Distortion -- Supreme Security maintains that "most alarm systems were designed to transmit alarm signals as a series of beeps and tones over analog phone lines. Because VoIP systems utilize digital communications, the conversion of the beeps and tones are not always translated correctly. This can result in an alarm signal not being recognized by its central monitoring station."

Line Seizure- The company notes that "alarm systems are designed with line seizure capabilities -- enabling them to take over an open phone line to communicate with the central monitoring station in case of an
emergency.

"Often, the premises security alert firm adds, "the cable company or ISP will actually install the VoIP modem in a residence by 'back-feeding' the house circuit and disconnecting the old telephone circuit as it enters the premise. Because the alarm control panel is configured to have the telephone circuit connected first, ahead of any telephone instruments, it can interrupt and disconnect an existing call to give the alarm signal
priority."

Readers, my two questions for you are:

1. Would the prospect of signal distortion and line seizure influence your decision to go VoIP or not?

2. If you have gone VoIP, have you ever had a burglar-alarm security alert? If so, did the alert get to your monitoring service with no problems, or were there issues?

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