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Australia Communications Networking Security IT

Security Guards, Alarm Companies Object to Australia's National Fiber Network 156

Posted by timothy
from the you-mean-you-love-unemployment? dept.
natecochrane writes "Australia's proposed high-speed National Broadband Network has put the fate of more than a million security alarm systems that alert Australians to fire, home invasion, break-in and medical emergency in limbo pending the building of a simulated test bed next year. A group that represents security guards and those that supply monitored alarms has concerns that ranged from the inconvenient ('angry customers woken by their alarm systems beeping' during a nightly NBN upgrade) to life-threatening in the case of medical alarms, its CEO said. 'Under the fibre-optic system there won't be that redundancy and backup [from the copper phone system]. So if it goes down no one will know,' ASIAL CEO Bryan de Caires said."
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Security Guards, Alarm Companies Object to Australia's National Fiber Network

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  • Yeah, because (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrashandDie (1114135) on Monday September 13, 2010 @04:16AM (#33559182)

    The system we've used for (nearly) decades where when a system stops responding, we know there's some kind of failure, and we send out alerts is absolutely impossible to utilise with fibre...

  • by dowlingw (557752) on Monday September 13, 2010 @04:19AM (#33559202) Homepage
    I would have thought the monitoring companies would have loved the NBN, it means they can ditch large, space and power consuming analog PSTN gear with power and space efficient routers. As far as saying theres no monitoring, thats BS. If you're offering a Layer 2 wholesale product, you can see whether or not there are tunnels established for that client, and if the tunnel is up - you can poll to see if the device is reachable. Also a win for alarm system companies, who now get a chance to make ludicrous profits on installing entirely new alarm systems country-wide. Sounds like a knee-jerk reaction that if given attention might actually do these parties more harm than good...
  • Eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nursie (632944) on Monday September 13, 2010 @04:19AM (#33559204)

    1. If the alarms beep during network upgrades MAKE BETTER ALARMS

    Hell, if the current models somehow will do this if/when NBN comes around then you get to make money selling people upgrades surely?

    2. WTF? No way of knowing when the system is down?

    I can see that if some systems rely on power-over-POTS then there's a downside to getting fibre to the home, but seriously, I would have thought these industry types should be rubbing their greasy hands in glee at being able to offer upgrade services.

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Monday September 13, 2010 @04:47AM (#33559324)

    man, what a load of bullshit... these people are paid by someone that doesn't want this network for the future to see the light of day... lemme guess... telstra :-)

    Nope. They are paid by the customers... to do nothing at all, most of the time and to call a mobile if a light gets on
    I reckon the inertia in doing nothing is very hard to overcome (don't attribute to malice what can be reasonable explained by stupidity).

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:07AM (#33559410) Homepage
    They already make ludicrous profits from installing the current POTS systems, which then sit and do nothing for 99.9% of their life. What they don't want is to have to eat the investment in coming up with a whole new system that can also sit and do nothing for 99.9% of the time.
  • by inflex (123318) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:33AM (#33559470) Homepage Journal

    They're likely worried about the power supplied by the telco on the copper pair - however any robber who has the brains to kill the house power probably knows to kill the POTS landline too.

    If they (security people) are -really- worried then they'd have made sure that like most other systems they have their own battery-backup built in for just these sorts of situations ( not to mention the whole 3G/Wireless backups which would make more sense in order to eliminate the whole cut-wire silence issue ).

    All in all, another pointless beat up by people who probably don't want their cozy world of routine changed (better put them with RIAA/MPAA etc).

  • I log line faults (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2010 @06:14AM (#33559590)

    This is a non-issue.
    Our corroding copper network is so utterly unreliable that this hysterical stance is laughable.
    There are around a million faults logged each year. There are a bit over 10 million lines.
    I have not once ever had a customer complain that an alarm siren went off when the phone went dead.
    It beeped to say there was trouble, and the security company called their mobile because they didn't get the daily pulse, but never ever has the siren activated.

    Yes, it is possible that killing the fibre/copper will kill the alarm's ability to call for help.
    Fibre is not any more likely to fail than copper.
    This is why most new alarms have GPRS modules. The copper is terrible.

    Failed communications do not prevent the alarm from doing its normal monitoring and activating a siren when necessary.

    They should look at the up side.
    Monitored alarms with cameras. Live streams from activated alarms. Recorded if the network fails.
    Remote diagnosis of false alarms. (Camera saw a cat). No other movement in past 5 minutes. No dispatch required.
    GPRS/3G fail over.
    Remote movement monitoring.
    Lets say you have an elderly relative, you can set an alarm trigger if they are in their house and there's no movement in 10 hours.
    Sound monitoring. Anything over 100db (loud calls for help) triggers sound monitoring.
    The nature of the sound can be assessed, and help sent if required.

    The possibilities are far greater than the limitations.

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Monday September 13, 2010 @07:28AM (#33559928) Journal

    ...I guess, somehow (lol), using fiber precludes using wireless as a backup too?

  • Re:Yeah, because (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday September 13, 2010 @08:22AM (#33560312) Journal

    most junkies are in and out in 5 minutes flat

    Not if you shoot them when you break into your house.....

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