ADT News

Reinstate Net Neutrality Protections Through FCC Action

March 19, 2021 at 7:00 AM EDT

Holly Borgmann, Vice President, Government Affairs

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ADT helps to protect and connect its customers to what matters most. Often, that connection begins in customer homes and business with the customer’s broadband internet service. And many of the broadband internet lines that carry our (and others’) signals are owned and operated by companies that offer competing alarm businesses.

In 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to do away with the Net Neutrality law that banned broadband internet service providers from blocking or slowing competitors’ data, or from charging a fee to prioritize data transmission. Without these protections, broadband internet providers can legally block and/or throttle competing alarm providers’ data coming from the home or business (or delay the restoration of service that may have been inadvertently blocked or throttled). They can also charge hefty fees for competitors’ data to reach a central monitoring station in a timely fashion.

While small packets of alarm data can run over traditional copper lines or over cellular networks, broadband service is generally required for customers to view video camera feeds, as well as to remotely arm and disarm their systems, and lock and unlock their doors. This is even more critical in areas that have adopted what are known as “verified response policies.” These policies require video or on-the-ground confirmation of an emergency before police and/or fire departments will respond to the alarm or give the alarm a priority response. Blocking, throttling or de-prioritizing these types of data transmissions could slow emergency assistance, or deny it entirely.

In our business, seconds matter and communications delays can be deadly. Alarm monitoring centers and employees must be able to receive alarm data and in turn, share it with public safety officials and first responders as quickly as possible. We believe that public safety and lifesaving services, including home alarm systems, school and business security, and disaster alert signals, should never be purposely blocked, slowed, or de-prioritized.

Together with a number of other companies, policy groups, and organizations, ADT is calling for the FCC to reinstate these Net Neutrality rules, which would force broadband providers to treat all data on its networks equally.

On behalf of our more than 6 million customers, we strongly support Net Neutrality.

You can read more in our Letter of Support we’ve signed alongside other internet-based businesses and organizations.