Verizon Enters the Home Alarm Market – Sort of…

Posted by , , at 7:27 pm

Here’s an update on the topic of major telco and cable providers who are testing the waters in home alarms, which does seem like a natural extension of the services they are already offering. However, other companies have tried before, and the results have generally not been pretty. In this prior post I talked about Comcast, Verizon and even Canadian provider Rogers (no relation!). Today we’ll focus specifically on Verizon:

Verizon is launching a home control and monitoring system next month that allows consumers to remotely control home thermostats, lights, security cameras and other appliances from any location with a smart phone, laptop or TV. “It’s taking advantage of the power of the network to go beyond just TV and Internet services and start offering related-type services,” said Lee Gierczynski, manager of media relations.

Not Really an Alarm System

It’s very important to note that only the consumer is doing the monitoring with the Verizon platform, and that this is more of a home control package than a real alarm system. Also, the communication channel is the home’s broadband connection. Lose that (and it happens all too often) and you have no connectivity. That’s why the smart companies rely on a GSM digital cellular connection for these services.

The system runs through a device that connects to the customer’s broadband router and communicates with the home control accessories. The accessories include indoor and outdoor cameras, a smart thermostat, an energy reader and sensor keypad door locks. Irene Berlinsky, an analyst for International Data Corp., said the home control system will help the company differentiate itself from its competitors.

Except for Comcast, which is offering a more comprehensive system that really is a monitored alarm system. But Comcast has other challenges!

The Crux of the Matter

“Cable companies are looking for new ways to generate revenues, and they’re doing this because their core services of broadband, video, or wireless phone and landline are challenged,” Berlinsky said. “Home security is already an intuitive service proposition. Roughly one-quarter of Americans have a home security system, and the next-generation systems are not based on a phone line.” Since the home control system runs through broadband, if the Internet connection is down, then so is the home monitoring. Verizon does not yet offer a backup in case of Internet failure.

So, this is really just another cynical ploy to offset the cancellation rates for other more profitable services. Too bad. I do agree with Berlinsky 100% on one point: next generation systems are not based on a phone line. The best systems are based on the cellular link for the highest level of security and reliability.

We’ll keep an eye on the competitive landscape for you, and post the particulars when we see something of interest. As our customers know, FrontPoint was the first alarm company to standardize on cellular and interactive monitoring. We’re the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US – and we earned that top spot with technology, pricing, and customer satisfaction that leaves the others far behind. That’s why smart shoppers choose FrontPoint: safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. Just read the reviews, and you’ll want a FrontPoint system too. It’s safer because it’s cellular – and it’s monitored 24/7.

Comments (8)

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  1. Marl McCracken

    All alarm companies do not seem to be aware, nor do they check to see what ordinance apply to their operating a business in cities/counties and the requirements to install alarm systems and solicit business. The city of Albany, Georgia has an alarm ordinance that requires all alarm systems Burglarly, Fire and Medical be registered with the city.

    Lynn McCracken

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Lynn, for your helpful comment. You are absolutely correct that alarm licensing goes beyond the individual states, right down to the local level. And it’s also true that in a number of states and local jurisdictions there are exceptions to licensing laws and rules that allow companies like FrontPoint to operate in a different manner – since we have not seals representatives, technicians, or physical presence other than in McLean Virginia. But you may rest assured that if a state or local jurisdiction does require FrontPoint to be licensed, then we are 100% compliant. And when it comes to Albany, GA, our alarm company license number is A-252. Thanks again.

  2. Marl McCracken

    All alarm companies do not seem to be aware, nor do they check to see what ordinance apply to their operating a business in cities/counties and the requirements to install alarm systems and solicit business. The city of Albany, Georgia has an alarm ordinance that requires all alarm systems Burglarly, Fire and Medical be registered with the city.

    Lynn McCracken

    • Peter M. Rogers

      Thanks, Lynn, for your helpful comment. You are absolutely correct that alarm licensing goes beyond the individual states, right down to the local level. And it’s also true that in a number of states and local jurisdictions there are exceptions to licensing laws and rules that allow companies like FrontPoint to operate in a different manner – since we have not seals representatives, technicians, or physical presence other than in McLean Virginia. But you may rest assured that if a state or local jurisdiction does require FrontPoint to be licensed, then we are 100% compliant. And when it comes to Albany, GA, our alarm company license number is A-252. Thanks again.

  3. Peter M. Rogers

    Thanks, Alan. Our sentiments exactly. While there is a place for self-monitoring of home automation technology (and we offer that as well), intrusion and fire alarms require professional response, and the sensor technology that goes along with that response. Almost seems like Verizon is trying to dodge the “real” benefit of what alarm systems are designed to provide. But then again, Verizon is not an alarm company!

  4. Peter M. Rogers

    Thanks, Alan. Our sentiments exactly. While there is a place for self-monitoring of home automation technology (and we offer that as well), intrusion and fire alarms require professional response, and the sensor technology that goes along with that response. Almost seems like Verizon is trying to dodge the “real” benefit of what alarm systems are designed to provide. But then again, Verizon is not an alarm company!

  5. Alan

    Yes, Verizon certainly seems to be selling a largely useless toy here. Certainly from any real security standpoint, and for the price they probably want to charge for it, you may as well get the full-monty.

  6. Alan

    Yes, Verizon certainly seems to be selling a largely useless toy here. Certainly from any real security standpoint, and for the price they probably want to charge for it, you may as well get the full-monty.