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Optical/IP

Videotron Keeps VOIP Crown

Vidéotron Telecom Ltd. just keeps rolling along in the phone business. Canada's third largest MSO recently announced that it signed up its 400,000th VOIP subscriber, maintaining its position as the leading cable IP phone provider in the Great White North despite a strong surge by Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG; Toronto: RCI).

Videotron notched this latest milestone last month after netting 54,000 VOIP customers in the fourth quarter, closing out another strong year of growth. The Montreal-based cable operator enlisted 235,000 new phone subscribers in 2006, a remarkable total for an MSO that has slightly less than 1.6 million basic cable homes.

Operating throughout Quebec, Videotron says it now offers VOIP service to all of the province's major urban areas. With 83 percent coverage of the province now, it aims to extend service to the rest of its territories this year.

Videotron also intends to keep rolling out its new wireless phone service, which has already enlisted 12,000 subscribers. In addition, the company plans to launch videophone and softphone services with advanced call management features this year.

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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