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Lou Fiore

Net neutrality ruling looks good so far, AICC says

Unknown specific details will tell the whole tale
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03/11/2015

WASHINGTON—The recent FCC ruling on net neutrality appears to give security professionals a “level playing field,” but it remains to be seen if it will fully satisfy the industry, according to Lou Fiore, chairman of AICC.

AICC takes on net neutrality, dropped signals

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

CSAA recently posted on its site about the matter of net neutrality, as well as sending out a message from Alarm Industry Communications Committee chair Lou Fiore concerning the topic. Capitol Hill has various items up for consideration on net neutrality, according to Fiore.

 “Our goal at this point is simply to let Congress know we are here again and what our needs are as primarily small businesses. At some point legislation will move forward, probably as a rewrite of the Telecommunications Act, and we want to ensure we are not forgotten,” Fiore said in the message.

Net neutrality is the concept that all Internet traffic should be treated the same by Internet service providers. This has been an ongoing issue for the security industry and carries with it serious implications.

“Our primary concern is that broadband and wireless network providers are increasingly offering services that compete with us in providing home and business security services. Without some protection for smaller players, these network providers will have an incentive to favor their own security services and ‘throttle’ or ‘block’ our emergency signals in order to gain a competitive advantage,” CSAA said on its site.

CSAA also provides a letter template to be sent to key members of Congress, along with contact information for these key people. CSAA urges its members to contact their local congressperson by Feb. 26, and to emphasize the personal aspect of their company's situation in this issue.

The association has also posted other stances the industry has taken on this issue, as well as a portion of the 1996 telecommunications act, on its site.

In addition to this push towards net neutrality, AICC announced today the start researching the matter of dropped signals from digital alarm communications transmitters. This will be done through a survey also available on CSAA's site.

According to a recent press release from CSAA, findings from this effort will be made available at the next AICC meetings in March and June of 2015.

SIA working group updates 'keystone' alarm standard

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To survive, adapt. Those words have become an industry maxim of late. A similar sentiment holds true for those in the standards writing arena who strive to stay current with the technological arc of the industry.

The CP-01 Working Group, a special group of the SIA Intrusion Subcommittee, this week unveiled a false alarm reduction standard that includes definitions for remote devices and updated language, stemming from requests for interpretation from the last update of the standard, completed in 2010.  

Called the ANSI/SIA CP-01-2014, the updated standard is intended for use by manufacturers in the design of control panels and alarm signal receivers, and for reference by security system installers, specifiers, central station operators and manufacturers of central station-related products.

“As technology continues to evolve, it is important that we keep this useful standard up to date with it,” Lou Fiore, chairman of the CP-01 Working Group, said in a prepared statement. “Increasingly, panels are being armed and disarmed using remote devices including smartphones and tablets, we thought it was time to address that in CP-01.”

Revisions to the CP-01 standard have been made over the past two decades in response to technological evolution in the sphere of false alarm reduction. According to a SIA statement, CP-01-compliant panels have been instrumental in reducing false alarms by as much as 90 percent, saving municipalities and responders time and money.

For the next few years, the updated standard will presumably be the measuring stick for due diligence as far as minimizing false alarms. But as anyone in the industry can attest, technological development is unpredictable, so it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this “keystone” CP-01 standard updated again in the next five years. As the industry adapts, so too must its best practices and standards.

'Net neutrality' necessary for alarm signals

Industry takes action to ensure ISPs do not interfere with alarm data; ESA, AICC petition FCC
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09/10/2014

WASHINGTON—Concerned about fair, reliable and accurate transmission of alarm data, the ESA and the Alarm Industry Communications Committee are urging the FCC to support net neutrality.

Verified alarm? Definitions vary

Does ECV or cross-zoning qualify as a verified alarm? CSAA, PPVAR work toward new comprehensive verification standard
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03/05/2014

HENDERSON, Nev. and VIENNA, Va.—It’s likely that a new comprehensive verification standard will surface sometime in 2014. The Central Station Alarm Association is in the process of developing such a standard for all manner of verified alarms, and the Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response, since its inception, has been gathering best practices toward that end.

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.

Monitor America debuts at ISC East

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SecureWatch 24’s new Fusion Centre in Moonachie, N.J., has a new tenant: Monitor America.

That’s the name of the company that will be operating the 25,000-square-foot central station at the facility, which served as an emergency command post for police and municipal officials after Hurricane Sandy.

Jay Stuck, chief marketing officer for Monitor America, said the company “brings together virtually all existing alarm and hosted video services available today, including video analytics, in one central point.”

Stuck said Monitor America is developing a third-party sales initiative and a traditional dealer program. It will all be anchored by the advanced technology at the Fusion Centre, with a 40-by-11-foot video display wall overlooking stadium-style seating for 36 operators.

“It looks like something NASA might put together—our dealer customers and integrators will be knocked out by it,” he said.

Monitor America is hosting a sneak preview of its new facility during ISC East and is expected to begin formal operations by the end of January.

After the storm: How did you cell carrier measure up?

It’s only been a month since Sandy, but officials are already deep into assessing its impact on everything from tunnel vulnerability to emergency communications. Part of the evaluation concerns cellular service, with FCC hearings set early next year on network performance during and after the storm.

Lou Fiore, chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Committee, said the group plans to weigh in and is seeking comment on the following:

1) How alarm service was adversely affected by cellular carriers’ handling of the storm.
2) How cell carriers handled prioritizing restoration of service.
3) How cell carriers communicated with alarm companies about storm issues.
4) How any problems can be resolved.

Fiore said the issue will be discussed at the AICC’s Dec. 6 meeting and all comments are appreciated. Responses can be sent to Ltfiore@aol.com.
 

Lou Fiore named chairman of SISC

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11/12/2012

VIENNA, Va.—Alarm Industry Communications Committee Chairman Lou Fiore was named chairman of the Security Industry Standards Council (SISC).

AICC: New law would supersede Delaware mandate for in-state office

Proposed federal legislation targets duplicative and ‘time-consuming’ requirements by states
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09/05/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—A mandate for security businesses to have an in-state office to operate in Delaware would be superseded by legislation awaiting consideration by Congress, according to Lou Fiore, chairman of the Alarm Industry Communications Commission.

AT&T’s 2G shutdown in Oakland false alarm for industry

Frequency blackout didn’t affect alarm companies, CAA says
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09/05/2012

OAKLAND, Calif.—AT&T’s move to partially disable its 2G service here at the end of August got the attention of California Alarm Association members, but the frequency blackout did not affect operations in the field, according to CAA Executive Director Jerry Lenander.

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