Why make alarm customers pay more?

Jan. 3, 2008

Last month, another company announced that it would be upcharging its alarm monitoring subscribers who wanted to have their alarm systems monitored over broadband. News to companies considering this: The phone line is dead, at least for families in their 20s and 30s. They want Vonage or another IP telephony provider, and they want all their data to come in and leave from their broadband connection, and that includes data from their home alarm systems.

Frankly, it pains me to think that some companies are going to charge more for alarm signals to come in via a Web connection. Maybe this is a temporary fee, as monitoring stations upgrade their equipment to Internet-connected systems, but if I had to predict, I'd say that monitoring companies won't be able to collect this fee for very long before a competitor offers monitoring with no upcharge for broadband. In fact, it's not hard to envision a future when the tables could be fully turned and POTS monitoring costs more than broadband-connected monitoring.