In April, the House Commerce Committee adopted by unanimous voice vote Congressman Cliff Stearns’ (R-FL) “Alarm VoIP Consumer Notification Amendment.” Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) supported the amendment.

The amendment requires VoIP providers to notify consumers before installation of VoIP phone service and prior to number activation that if they have an alarm system they should: arrange with their emergency response provider to test their system; notify their emergency response provider after VoIP service is installed; and have a battery backup for the alarm system.

The amendment also defines “emergency response system” as “ alarm or security system, or personal security or medical monitoring system, that is connected to an emergency response center by means of a telecommunications carrier or VoIP service provider” and “emergency response center” as “ entity that monitors transmissions from an emergency response system.”

In the Senate, Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) is putting together his version of a telecommunications bill, which he hopes to introduce sometime in the next few weeks.

Those in the alarm industry are now urged to directly contact their senators, especially those who sit on the Senate Commerce Committee, and urge them to include the alarm industry’s “Alarm VoIP Consumer Notification” in the Senate version of the Telecommunications Bill.

For more information, contact Bill Signer by calling (202) 973-3141 or Ankur Brahmbhatt in Bill Signer’s office at (202) 973-3130.