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Comcast Halfway Home on VoIP Rollout

Comcast is finally moving at high speed on its IP telephone service rollout, making up for lost time after a slow start in the business. In a research bulletin yesterday, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Senior Analyst Craig Moffett notes that Comcast is now offering its broadband voice, video and Internet bundle to half of its basic cable subscribers, equal to a marketable footprint of more than 20 million homes. That figure is up sharply from only 5% availability at the start of 2006. The milestone for the largest U.S. MSO comes on the heels of Comcast's "triple-play" rollout this week in its large Chicago and San Francisco markets. Comcast counts 1.6 million and 1.4 million basic subscribers in these markets, respectively. In San Francisco and other markets, Comcast is working to whack AT&T by offering a $99 package of digital cable TV, high-speed Internet and unlimited local and long-distance phone service. Bernstein concludes that Comcast is now going "full throttle" with its digital phone service, as evidenced by the MSO adding some 1,200 employees in the Bay Area, Seattle and Boston. Comcast is now selling its full voice, video and Internet bundle in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Denver, San Francisco and Chicago. Major markets where voice is still on hold include Miami, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis and Jacksonville.
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