I recently heard that the telephone company is preparing to discontinue providing POTS to transmit our alarm signals. Is there an obligation to notify our customers of the possible discontinuation of POTS? Are our current contracts sufficient to protect us in the event that POTS is discontinued? If we are required to utilize VoIP or other means of transmission, should our contracts be modified? 


In preparing subscriber contracts for alarm companies, we have always included a provision to the effect that signals are transmitted over telephone lines that are wholly beyond the control of the alarm company and the subscriber acknowledges that signals transmitted over telephone lines, RF frequency, Internet or VoIP, or through communication networks are not maintained by the alarm company. Therefore the alarm company shall not be responsible for any failure which prevents transmission signals from reaching the designated center. If, however, the company does have knowledge of the discontinuation, it may be a misrepresentation to install the system over the POTS network, and it may well be the duty of the alarm company to notify the subscriber that the service may be discontinued and it may be necessary at the time POTS is discontinued to install alternate equipment. There are other cautionary steps as well.