• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

Cable providers bring urgency to VoIP deployment

Jul 02, 20032 mins

* Three cable providers are readying voice over IP, over cable

Today, we’d like to highlight three reasons why carriers should pay attention to voice over IP: At least three cable operators are moving to VoIP, so local exchange carriers can no longer believe that their local loop will protect their voice service monopoly.

Last month, Cablevision, one of the largest U.S. cable companies with more than 3 million subscribers in the New York metro market, signed an agreement with Siemens Information and Communication Networks to support its new “Optimum Voice” IP telephony service through Siemens’ Surpass next-generation network equipment.

For those who believe the cable industry move to VoIP is only a U.S. phenomenon, last month Cisco and BearingPoint announced they are working with Astral Telecom, a Romanian broadband cable television operator, to provide VoIP services. According to Aurel Costea, general manager of Astral Telecom, the cable business is “always evolving, and so adding voice services over our existing broadband cable infrastructure is a natural progression.” Astral will be using the Cisco DOCSIS-based cable architecture to implement quality-of-service policies throughout its network.

And this month (for the long-distance providers who think they are immune from cable operator competition) Cox Communications – one of the largest multiservice broadband communication companies in North America, announced it has deployed a Nortel Succession cable VoIP system and Nuera Communications media gateways for the migration of its long-distance telephony traffic to a packet-based infrastructure. This is the first packet trunking deployment by a cable operator in North America.

According to Jay Rolls, Cox’s vice president of telephone and data engineering, VoIP will enable Cox to transport some residential long-distance phone calls over its IP backbone, helping to reduce operational costs. Cox already has 750,000 customers making and receiving more than 24 million calls per day using its telephone service.

So, Mr. Carrier, still think joining the VoIP bandwagon isn’t for you? Keep reading in the coming weeks; we’ll give you some more reasons to wake up and smell the coffee.