Comcast Reportedly Readying Major VoIP Rollout for 2006

The Wall Street Journal today reports the Comcast Corp. is planning to offer VoIP services to 40 million households by the end of 2006.

Comcast Corp., which early last year put on hold plans to aggressively market local phone services, has been testing VoIP in the western suburbs of Philadephia. “That trial ring is everything we’re going to do in 2003,” Sam Chernak, vice president of VoIP for Comcast Cable. Comcast also offers circuit-switched voice services to at least 1.4 million customers.

Having recently brought new video services to market to better compete with direct satellite TV service providers, the cable companies in recent months have renewed their interest in deliver VoIP services.

The most aggressive of the cablecos with VoIP has been Cablevision Systems Corp., which offers Optimum Voice across Long Island, Westchester and New York, N.Y.; New Jersey; and Connecticut service areas. Charter Communications is offering primary line VoIP service in Wausau, Wisc., and expected to launch two additional VoIP markets this year 2004, with VoIP in its top eight to 10 markets within the next several years. Cox Communications Inc. in December launched VoIP in its first market — Roanoke, Va. Time Warner Cable also is offering VoIP in several markets.

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