If they are not already, home system dealers and integrators should be notifying residential customers whose burglar alarms employ Analog Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) or use it as back-up to another intrusion notification system that they will be affected by the so-called sunset clause deadline of Feb. 18, 2008.

Unless action is taken, on that date the Federal Communications Com-mission’s (FCC) will no longer require that cellular carriers provide AMPS service. Currently, hundreds of thousands of individuals and business rely on cellular-based radios to relay alarm signals to their monitoring company. These alarm systems use AMPS radio devices.

The sunset date is significant to everyone and could have an adverse impact on the thousands of alarm customers that have analog cellular (800 MHz) communicators installed in their homes or businesses for the purpose of relaying alarm signals.

The National Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA), Irving, Texas, is requesting that the FCC extend the February 2008 deadline by two years due to the technical challenges of replacing AMPS alarm systems with digital ones that are still in development.

If the deadline is not extended, then by February 2008 cellular systems will no longer be required to support AMPS service, potentially leaving thousands of homes unsecured.

Dealers and integrators should instruct their customers of this possibility and encourage them to consider having installed the alternative digital products that are available now or being developed.

AMPS, the analog mobile phone system standard, was introduced in the Americas during the early 1980s. Most existing cellular alarm communicators are AMPS-based systems. Dealers also should encourage their customers to contact their Congressional representatives about this issue. Sample customer letters are available in the “members only” section. Visit www.alarm.org for information about AMPS and other industry information.