I just got off of the phone with one of our clients who has switched their home telephone service to Rogers Home Phone. She was calling to speak with me after hearing from one of our sales representatives about our concerns and cautions about relying on a Voice over IP (VoIP) phone service for alarm signal transmission. In a nutshell, her confusion was surrounding the fact that a sales representative from Rogers had specifically assured her that Rogers Home Phone was not VoIP and that her alarm would work “just fine”.
I checked out the Rogers website today and found this explanation in their technical support pages that says that “Rogers Home Phone is not VoIP” (in case it gets changed, click on the image above to view a screen-shot of what I found today). However, further down in the same paragraph it states that “the Rogers Home Phone service is delivered over the Rogers privately owned and monitored secure packet cable network..” … which, as I pointed out in an earlier post, means that their service uses a form of VoIP called facilitated VoIP (just like Shaw does) as opposed to non-facilitated VoIP service (like Vonage). Bottom line being that Rogers Home Phone is most certainly a VoIP service.
I also called their tech support line to clarify this and was told that when the site says that their service is not VoIP, that that is “business” wording as opposed to “technical” wording. The reason being that they do not want anyone to be confused between their type of VoIP service and regular, non-facilitated VoIP such as that offered by Vonage. The technical support representative did confirm that their service was in fact facilitated VoIP and that he agreed that it might be a little confusing.
At best, I would consider the Rogers site misleading… taking a page from Shaw’s Digital Phone (TM) marketing department, they have decided that rather than explain exactly how their service works, it is just simpler to offer a false statement that is easier for most people to understand.
So, whether using Shaw or Rogers, our position is unchanged: we do not recommend relying on any type of VoIP service (whether Shaw, Rogers, Vonage or anything else other than Telus) without having a secondary, back-up communications method such as cellular back-up or MESH radio.
As of yet, no alarm communications equipment has been certified to be able to communicate consistently over VoIP networks.
FYI, here is a link to my original post on this topic which has some links to other, more technical, explanations about this issue.
* Shaw Digital Phone is a registered trademark of Shaw Communications Inc.
* Rogers Home Phone is a registered trademark of Rogers