Marc Mineau  (1954-2017)

Marc MineauTMA is saddened to learn of the passing in May of our friend Marc Mineau, a passionate entrepreneur who worked for many years in the security field in Canada and the United States. He served as a board member of TMA (then CSAA), national president of CANASA, and president of SIA, and was the intellectual architect of ALAS (Latin America Security Association).

“We have all lost a great friend, champion and defender for our industry,” said TMA past president Ralph Sevinor. “Very few have done so much as Marc had done. I was fortunate to have had Marc as a true friend and also worked with him while he was president of SIA and I was president of CSAA [now TMA]. In our collaboration of mutual associations was the seed capital for our online education programs. We were all recipients of his passion, tenacity and wit.”

Ivan Spector, TMA First Vice President, recounted that “Marc Mineau had a long and distinguished career in the Security Industry. He started Omnitron in Montreal, a full service alarm and monitoring company which he eventually sold to Videotron, a Montreal-based cable company. This became Protectron, a National Company that had a coast-to-coast reach. Marc then turned his considerable talents to the card access part of our Industry by launching Kantech, which was acquired by Tyco and which remains a part of their product line used by many in the Industry today.”

“But most important,” Spector continued, “Marc was my friend, mentor and an industry leader. His joie de vivre was infectious, and spending time with Marc was always stimulating. Amongst the many things he taught me was the importance of giving back to the industry. Marc will be sorely missed.”

Mineau, who suffered with Alzheimers for a long time before passing away, leaves a great legacy and many friends. Donations in his memory are welcomed by the South Shore Alzheimer’s Society (Canada).

–June 8, 2017

FCC Adopts NPRM, NOI, and Request for Comment on Copper Retirement, Section 214 Discontinuance and State Law Preemption

The FCC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Notice of Inquiry (NOI), and Request for Comment outlining proposed changes to current rules regarding copper retirement and the discontinuance of telecommunications service and seeking comment on the preemption of state laws governing the maintenance or retirement of copper facilities “to accelerate the deployment of next-generation networks and services by removing barriers to infrastructure investment.”

The FCC’s NOI addresses state laws inhibiting broadband deployment.  Comments on the NOI are due June 12 and reply comments are due July 10. 

In the NOI, the FCC seeks comment on  adopting rules that would help decrease State-sponsored impediments to broadband deployment. Most importantly for the alarm  industry, the FCC seeks comment on “whether there are state laws governing the maintenance or retirement of copper facilities that serve as a barrier to deploying next-generation technologies and services that the Commission might seek to preempt.”  As examples of rules that may be barriers to deploying next-generation technologies the FCC states that “certain states require utilities or specific carriers to maintain adequate equipment and facilities” and others “empower public utilities commissions, either acting on their own authority or in response to a complaint,  to require utilities or specific carriers to maintain, repair, or improve facilities or equipment or to have in place a written preventative maintenance program.”  The  FCC seeks comment on:

  • The impact of state legacy service quality and copper facilities maintenance regulations.
  • The impact of state laws restricting the retirement of copper facilities.
  • Whether Section 253 of the Act provides the FCC with authority to preempt state laws and regulations governing service quality, facilities maintenance, or copper retirement that are impeding fiber deployment, including whether such laws have the effect of prohibiting the ability of incumbent LECs to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service and whether such laws are not competitively neutral or not necessary to preserve and advance universal service, protect the public safety and welfare, ensure the continued quality of telecommunications services, and safeguard the rights of consumers.

The FCC also asks for comment on:

  • Eliminating excessive delays in negotiations and approvals for rights-of-way agreements and permitting for telecommunications services.
  • Prohibiting excessive fees and other costs that may have the effect of prohibiting the provision of telecommunications service.
  • Prohibiting unreasonable conditions or requirements in the context of granting access to rights-of-way, permitting, construction, or licensure related to the provision of telecommunications services.

In the NPRM, the FCC seeks comment on proposed changes to the copper retirement and  Section 214 rules to discontinue services.  The comment dates for the issues raised in the NPRM have not been established.

