Security Platforms/Tools

The Year of Home Security?

Will 2007 finally be the year that cable operators plunge into the home security market? Jim Johnson certainly hopes so.

Johnson's company, uControl Inc., is one of several recent startups that's counting on cable operators, telcos, and other broadband service providers to add digital home security and monitoring to their expanding product lineup. Based in Austin, uControl has launched a "next-generation" home security service that communicates over three different redundant connections -- broadband, cellular, and regular old-fashioned phone lines.

Johnson boasts that unlike InGrid Inc., a digital home security startup that we profiled on our news pages early last week, uControl works over existing, installed alarm systems in the home. (See InGrid Senses a Broadband Monitoring Craze.) So broadband subscribers don't have to buy and install costly new phones, touch keypads, and window and door sensors.

"We thought the best way to attack the market was to work with what's already there," Johnson says. "We think the way for cable companies to differentiate themselves in the business is on the connectivity and service side."

Like InGrid, uControl is betting that cable operators and phone companies will start making deals and rolling out security services over the next 18 months. Johnson hopes to start conducting field trials with broadband providers by the fall and begin launching the service commercially by early next year.

But InGrid and uControl aren't alone. Such other firms as iControl Networks and Alarm.com are also seeking broadband partners for their security systems.

We'll keep you posted on the emerging security competition. May the best network win.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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