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Convergence news wrap-up

Jun 07, 20042 mins

* Convergence news in easy pieces

This week, we’ll give our readers a few news briefs hot off our stack of press releases. So much news, so little column space!

First an update from AT&T. AT&T is continuing its expansion of VoIP service availability, originally announced late last year. It now offers VoIP-based services to consumers in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

Next, news from the World Trade Organization (WTO) that opens up Mexico’s local loop to international service providers. Seems that until the latest ruling from the WTO, Telmex had exclusive rights to the local loop in Mexico, so traditional and long-distance rates were based on price controls established by Telmex. The WTO has directed Mexico to provide unbundled local loop directly to international carriers. According to National Public Radio, Mexico is the number two destination (after Canada) for calls from the U.S., and the U.S. is the number one destination for calls from Mexico. We expect to see decreased long-distance rates; we also anticipate that VPN and VoIP services will now be opened up to competitive service rates in Mexico.

Finally, some news from BellSouth. BellSouth recently enhanced to its Metro Ethernet Service portfolio for business customers. According to the company, the enhanced platform for businesses offers new services for business continuity, data and storage center connectivity, sharing of medical and technical imaging, video and VoIP. The new features were designed with the demands of new applications in mind, including the need to support low-latency applications such as VoIP. The Metro Ethernet Service enhancements, known as Premium Service options, are initially available in Atlanta; Miami; New Orleans; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Raleigh, N.C., with deployments to take place in additional metro areas throughout 2004.