home_security

Updated with additional information

Since mid-December, CenturyLink has been quietly rolling out a home security and management service and according to a company spokeswoman, now offers the service in about 50 of its markets.

The offering, dubbed CenturyLink Smart Home, is available to customers that use CenturyLink for broadband service and includes 24/7 monitoring from a CenturyLink-owned central station. Customers also gain the ability to control the service using a smartphone – a capability that has added considerable pizazz to the sometimes sleepy security business. One of the more appealing capabilities of CenturyLink’s offering is the ability to remotely lock and unlock doors from a smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as to turn lights on and off and adjust thermostats remotely.

A silver package includes a motion detector, three sensors and two smartplugs for $34.99 a month. A gold package adds temperature management and costs $44.99 a month. A platinum package adds an additional smartplug, temperature management, electronic door locks, remote video monitoring and a touch-screen control pad.

CenturyLink is using an interactive platform from iControl to support the offering, the CenturyLink spokeswoman said.

Over the last few years, several major telcos and cable companies have ventured into the home security and control market, viewing it as a way of boosting average revenue per customer and minimizing broadband churn.

CenturyLink appears quite serious about the opportunity, as evidenced by the fact that it has its own central station. Some other service providers are using third-party monitoring and at least one service provider – Verizon – has avoided offering monitoring at all, instead positioning its offering strictly as a home control product.

Fierce Telecom reported yesterday that CenturyLink has applied for a patent that would enable the company to use a set-top box to support a home security offering. When Telecompetitor asked the CenturyLink spokeswoman for details about that, she said the company didn’t have much information to share at this time but also noted that “this is something we began a few years back” and that the company currently has “no committed timeline on when we will roll out this kind of functionality.”

UPDATE: A CenturyLink spokeswoman provided responses to some additional questions that Telecompetitor posed.

She confirmed that the company is using a network of licensed security dealers nationwide to install its equipment. She also noted that DSC, a subsidiary of Tyco, is providing the alarm equipment that CenturyLink will be using.

CenturyLink has owned its own monitoring facility since 1997, the spokeswoman said. She also noted that the company has a disaster recovery plan that would move monitoring to another UL-listed monitoring facility if needed.