Chesterfield’s new Internet and phone network rely on fiber-optic, not copper, wires to transmit data. If you have a traditional home alarm system and plan to switch your telephone service to Ooma, or any other Internet phone service (known as VOIP), you need to change your alarm system BEFORE you change your telephone service. VOIP telephone systems are designed for voice and not for alarms or medical devices.
Call your alarm system monitoring company now and tell them you need to switch to cellular and/or Internet alarm monitoring. (To maximize your alarm system’s reliability, you may choose to have both types of connections.) If they don’t offer those services, see the list of providers below that have confirmed they can handle this technology.
If you have a reliable cellular phone signal at your home, that may be your least expensive option—and you may even be able to switch your alarm system over to a cellular connection before your new Internet connection is installed. If you intend to port your primary telephone number to Ooma, be sure to discuss it with your alarm company so they can complete your alarm upgrade before your copper phone lines are disconnected.
If your home does not have good cellular reception, you may need to use Internet monitoring over the fiber-optic network. The town’s new central fiber-optic network equipment has battery backup and a standby generator, and it will stay up even during lengthy power outages. To ensure an uninterrupted connection for your Internet alarm monitoring, however, you will need to do several things at your home:
• Provide backup power for the equipment in your home by installing an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for both the “ONT” (about 10 watts) and the “router” (about 30 watts). Your alarm company may be able to help you choose appropriate UPS models.
• Upgrade your alarm panel to include an Internet-digital fire alarm communicator with an Ethernet port that connects to the router.
• Contract with an alarm monitoring service that supports Internet alarm monitoring.
If you have more questions about your alarm system, call your alarm company. If you have question about your Internet connection, call Whip City Fiber. As Plainfield’s chosen Internet service provider, they are paid to deliver Internet and phone services; provide customer service and support before, during, and after the sign-up process; and to provide technical support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For customer service call (413) 485-1251 (M-F 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or email firstname.lastname@example.org; for tech support call (413) 485-1204 or email email@example.com.