McSlarrow: Cable VoIP Saves Billions

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Consumers could save more than $60 billion in five years by switching to voice-over-Internet-protocol calling services offered by cable operators, according to an analysis of a recent J.D. Power & Associates survey by cable's top Washington lobbyist.

In a speech Wednesday, National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Kyle McSlarrow said J.D. Power found that cable VoIP customers were paying $11.19 less per month that consumers taking traditional phone service. He added that assuming that 100 million homes signed up for VoIP, the five-year savings would exceed $60 billion.

“The cable industry’s success in competing with the telephone industry is one of the unheralded good-news stories for American consumers,” McSlarrow told the Mid-America Cable Show in Kansas City, Mo.

In a July survey, J.D. Power found that cable VoIP customers were paying $42.40 per month, while traditional phone customers were paying $53.59 for local and long-distance service, producing the $11.19 monthly differential. McSlarrow’s consumer savings assumed that cable VoIP pricing would continue to undercut the competition and cable VoIP’s market share would reach 85%.

McSlarrow added that he would press Congress and regulators to ensure that cable VoIP providers can interconnect with phone incumbents for the guaranteed exchange of voice traffic. Cable interconnection rights, he said, were being challenged in some parts of the country.

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