Denver-based Qwest and burly cable provider Comcast could soon be knocking heads over low-cost residential Internet telephone customers.
Qwest, Colorado’s largest phone company, plans to launch its voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service early next year across its 14-state territory. It already sells the service to business customers in more than 100 markets, including Denver.
Philadelphia-based Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, also plans to offer a residential VoIP package next year - called Comcast Digital Phone - though it hasn’t said which of its markets will have it by the end of 2005.
By next week, about 50 percent of Comcast’s network will be equipped to handle VoIP and other advanced services, said Comcast spokesman Robert Smith. By the end of 2005, 95 percent of it will have the necessary upgrades.
Customers will benefit from the entrance of the two giants into a market that has been the preserve of smaller companies.
VoIP service can provide substantial savings over the cost of a land-line telephone, but a broadband connection is required.
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