AMPS Sundown Impact On Certificated Alarm Systems

In UL 2007 Issue 3 Steve Schmit has a interesting article on the impact of AMPS Sundown on Certificated Alarm Systems.

In a Memorandum Opinion and Order released June 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) denied a Petition for Rulemaking filed by the Alarm Industry Communications Committee.

The petition sought to extend the 2/18/08 “sundown” date on the requirement that cellular licensees provide analog service to subscribers whose equipment conforms to the Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) standard. This effectively means that analog cell phone service in the US will begin to disappear on 2/18/08.

The alarm industry petitioned for an extension because there are a large number of installed alarm systems that employ analog cellular technology as either the primary or secondary backup communication method. Sourcing replacement equipment and retrofitting installed bases will be a challenge for the industry.

This fall, UL will be working with alarm companies that have issued Alarm System Certificates for systems using cellular technology as a required means of communication. An Alarm System Certificate is the issuing alarm service company’s declaration of ongoing conformity with the appropriate Code or Standard. UL’s audit services for systems covered by a Certificate provide an increased level of conformity confidence for alarm system owners, insurance carriers, security managers, fire code authorities and others with a concern for alarm protection.

In order to be in conformity, off-premise reporting systems have to maintain their ability to communicate with a monitoring station at all times. UL will help Listed alarm companies identify Certificated installations that employ cellular technologies and seek their declaration of continued compliance past the 2/18/08 AMPS sundown date. In cases where ongoing conformity cannot be assured, UL will assist alarm companies with the task of canceling the Certificates involved. During the 2008 Certificate Service audit cycle, UL will put an increased focus on Certificated accounts where cellular technology is declared to validate conformity.

UL will work diligently with the alarm industry to maintain uninterrupted certification coverage for alarm systems covered by a UL Certificate. At the same time, UL recognizes the value of the conformity confidence brought by Certificate coverage. We will take appropriate actions to assure that systems covered by a Certificate do indeed comply with the applicable Code or Standard.

By Steve Schmit
For questions regarding Alarm System
Certificates, please contact Steve Schmit
In Northbrook, Ill. at +847-664-2128 or at

- The Hackett Security Team

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