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Comcast finally announced its VoIP plans – 15 million homes by the end of 2005 and 40 million households that within 18 months. I think it is a very ambitious roll-out, which raises the ante in the Bells versus Cable Cos war for voice business. “This […]

Comcast finally announced its VoIP plans – 15 million homes by the end of 2005 and 40 million households that within 18 months. I think it is a very ambitious roll-out, which raises the ante in the Bells versus Cable Cos war for voice business. “This is a growth engine we’re counting on for the next five to 10 years,” said Steve Burke, Comcast’s chief operating officer in a conference call, according to Wall Street Journal. Russell Shaw thinks if Comcast Broadband is any indicator, then Comcast VoIP is not going to be all that great. I don’t think that is the real problem. I think Comcast has overpriced its service at $39.95 a month, when bundled with broadband or $59.95 ala carte. If you bought Vonage it will still set you back a mere $24.95 a month for unlimited service, while others like Lingo might be even cheaper. The battery back-ups and service guarantees don’t merit a premium. VoIP, in its plain vanilla form, all the service providers are pushing doesn’t justify a premium, however excellent the quality. Phone companies don’t charge a premium for a phone service availability. If you are going to compete with a phone company, well then act like one. Average consumer doesn’t know or care about the technical details – he or she is going to read the Vonage ad and say, hey: why are you charging me so much? Still, this is the opening salvo – they will very soon offer bundles and aggressive price cuts.

  1. Nicolas Martin Monday, October 17, 2005

    Their “opening salvo” is lasting a long time. Comcast VoIP is still far more expensive than most of the competition. Compared to their $40/month for one line (unlimited calling), I’m paying $28 for two numbers (one line) and 500 mins. long distance on Verizon. I previously used ATT and (the horrid) Lingo. The all have plusses and minuses, for instance Verizon’s web site is poor, they don’t forward voice mail to email, and they don’t have 24/7 support. ATT cost more. Aside from costing too much it is hard to imagine that Comcast’s support would be better for VoIP than their awful Internet and Cable support. This industry needs a lot of maturing.

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  2. I predict that Comcast and other high speed providers will find a way to “block” other VoIP services from being used to make theirs the only VoIP to be used. What do you think?

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  3. Their price is high but most people that are signing up for Comcast don’t realize there are less expensive options available. And Comcast has all the new signups they can handle right now at their current price point. They are priced to maximize profits. Lowering their price wouldn’t increase profits and really wouldn’t increase their volume much. Just look at how quickly they’re adding subs with their marketing efficiencies gained by marketing to existing subscribers. Their problem is going to be meeting demand.

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  4. The issue of whether or not Comcast will try to lock users in to using their VOIP service is at the heart of a major controversy in the US: net neutrality. Is the internet considered a common carriageway? If so, Comcast can be required to open their service to competing firms. SBC recently announced that they intend to break net neutrality, and charge companies that offer content over their connections…disregarding the fact that those companies are paying for their bandwidth already.

    The entire spirit of the internet is at stake because some companies want to make an extra buck. Or many extra bucks, since this is a multi-million dollar issue.

    I’ve used both Lingo and Sunrocket so far, and I’d agree that Comcast’s rates are very high. SBC’s unlimited POTS line is cheaper than that, which makes Comcast a hard sell. Most of their market must come from home users wanting the packaged deal to have as many services as possible on one bill. They’ll also be competing with SBC’s IPTV service heading in the opposite direction…a phone company offering TV services.

    In the end, it’s a war between the corporations, and only the digitally educated VOIP customer is researching other options like Lingo online. The largest markets will go to the large corporations…they’ve got the market penetration and the marketing dollars to make it work. A secondary effect is that in spreading the hype, they might be unintentionally making VOIP a household term, which could help the smaller players.

    Dave.

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  5. I think Nicolas Martin hit the nail on the head. Comcast is gonna drive the competition right out of town, I mean, the voip competition does use the network (which is owned by Comcast) Comcast doesn’t even have to “block” the other voip service providers, but disrupt service. If users experience frequent black outs, dropped calls/packets, etc. there is an immense opportunity for Comcast.

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  6. As long as the price is right, we will be fine, but with prices the way they are, something needs to happen, and comcast i believe is the way to go.

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  7. Comcast? I’d look around for others, there are many that are alot cheaper.

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  8. comcast is the best, and i reckon its the best vlaue for money having tried loads of others, so give it ago.

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  9. do any of you have any other services that you can recomend other than comcast? thanks

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  10. re pricing of comcast, I think they are reasonalbe in there prices compared to others I have looked at..

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