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Time Warner Cable Boosts VoIP Velocity

In reporting its operating results for the first quarter of 2005 today, Time Warner shared the latest metrics for its nascent PacketCable-based voice over IP (VoIP) service rollout. Time Warner Cable said it counted 372,000 IP phone customers as of March 31, an increase of 152,000 subscribers during the first quarter. Net Q1 additions, equal to an average of 11,692 per week, were 31% higher than the MSOs IP phone additions in the fourth quarter. Based on penetration data shared by Time Warner, the MSO was marketing its VoIP service, called Digital Phone, to some 12.5 million homes at the end of Q1. This is equal to about 65% of Time Warner's total U.S. footprint and marks an expansion from the 11 million homes it marketed for VoIP at the end of 2004. While Time Warner's VoIP velocity is increasing, on an apples-to-apples basis, the MSO trails the momentum of IP phone pioneer Cablevision Systems. Time Warner's net additions in Q1 equaled 1.2% of marketable homes, while we project Cablevision will come in around 2% when it reports earnings tomorrow. Thus, on an equalized basis, Cablevision's run rate is two-thirds better than Time Warner's. If Time Warner can continue expanding its marketable IP phone footprint and bring its run rate in line with Cablevision's, Time Warner could be adding over 20,000 new VoIP subscribers per week. On the high-speed data front, Time Warner had its best quarter in two years, adding 209,000 residential Road Runner customers in Q1, an increase of 6% over Q4 net adds. Time Warner finished Q1 with 4.1 million high-speed data subs. However, Time Warner's digital cable momentum slipped as net additions declined 16.9% in Q1 to 103,000, bringing its total digital cable customer base to 4.9 million.
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