VoIP Phone Lines and Alarm Monitoring Systems

As part of your move to a superfast & reliable Internet connection with Wessex Internet, you may have switched or are considering VoIP - Internet Telephony.

VoIP (Voice over IP) allows you to switch your local 01 number to an Internet phone service, saving you £100s a year for a better service. In doing so, you can remove the old fashioned BT landline.

However, you may also have a security or fire alarm system connected to the BT telephone line for the remote monitoring.

How will this continue to work if you move your telephone line to a VoIP service such as that from Vonage (residential) or M12 Solutions (business)?

Will my alarm system be able to connect to a VoIP telephone line?

In most cases, no.

This is because the alarm system will be sending it's data like a fax machine or modem, it will make a series of noises on the line and this is the encoded data messages.

With a normal telephone line, this data is transmitted as intended. However with a VoIP line, sometimes, (but not always), there can be packet loss, or jitter (variations in the latency of the communication), and this can cause the sound, or in this case, encoded data messages to become malformed.

We'd rather customers don't take the risk, and therefore we recommend do not connect their alarm system to a VoIP line.

What are my options if I wish to give up my old BT landline and switch to VoIP, but keep the alarm system monitoring connected?

Other alarm monitoring options do exist. E.g. GSM or IP based modules.

You will need to seek advice from your alarm company for the exact options available to your system.

Please also remember, that we are unable to advise on alarm systems. Please contact a local security company if you don't already have a preferred company.

Local Alarm companies:

GSM Based Monitoring

GSM modules allow you to replace your BT line with a GSM SIM card. Monitoring will be via the mobile phone network. You should be able to use any network that is available, however certain systems and monitoring companies may have a preference.

Unlike a BT line, an intruder won't have the option to cut your telephone line!

Do remember that you will require a working mobile signal for this option.

IP Based Monitoring

Modem alarm systems may have an IP (Internet Protocol) module. They will use your Wessex Internet connection to send the signals to the monitoring station.

As these systems are IP-based, you may even be able to remotely monitor the system yourself with an App.

Do remember that you will require a working Wessex Internet connection for this option.

How will the insurance company like a non-BT Line option

You will have to enquire with your insurance company as each will be different, however many systems are installed without BT lines and the other options can be more resilient and perform better than BT lines in any case.

If all else fails, retain a BT Analogue Line

If you are not comfortable with any of the above options, your insurance company have certain requirements, your alarm system is not capable of the alternate methods or there is no mobile phone signal, then you may have to retain a BT analogue line. :(

Although not the best option out of everything, sometimes, for peace of mind and the security of your home, retaining a BT line is the only option.



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