VoIP ( define - news - alert) is hot. And people are signing up, using it and passing the word along -- and there are numbers to prove it. "Clearly, a diverse and growing base of customers have embraced the ability to make unlimited calls across the U.S. and Canada at one low price, while taking advantage of a growing list of innovative calling features," says John Bickham, Cablevision's (quote - news - alert) president of cable and communications.
Bickham has plenty of reasons to brag about VoIP. According to Cablevision Systems Corporation, its Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable—a VoIP-based service, had surpassed the 250,000-customer milestone. The cable company on average has been adding approximately 1,000 new customers per day within Cablevision's New York metropolitan area system alone.
"Optimum Voice has established itself as a value-priced and highly-reliable voice service in the New York metropolitan area, and the consumer response has been outstanding," added Bickham.
Cablevision started offering Optimum Voice across the New York metro area during late 2003. Optimum Voice then joined Cablevision's existing iO: Interactive Optimum digital cable and Optimum Online high-speed Internet services. The company announced its standard monthly price for Optimum Voice would remain unchanged at $34.95 in 2005. Available only to Optimum Online customers, Optimum Voice offers unlimited local, regional and long-distance calling across the U.S. and Canada. The service also includes seven custom calling features: enhanced voicemail, call waiting, caller ID, caller ID blocking (*67), call return (*69), three-way calling and call forwarding, in addition to access to directory assistance (411).
Cablevision added features to Optimum Voice since it made the service available, including international calling and the launch of "My Optimum Voice," a Web portal that allows customers to easily forward calls, listen to voicemail messages from any computer with an Internet connection, review calling records and manage other account features. Earlier this year, Cablevision also began offering new customers an entire-house wiring option as part of the free installation, which delivers dial tone to all existing wall jacks within the home.
Cablevision says Optimum Voice also provides fully functioning E-911 service and is CALEA compliant. Optimum Voice calls are carried over Cablevision's own network instead of the public Internet.
|Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was
assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She
can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.