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Lou Fiore

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.

Talking mobile apps and new entrants at ESX

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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

New entrants into the security industry and mobile apps where major topics of interest at the ESX show in Nashville, Tennessee where Tess, Rich and I spent the last week.

I moderated three panel discussions on three different topics on Tuesday, but both of these topics came up in all three. And they came up in many other educational sessions last week,

I moderated a panel called “Technology Trends Impacting your Business,” with Wells Sampson from American Alarm, David Carter of SNA, and Lou Fiore of AICC.

Much of the discussion centered around mobile apps. Both Carter and Sampson are proponents of offering mobile apps “at every sale.”

The new cableco and telecom entrants, and many traditional security companies, are going to be doing this, they said. You ignore this trend at your peril, they agreed.

However, it’s much easier said than done. To get his sales force on board with this initiative, Sampson took several steps. There was the educational piece, which is ongoing, but he has a staff member calling every customer to ensure that mobile apps are offered at every sale.

In addition, all of his sales people are equipped with an iPad, so that they can easily demonstrate how the apps work.

A person from the audience said that his sales people have this technology at home, and it’s made them better ambassadors for these services.

Several people questioned what the adoption rate is for mobile apps, and Sampson said the projections are admittedly low. He is not concerned with that at this point. He just wants to ensure that these services are being offered, so customers know they’re available.

I have heard figures during ADT investment calls that their new interactive services PULSE offering has an adoption rate north of 25 percent. 

And during a different panel discussion I moderated at ESX “The New Competitive Landscape: Telcos, Cable Companies and Beyond” one of the panelists, Joe Nuccio, CEO of ASG shared an interesting metric.

At ASG, from May 12, 2011 to May 11, 2012, 56 percent of new residential sales opted for “enhanced services.”

Of course, we’re talking about resi and small business sales here, but this trend is applicable to larger commercial and enterprise systems as well.

American Alarm and other SNA companies, and ASG both do a lot of large commercial/government systems, and those customers want mobile apps, Sampson, Carter and Nuccio said.

At the PSA-TEC conference in May, Jim Henry of Henry Brothers/Kratos held up his mobile phone and said: “We’re going to see more changes in the next 18 months in this industry than we’ve seen in the last 10 years.”

FCC steps up crackdown on cell jammers

Devices used to block wireless calls can also disrupt alarm signals
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03/23/2012

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission is stepping up enforcement to halt the sale and use of radio jamming devices, which can indiscriminately interfere with cellular 911 calls and wireless signals from alarm devices.

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