Cablevision Running with VoIP


Cablevision Systems Corp. is tearing up the industry memo putting
Internet-protocol-telephony on hold until 2004 by coming out with an aggressive
plan to roll the technology out to its entire Optimum Online high-speed-data
footprint by the third quarter of this year.

The rollout -- which will turn up a telephony service passing 3.1 million
homes in the span of roughly one month -- will mark the first full-scale
deployment of an all-IP-voice service by a major U.S. cable operator.

Cablevision will test each market before lighting up the voice-over-IP
systems, "but really, our plan is to have our entire footprint launched within
the span of a month to a month-and-a-half," Optimum Voice vice president of
product management Tanya Van Court said. "So we have got a really aggressive

The rollout is an outgrowth of an IP-telephony trial in western Long Island,
N.Y., and it will keep the same pricing and features.

Offered for a flat $34.95 per month, Optimum Voice will provide unlimited
local, regional and long-distance calling, as well as call waiting, caller ID,
call forwarding, call return and three-way calling.

The MSO said it has obtained all necessary regulatory approvals to offer
regional and long-distance service.

Cablevision will only market Optimum Voice to its 825,000 Optimum Online
customers. But Optimum Online is relatively heavily penetrated, in 22% of
available homes and in as much as 39% of homes in some early cable-modem