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Johanne Torres[October 19, 2004]

VoIP Inc. Powers the West Via Cable

BY JOHANNE TORRES


In a move to light up competition between phone companies and online-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (define - news - alert) service providers on the U.S. West coast, cable company J & N Cable Systems announced a deal with VoIP Inc. to power up its VoIP-enabled calling plan. Western J & N Cable Systems is a Private Cable Operator (PCO) serving 10 cities in Oregon and Washington states. The company is a member of the National Cable Television Cooperative, a consortium of 1,100 smaller cable companies with about 14 million subscribers nationwide.




Under the new agreement known as a Virtual Service Provider Contract with VoIP Inc., the cable operator will offer VoIP telephone service to consumers in cities in the state of Oregon including Condon, Grass Valley, Moro, Tygh Valley and Wasco; as well as the cities of Lyle, Yacolt and Wishram in Washington.

Clive Raines, president of international operations of VoIP Inc. said, "VoIP Solutions is one of the first to give smaller cable companies the ability to be a viable competitor to local phone services. VoIP Inc. is proving its business model and the ability to execute with this signed contract. As stated two weeks ago VoIP, Inc will provide wholesale Internet phone services (define - news - alert) to small cable companies in what it hopes will be a string of deals with some of the 1,100 smaller U.S. cable companies".

"We see a growing demand from mid-sized and smaller network service providers in the area of VoIP,” commented CEO, Steven Ivester, “but the high price of operating a soft switch (define - news - alert), termination network (define - news - alert), billing system and the related staffing is typically outside the cost effective range for these service providers. We offer cable companies a way to sell phone service without the cost of investment in new systems or the learning curve or time to market problems while allowing the cable operators to retain ownership of their customers, unlike reseller models from other voice providers. Cable companies realize that if they don't offer voice services, they'll allow (the Bells) and the incumbent phone companies to come in with a triple-play (define - news - alert) offering and hurt their business. In a lot of ways it's seen as a defensive move, as protecting their embedded base of customers.”

We are seeing more cable and phone companies switch gears in order to adopt innovative VoIP services—cable companies are now adding VoIP-enabled calling services, and digital phone and phone companies in turn are offering video for conferencing, etc. With the new technologies and services enabled by VoIP, telecom and cable companies seem to be able to gain profits in the near future by bundling these services into the now hot marketing phrase: triple-play.

VoIP, Inc.

www.voipincorporated.com

Johanne Torres is the contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was the assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

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