The FCC proposes a number of revisions to the Part 51 network change disclosure rules and the rules applicable to copper retirement.  Under one proposal, the FCC would repeal Section 51.332 of the rules and return to the prior short-term network change notification rules for copper retirement.  Under this proposal,  an incumbent LEC would be allowed to retire copper facilities 90 days after FCC issuance of a public notice and without providing direct notice to retail customers.

Under a second proposal, the FCC would eliminate all differences between copper retirement and other network change notice requirements, rendering copper retirement changes subject to the same long-term or, where applicable, short-term network change notice requirements as all other types of network changes subject to Section 251(c)(5).  Under this proposal, an incumbent LEC would be allowed to retire copper facilities 10 days after FCC issuance of a public notice and without providing direct notice to retail customers.

Under a third proposal, the FCC would “retain but amend Section 51.332 to streamline the process, provide greater flexibility, and reduce burdensome requirements for incumbent LEC copper retirements.”  Among other things, the FCC seeks comment on whether the rule should be changed to require an incumbent LEC to serve notice only to telephone exchange service providers that directly interconnect with the incumbent LEC’s network and not retail customers and reduce the waiting period to 90 days from 180 days after the FCC releases its public notice before the planned copper retirement can be implemented.

Similarly, the NPRM proposes a number of measures to shorten timeframes and eliminate protections when an incumbent LEC seeks to discontinue the provision of a telecommunications service pursuant to Section 214 of the Act.  Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on:

  • Reducing the Section 214(a) discontinuance process for applications that seek authorization to stop accepting new customers for the service while maintaining service to existing customers (a.k.a. “grandfathering”) to 10 days.
  • Changing the list of eligible services for grandfathering.
  • Adopting a streamlined uniform comment period of 10 days and an auto-grant period of 31 days for both dominant and non-dominant carriers for discontinuance of services that have been grandfathered for at least 180 days.
  • Whether the FCC should conclude that Section 214(a) discontinuances will not adversely affect the present or future public conveniences and necessity, provided that fiber, IP-based, or wireless services are available to the affected community and what types of fiber, IP-based or wireless services would constitute acceptable alternatives.

Read more and submit comments.

Rochester/Monroe County, NY’s John Merklinger is Recipient of 2017 TMA Public Sector Award

TMA-Public-Sector-AwardJohn M. Merklinger, Director of the Rochester/Monroe County 911 Center and 311 Call Center, is the recipient of The Monitoring Association’s 2017 Public Sector Award. This special honor is given by TMA in recognition of a public sector individual’s contribution to the alarm industry. He will be presented with the award at the 2017 Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Public Sector Luncheon on Friday, June 16, at Music City Center in Nashville.

“It is our pleasure to recognize John for his tireless efforts to advance the implementation of ASAP – the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol – in New York State,” said TMA President Pamela J. Petrow. ASAP is a technology that automates communication between alarm monitoring central stations and 911 centers, resulting in improved accuracy and speed of emergency response.

The award recipient must be nominated by one or more TMA members in good standing. TMA President Petrow and Past President (and current Executive Director) Jay Hauhn put Merklinger’s name forward for consideration.

“New York State was projected to be one of the last states to implement ASAP due to the states unique IT infrastructure,” said Hauhn. “Merklinger, who understood the value ASAP would bring to his center, spearheaded an effort by New York PSAPs to work with the state police to have the needed changes to the state CJIS network funded, scheduled and successfully completed.”

As Director of the Rochester/Monroe County 911 Center and 311 Call Center, Merklinger manages a staff of 246 dedicated employees and an annual budget of $17.6 million at the 911 Center. The 911 Center handled nearly 1.3 million calls in 2016 (the 311 call center handled 484,844 calls in 2016). The Center is accredited by CALEA and the NYS J Merklinger PhotoSheriffs’ Association.

Merklinger has an extensive Public Safety background as a paramedic, volunteer firefighter, and employee at the Monroe County 911 Center for the last 30 years. He has three A.A.S degrees from Monroe Community College in Public Safety Communications, Criminal Justice and Paramedicine. He also has a B.S degree in Organizational Management and a M.S degree in Management from Robert’s Wesleyan College.  A past Fire Chief, he is a life member of Gates Volunteer Ambulance since 1980 and a life member of the Gates Fire Department since 1991. He is past-president of the NYS NENA Chapter and currently serves as President of the NYS 911 Coordinators Association. Merklinger was appointed by Governor Cuomo to the NYS 911 board in 2011 and remains a member of the board.

