Home Industry Strategy Security alarm suppliers could resell NBN

NBN Co is encouraging manufacturers of security alarms to consider becoming specialist resellers of the National Broadband Network, potentially harnessing the network to deliver cloud based monitoring of security video.

During a seminar at the Security 2011 conference in Sydney today Tom Sykes, manager solution architects for product development and sales at NBN Co, said that he was already aware that some of the communications service providers signed up as NBN retail resellers were looking at offering hosted CCTV services over the broadband network, although he declined to name the companies.

'There will be new entrants. Maybe ASIAL (the Australian Security Industry Association) could become a service provider on the NBN. We are happy to talk to companies about becoming retail service providers over our network,' he said.

He said that security companies should be able to harness the NBN to generate additional revenues by ramping the average revenue per user (ARPU) through additional services such as residential monitoring. 'We are actively promoting this as a use case for the NBN,' he said.

NBN Co remains at pains to explain to the security industry that currently deployed alarm systems will be able to operate over the NBN, and in June ran a workshop for the sector.  As a result of feedback from ASIAL the architecture of the NBN had been tweaked he said to incorporate standards for dual tone multi frequency tone transmission which is required for many existing security alarm systems.

There remain some lingering concerns however. One issue is regarding battery backup for the network termination devices which will be located in premises connected to the NBN.

Mr Sykes said that every NTD would have a battery backup able to provide up to eight hours connection in the event of a power failure. He added that the Government was about to begin a consultation with the industry regarding the battery backup.

The other issue that still needs to be wrangled is how service providers which provide the retail NBN service to customers will be alerted to the fact that the premises they are serving has an alarm system which needs to be connected to the NBN.

Mr Sykes raised the notion of creating a national database of addresses which showed where there were alarms. In a masterful display of understatement - given he was addressing a crowd of big burly security blokes - he acknowledged that this could create privacy concerns.



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Beverley Head

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Beverley Head is a Sydney-based freelance writer who specialises in exploring how and why technology changes everything - society, business, government, education, health. Beverley started writing about the business of technology in London in 1983 before moving to Australia in 1986. She was the technology editor of the Financial Review for almost a decade, and then became the newspaper's features editor before embarking on a freelance career, during which time she has written on a broad array of technology related topics for the Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Boss, BRW, Banking Day, Campus Review, Education Review, Insite and Government Technology Review. Beverley holds a degree in Metallurgy and the Science of Materials from Oxford University and a deep affection for things which are shaken not stirred.






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