It was big news in January when Telecom giant Verizon debuted its new home security/home automation offering at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Now it’s even bigger news that the company has finished beta testing the product in New Jersey and launched it for real to Verizon broadband customers nationwide in mid-October.
The company’s Home Monitoring and Control Service—which has no professional monitoring component—costs $9.99 per month, with equipment packages starting at $69.99. Verizon said the service “enables customers to remotely access, control and monitor doors, thermostat controls and appliances well as view home-energy use in near-real time—all via a smart phone, PC, FiOS TV and, eventually, a connected tablet.”
And this may be only the beginning. A Verizon spokesman, Clifford Lee, told me last week that Verizon may consider the possibility of adding a burglar alarm security option in the future. Lee said it’s too early to discuss specifics, so it’s not clear if this would be a professionally monitored option or not.
So what does Verizon’s offering mean to professional home security providers? Is this going to cut into your business or is there enough business to go around for everyone? Verizon also is known more as a communications/entertainment provider … will customers trust the company to also provide security as much as they do professional security providers?
I’m talking to industry experts to find out the answers to those questions and more for a Market Trends story in our upcoming December issue. Also, I’d love to hear your answers to those questions. Please participate in our December Newspoll on this topic, which you can find by scrolling down to the bottom of our site. Let us know what you think!