Suddenlink Communications, the St. Louis-based cable operator headed by cable veteran Jerry Kent, entered the ranks of cable operators offering the full triple play of voice, video and high-speed-Internet services with the rollout of its own branded telephone service in three Texas markets.
The eighth-largest cable operator in the country with 1.4 million subscribers, Suddenlink has offered limited phone service to about 30,000 customers in parts of west Texas and Missouri as a result of its May 2006 purchase of about 900,000 subscribers from Cox Communications.
The company said the most recent rollout is the first time it will offer its own Suddenlink-branded voice-over-Internet-protocol telephone service. Suddenlink added that it hopes to have telephone service available in about 80% of its footprint by the end of the year.
According to Suddenlink, phone service -- in addition to video and high-speed-data service -- will be available in Bryan/College Station, Tyler and Georgetown (including Leander and Pflugerville). The three markets are among the company’s 14 largest service areas.
“Our employees are very excited about this milestone, as it represents the first major rollout of phone service under the Suddenlink banner,” Kent said in a prepared statement.
Suddenlink spokesman Gene Regan said the cable operator has its own backbone network to handle calls -- in conjunction with Level 3 Communications -- and it has an agreement with Sprint Nextel to complete calls outside its own network.
“We’re into the triple play just in time for baseball season,” Regan added.
Unlimited local and domestic long distance will be offered as a standard part of service, as well as popular calling features such ascaller ID, call waiting, three-way calling, anonymous call rejection and call forwarding. Voice mail and international calls are also available at competitive rates.
Pricing for the telephone service will be about $39.95 per month when bundled with video and high-speed-Internet service; $44.95 when bundled with one of those services; and $49.95 as a stand-alone product, Regan said.