Time Warner Cable, Frontier enter home security market

The companies launch home security/home automation options in upstate New York and other markets
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

YARMOUTH, Maine—Time Warner Cable and Frontier Communications are now joining other cableco and telecom companies in launching home security/home automation offerings.

Time Warner is selling its IntelligentHome security and home automation system in upstate New York, Southern California and North Carolina, according to a recent report by the Democrat and Chronicle, a Rochester, N.Y. newspaper.

Also in Rochester, N.Y., Frontier is teaming up with ADT Security Systems to offer a variety of ADT home security/home automation packages, Frontier announced today.

And Frontier earlier this month announced the launch of Frontier Security Systems in southern Pennsylvania. For that new home and small-business security service, Frontier has a partnership with Protection 1, according to Frontier.

In a news release regarding the ADT partnership, Angela Christian, general manager of Stamford, Conn.-based Frontier, said: “Security systems, whether basic or enhanced with interactive, remote capabilities, are connected to a landline phone or high-speed Internet, two of Frontier’s core products. By teaming with ADT, America’s No. 1 security company, we can help offer customers a safe, sound and secure environment.”

Greg Farrell, VP of business development for Boca Raton-based ADT, said, “It’s all about protecting and connecting. Frontier’s landline and broadband network is highly reliable, providing the connectivity component, while ADT offers large-scale monitoring from its eight fully redundant monitoring centers throughout the U.S. and Canada, which help protect millions of customers.”

Time Warner officials could not be reached for comment on that company’s IntelligentHome offering by Security Systems News’ deadline. But the Democrat and Chronicle reported that Time Warner personnel would do the installation and monitoring of the company’s products.

Information on the pricing of the Time Warner and Frontier offerings was not immediately available.

Telecoms and cablecos entering the security market is a growing trend.  Comcast launched a home monitoring and security option last year, and Verizon in October announced it had launched to its broadband customers nationwide the home security product it had debuted in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. Verizon’s Home Monitoring and Control Service is designed to self-installed and self-monitored.

But the entrance of Time Warner and Frontier in the Rochester, N.Y. market doesn’t faze Doyle Security, which has been providing security solutions in that community since 1919.

Kevin Stone, COO of Doyle, said the big companies aren’t offering anything in home security/home automation that Doyle hasn’t offered for a couple of years now, and he believes his professional security company—which has about 100 employees and offices in Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo and Erie, Pa.—has an edge on them.

“We welcome competition,” he told SSN. “We understand security, we’re good at it, and we’ve been doing it a long time … that’s what we bring to the equation. It’s not a cookie-cutter solution from our perspective.”

Stone also said “we welcome the advertising” the big companies are employing, which he said can help create more potential customers for Doyle. Time Warner, for example, has been running television ads about its product for several months, he said.

 “From our perspective, it creates an awareness,” Stone said. “There are people who have said ‘no’ to an alarm system for a period of time, but who are [now] interested because they can control their lighting, they can control their thermostat. Getting that message out is not a bad thing.”

Bob McVeigh, VP of the Electronic Security Association’s Industry Affairs Committee, also told SSN that the telecoms’ and cablecos’ advertising dollars will work to the advantage of alarm companies.

“It’s all about advertising,” he said. “They’re going to push up awareness to a big level and that will help everyone, I believe, as long as the traditional dealers move along with the times and have offerings that are similar to or better than what [the telecoms and cablecos] are offering.”

McVeigh also said alarm companies can use their smaller size to their benefit. Because security is such a “personal decision” for homeowners, he said, “the larger companies are going to have a little more difficult time getting that personal connection with their customers. … The smaller companies can run circles around them in that department as long as they’re pushing that personal touch and continually showing great customer service.”