Comcast Connects with IP Phone in Philly


Comcast Corp. announced that it will be calling up
Internet-protocol-telephony service in its hometown of Philadelphia in

It will be the first voice-over IP deployment for the MSO, which already has
40,000 circuit-switched telephony customers in Michigan and Virginia.

For the Philadelphia service, Comcast will use a voice-over-IP system powered
by Arris' 'C4' cable-modem-termination-system unit, which is Data Over Cable
Service Interface Specification 1.1-qualified. The unit will be installed in the
headend at a midsized Comcast system in the city during the next few weeks.

After field tests, plans are to offer residential phone service there in the
second quarter of 2003. The exact location and rates for the initial service,
and what residential-access device will be used, were not released.

Comcast has already announced that it intends to unveil or expand phone
service in Philadelphia and Detroit once its merger with AT&T Broadband is

Compared with traditional circuit-switched phone service, IP telephony offers
several advantages to cable operators, including better bandwidth efficiency and
the ability to combine voice with data services. Comcast recently completed VoIP
technical lab trials and it has concluded that the technology is ready for

'We are excited to be taking this first step in our rollout of phone
service,' president Steve Burke said. 'Voice-over-Internet-protocol technology
has come a long way, and we think it will play a big role in our