Comcast VoIP too expensive?

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.

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