Autumn is the time of year when
seasonal businesses, cottages, and residences are being closed up
for the winter. Many of these contain monitored alarm systems
requiring a working telephone line to maintain continuity of
service. This article explains how to avoid compromising your
security while still temporarily suspending your telephone service,
thereby saving money by switching to your telephone service
provider’s off-season rate.
This process used to be called “seasonal disconnection” and had
little to do with whether or not your telephone line would still be
usable through the so called “disconnected” period. All it meant
back in those days was that repair priority would be placed on full
service accounts so that loss of your seasonally disconnected
telephone service would be seen to on a “we’ll get to it when we
can” basis. You could get priority only by accepting an obligation
to pay three months of service at the full rate before going back to
the seasonal one. Still, if all went as planned, you and your alarm
system could still access the network.
Things are different now. If you order seasonal disconnection in
today’s world without taking the proper steps, your service provider
will remotely deactivate your dial tone and shut down your line.
Nothing gets out after that.
Until recently, Eastlink offered a
service called “Seasonal Hold” in which seasonal residential
customers of their telephone service could enjoy a reduced monthly
rate while maintaining only the service necessary to provide alarm
monitoring and 911 service. Unfortunately they have discontinued
this service and no one we have been able to find in their
organization will even admit that it ever existed.
Aliant’s version of this
service is called “Temporary Service Suspension” or TSS. They
were kind enough to provide a written copy of their TSS policy
by e-mail, relevant portions of which are directly quoted below.
In the short form, to implement TSS, call Aliant and tell them
you want temporary suspension. Aside from the obvious, like your
name and the telephone number affected by your TSS request, you
will need to provide the following information to avoid
interruption of your security service:
- The fact that you have a security system connected to the
- The toll-free number your security system uses to communicate
its data to the central monitoring station.
This last item, the toll-free number, must be obtained directly
With TSS in place, your telephone service will only permit two
numbers to be successfully dialed; 911 and the toll-free number
your security equipment uses to communicate with our alarm
Aliant TSS Policies
Provided by e-mail on 21 September 2005:
"TSS FOR SECURITY ALARMS
A new process is available to enable customers with alarm
connected to a phone line to go on TSS using restricted dial
also be able to dial 911. Once on this system, the customer will
able to dial 911 and their Alarm Company’s toll free number. An
automated system will be in place later this year, until then
follow these instructions.
Available now in NS-PE-NB; not provided in NL.
This version of TSS is to be provided to residence customers
monitored alarm system which requires a connection to network or
customers who want to be able to dial 911 in an emergency.
Advise the customer that the TSS service will only dial out to
Alarm Company toll free numbers and 911.
If the customer wants the alarm dialer to work with our TSS
they must provide the toll free number that the house dials to
an alarm has been triggered. If they don’t know this number they
must contact their alarm company. If the number is not a toll
number they must have the alarm company change their number that
dialed to a toll free number. Once they have the toll free phone
number the customer can call us and we can provision the TSS
We do not verify the toll free number, so the customer must be
it is connected to their system when an alarm is triggered and
to the toll free number.
We cannot place the order without this toll free phone number if
customer wants TSS because they have a security alarm system. If
customer advises that they cannot provide a toll free number as
company only uses a local phone number then we cannot do this
process. If a customer wants access to 911 only then we can
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