“We are proud to be the first PSAP in NYS to go live with the ASAP protocol,” said Merklinger.  “We believe this will be a benefit to the public and the public safety organizations by providing quicker entry and response to alarm generated emergencies.”

The ASAP program is based on an American National Standard developed jointly by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and TMA, then the Central ASAP-Concept1DStation Alarm Association (CSAA). The program provides a standardized method through the use of automation and the power of Nlets to deliver alarm notifications to 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points. As a result, there is an increase in the likelihood of increased law enforcement apprehensions for crimes in-progress, fire quickly extinguished with minimal property damage, and could mean a life-saver for a medical emergency patient when every second counts.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at TMA, 703-242-4670 or elasko@tma.us.

 

About The Monitoring Association
The Monitoring Association (TMA), formerly the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA), is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies, including those listed by a TMA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. Incorporated in 1950, TMA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. TMA’s mission is to advance the professional monitoring industry through education, advocacy, and public safety relationships. www.tma.us. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at TMA, 703-242-4670 x 16.

TMA Bylaws Proposed Amendments Announced

Over the past two years, TMA has been undergoing a comprehensive review of our bylaws. There are two Articles scheduled for review and vote at the General Membership Meeting at ESX in Nashville on June 13. TMA voting members received by email official notification of the intended bylaw changes today, which is required to be sent 30 days prior to the General Membership Meeting.  

Click to view Proposed Changes to Article VII — Officers
Click to view Proposed Changes to Article VIII – Committees  

These documents include a “red-line” version of each existing bylaw showing the recommended revision to the original text, followed by the final proposed text. You can also view the current bylaws in full at TMA Bylaws.

Please direct any questions to TMA Executive Director Jay Hauhn at jhauhn@tma.us.

Doyle Security Goes Live with ASAP; First Implementation in New York State

ASAP-Concept1DDoyle Security Systems, in cooperation with the Monroe County Emergency Communications Department, has become the first company in New York State to implement the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP) to Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) alarm response program. Doyle is the latest monitoring company to go live with ASAP.

The connection in New York State is the culmination of a long process of alarm company outreach to PSAPs. According to Bill Hobgood, nationally recognized ASAP program expert and a public safety IT project manager for the City of Richmond, VA, “The Doyle Security Systems and the city of Rochester / Monroe County ASAP implementation represents another major milestone in this project. New York State is the eighth state, plus the District of Columbia to join the program. This achievement became a reality by continued assertiveness by staff at Doyle Security and the Monroe County Emergency Communications Department.”

He continued,”Congratulations to Doyle Security, the Monroe County NY 9-1-1 PSAP, and especially John Merklinger, the Monroe County PSAP Director who lobbied the state of New York to bring ASAP to fruition. The way has been paved for other New York 9-1-1 PSAPs to join the program.” Read more in SSI’s report.

 

TMA Government Relations Update

The TMA Government Relations Committee has reviewed 50 legislative bills to date in 2017. During these reviews Chair Rick Sheets has collaborated with ESA Government Relations and TMA members to gain insight on the effect these bills have on our industry. Here are some bills the GR Committee felt had major impacts.

  • AL HB 426 (Previously LRS2017-573): Creates additional license classification and updates definitions, exempts out of state sales person and replacement of thermostats from licensing.
  • DE HB 93 (New): Creates path for out of state License Qualifier and adds licensing requirements for monitoring agents.
  • FL HB 473/SB 822 (New): Makes ECV optional for Federal Firearms Licensed premises.
  • OK SB 531 (Updated): Reduces licensing hurdles for multiple licenses for companies and its employees to be able to sell and install home automation products that are controlled by a residential burglar alarm system. Passed Senate and awaiting vote in the House.

“It is important that members are engaged in the process to protect their business and viability in the market place,” said Sheets. If you would like any additional details on these bills or have any input you would like to submit, he can be contacted at rs8486@att.com.