WATPA: FW: Qwest's Bold VOIP Push

From: Norm Jacknis <norm@jacknis.com>
Date: Wed Nov 19 2003 - 22:52:19 EST

One of the items discussed at last night's meeting was Internet telephony,
so I thought you might find the attached of interest.


Qwest's Bold VOIP Push
By Colin Haley
November 19, 2003

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. That's Qwest's new outlook on voice over
Internet protocol competitors.

Beginning in early December, the Baby Bell will test the service in
Minnesota, where a judge effectively exempted VOIP providers from taxes
levied on telecoms and ultimately passed along to consumers.

"We are becoming one of them," Qwest CEO Dick Notebaert said during a
conference call this morning. "Entry into VOIP might be the opportunity to
break up the massive regulatory logjam and provide a service customers

Denver-based Qwest believes residential and small business subscribers could
cut their local and long-distance bills between 20 and 30 percent by routing
their calls over a DSL or T-1 connection onto the Internet. The tradeoff, at
least for now, is reliability. "It's not five-nines," Notebaert said,
referring to the quality standard of 99.999 percent.

To make the transition, Qwest signed a deal with Lucent to replace older
technology, consolidate end-office and prepare its infrastructure for VOIP.
Terms of the three-year contract, which includes switches, gateways,
software and services, are private.

Qwest will integrate Lucent's technology into its existing local network.
Following lab and field trials, Qwest plans to deploy the new intelligent
media gateway that will eventually connect existing customers to VOIP

Besides Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent, Cisco and other large equipment
vendors are making a push to manufacture and market VOIP gear.

Unregulated VOIP has the potential to change the communications landscape
and carriers are weighing its costs and benefits, especially after the
Minnesota decision.

And it's not just telecoms. Cable companies Time Warner and Comcast are
currently in trials for VOIP, looking for an edge.

Also, independent players including Vonage and Net2Phone are battling with
state regulators in California and elsewhere to ensure that VOIP remains
unregulated. Earlier this week, Net2Phone announced a tentative deal to
provide Cebridge Connections, a St. Louis-based cable operator, with cable
voice services.

Contact internetnews.com staff

Jupitermedia is publisher of the internet.com
Received on Wed Nov 19 23:03:35 2003

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