1240 Commerce Avenue, Suite C

Woodland, CA 95776

530-662-1144 | 800-794-7575 | Fax: 530-662-4859

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Voice Over IP Digital Phone Concerns with Security and Fire Alarm Communications Systems

Safe Side Security Inc., 1240 Commerce Avenue, Suite C, Woodland, CA  95776 (530) 662-1144

This article outlines the new weaknesses concerned with Voice Over IP (VOIP) Digital Phone Service (Comcast, WAVE, Uverse) and how it can affect security and fire alarm system communication. VOIP service is much different than classic POTS telephone lines in that it routes all phone traffic through a digital converter, then over the internet. When compared with a POTS line, new concerns are introduced that could affect the stability and dependability of burglar or fire alarm system communication.

Plain old telephone service, or POTS, is the service available from analogue telephones prior to the introduction of electronic telephone exchanges into the public switched telephone network. These services had been available almost since the introduction of the telephone system in the late 19th century. VOIP is a very new technology and this list will help reduce the possibilities of failure wherever possible by educating the end user and presenting possible solutions.

Instability of Digital Phone Service Quality:


When Safe Side Security Inc. connects an alarm to VOIP service, the technician will do everything possible to fully test the alarm signals and program the system for maximum protection against compression artifacts and other problems that could occur while alarm signals are traveling along the digital phone system. However, this does not mean that VOIP service will transmit alarm signals at a 100% success rate. The VOIP system is highly dependent on other factors such as internet traffic, internet hops, lag time, and other concerns which could garble or drop your alarm signals, resulting in no communication to the central station.


This should be kept in mind when purchasing digital phone service as well as the consideration of a transmission method, such as Cellular Service for the alarm system.

Once the alarm signals are converted into digital signals and are traveling across the internet network, anything may happen to the data to keep it from reaching the central station.  Much like a lost email, lost file transmission, or internet connection problem, this could mean that something as urgent and important as a fire alarm or panic alarm would not be received at the central  station due to internet routing problems. It is strongly advised to consider Cellular service due to the unstable and uncontrollable factors with VOIP service that could render alarm communications useless.

The VOIP system is a new, emerging technology and is nowhere as dependable as the traditional POTS telephone system, as the new VOIP service is based on a completely new infrastructure.

Much care should be taken to protect and preserve what  communications  exist using digital phone service, however, a backup plan should be highly  considered for a system that  protects property,  and especially for a system that  protects life and property  by means of police, fire, and medical panic alarms  or automatic  fire alarm  protection. Cellular Service will allow the customer to retain their digital VOIP service and benefits, while having their alarm system or life safety system connected to a more reliable, dependable communications network that is fully supervised 24 hours a day and will alert the customer to the fact if connectivity is dropped.


Safe Side Security Inc. at (530) 662-1144 if you have any questions or concerns about your security system and VOIP service, or have any questions pertaining to Cellular Service.