Comcast Unveils VoIP Rollout Plans

Comcast has finally made it official, spelling out its ambitious plans to roll out voice-over-IP (VoIP) service to nearly all of its homes passed by the middle of next year. At a financial investors conference in Phoenix earlier today, Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts and other senior executives said the company will market IP telephony to 15 million homes in 20 markets in 2005 and another 25 million households in 2006. Comcast, the largest MSO in North America with more than 1.2 million circuit-switched phone customers that it inherited from AT&T Broadband, will not compete with the likes of Vonage on price. It plans to charge cable video and data subscribers $39.95 a month for unlimited local and long-distance service in the U.S. Customers who want only phone service will pay $54.95 a month. But Comcast will compete on features. The MSO will allow subscribers to check voice mail from a Web site. It will also test videophone, call-waiting and combined cable-mobile services. The MSO aims to sign up 8 million VoIP customers within five years.
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