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Summary:

If you are a San Francisco resident, then you are getting the Comcast phone service pitch, which is the latest in a series of assaults the cable companies have launched against the Bells. While Comcast has been late in joining the party, the two cable big […]

If you are a San Francisco resident, then you are getting the Comcast phone service pitch, which is the latest in a series of assaults the cable companies have launched against the Bells. While Comcast has been late in joining the party, the two cable big boys, Time Warner and Cablevision have turned voice into a money maker.

TWC has zoomed past the million customer mark, and today Cablevision has announced that it too has joined the “million voiper club.” Cablevision claims that it has saved $500 million for those who use its service. I am not sure if I buy that, but hey its a press release.

This is not good news for Vonage, which now faces even tougher competition from the cable companies going forward. But it also means that the landline losses for phone companies will continue for sometime. As it so happens, Bells have been talking up IPTV and what not, but in reality have few customers to show for all that talk. CableCos, on the other hand are saying we got voice, and we selling it too…. in millions!

Also, Cable VoIP, Hotter Than Ever.

  1. This news is worth celebrating 100 times more even if just 1% of the customers’ user experience is more than what they could get with POTS. I am thinking of features like enhanced call handling, ability to send/receive text message, ability to switch from voice to text.

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  2. aswath, you certainly have a way with words. I assume, cablevision is aswath approved? just checking…

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  3. I just can’t get excited about Comcast’s offer…something like $35 per month…at the end of the day, it is not cheaper than my package from the Bell…although, i acknowledge the Comcast offer is significantly more feature rich.

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  4. “Bells have been talking up IPTV and what not, but in reality have few customers to show for all that talk.”

    Regulations drafted in a different era combined with cable legal challenges and noise making in various jurisdictions have done a good job at quelling a quick and massive IPTV rollout.

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  5. Jesse Kopelman Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    I’ve always assumed that Cable VoIP would kill Vonage. I’m only surprised it still hasn’t happened yet. Why Vonage didn’t sell out for maybe $1B two years ago is the great unanswered questions of Bubble 2.0

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  6. Charlie Cacioppo Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Thanks for the report, Om. In my neck of the wood, in the Southeast, Brighthouse Networks is making money by the truck load. With over 250,000 VoIP customers in AL and FL at $39.95 at month for VoIP, you can do the math.

    I prefer my VoIP service much less expensive so their bandwagon passed me by. In spite of recent reports “praising” cableco voip services, I need to pass on that too.
    Customer service is OK from them but delivery (installation techs) of that service is less than par.

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  7. Charlie Cacioppo Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Oh and unrelated but important in the Cablevision area: Verizon is full steam ahead with FiOS TV service rollouts in the northeast (Cablevision core area). It will be interesting to see how (or if) increases in VoIP revenue will fill in the gap of less cable related revenues by pressure from Verizon.

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  8. Surely you’re joking Mr. Malik. :-)

    Isn’t Cablevision’s service just like any other – standard telephony features. They could offer an enhanced ATA that provides enahnced signaling to the handset, or a handset that can be used to do text messaging and so on. Let us keep in mind that, there are places where one can do text messaging over the standard copper landlines.

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  9. Forget the numbers. The first time the Southeast experiences a hurricane OR the Northeast a blackout, VOIP users will leave in droves when they go to call Auntie M looking for Toto but find their VOIP router is down.

    If I were the Bells, I would sell the fear of the VOIP phone not working when the power goes out. I would also sell to the largest disaster prone markets – gulf coast, CA, Northeast etc.

    I dont think price will be the driver. Just one guys take.

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  10. If I were Bell, I would offer (over the POTS lines) the features promised by VoIP technology, but not being offered by service providers who use that technology. But will they?

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