Time Warner Cable has announced partnerships with MCI and Sprint that should help it to roll out its IP voice service across the US.
The agreements with Sprint and MCI, which is still officially known as WorldCom, will allow Time Warner Cable to "continue its aggressive rollout throughout next year". The service should available in most US markets by the end of next year.
The three companies did not disclose the terms of the multi-year deals.
MCI and Sprint will help roll out the IP voice service by recruiting customers, moving IP voice traffic to the public switched telephone network, carrying long-distance traffic and delivering enhanced emrgency services and local number portability.
Voice over IP services compete with traditional wireline telephone services. Time Warner Cable's Digital Phone service includes unlimited local, in-state and domestic long-distance calling for one monthly price. Consumers who switch to Digital Phone can keep their existing phone numbers and retain their directory listings.
Standard features of the service include directory assistance, enhanced emergency services, call waiting, caller ID and voicemail. The residential phone service connects to each telephone jack in the home.
Asked if he expected the Time Warner Cable offering to compete successfully with traditional phone service, Cocozza noted that more than 8,000 customers have signed up in Portland, Maine, since Time Warner Cable began offering the service there in May. The service includes local calling and long distance for a set monthly fee and Cocozza said he expected the product will be competitive elsewhere.
Grant Gross writes for IDG News Service