An FBR buy side analyst questions just how major VoIP will be for the cable industry, in this column on TheStreet.com
The key to all this is churn. Cable operators have forever been fighting the battle with the satellite companies (Dish Network and Direct TV) here in the USA to retain customers. With Cable Telephony 1.0 they had no real competitive advantage over the telcos so a customer, other than getting one bill, had no reason to adopt it. Now with next generation VoIP services Cable Telephony 2.0 should offer enough reasons to keep the customer from jumping to satellite, or at least that's the idea.
Vonage recieved real nice exposure in US News and World Reports this week and writer Mary Kathleen Flynn really got the story right.
What's good about this story is that Flynn got it. She went past the fact that it is about price, and explained the features, and provided breezy, easy to understand analysis of who would use Vonage, what the benefits and current drawbacks are and said even better will come.
As a journalist, (I even have my degree in Journalism from Temple University), I hate seeing stories like the one today in the Akron Beacon-Journal.
It reminds me of the line my first mentor, the Wily Old Veteran, Sy Roseman, sarcastically told me when I was 16 and learning the craft of media relations from him while working for a series of professional sports teams. He always said "some reporters never let facts get in the way of a good story." Basically he was saying, the real facts may be different, but if theycause the reporter to have to alter what they've written, well, they may never see the light of day.
This story, which started out about telephone pricing plans, ended up talking about VoIP. Rather than seek out experts on the subject (like Jeff Pulver, an analyst at Yankee Group or Probe Research, or even me) the reporter ran with the line "There are still a lot of questions about VoIP services that will be sorted out as it develops. It may be something to look at for a future comparison once the market develops more."
First the market is here. Why else would AT&T and MCI be going into it, or Verizon or...... As for Next Gen carriers, Vonage, 8x8, etc. all are playing in the space and have been for some time.
Sorry, but the answers are there NOW, not in the future. Readers have a need to know about what's on the market, not what some business writer Knows Not about.
It looks like Utah is looking closely at VoIP. While on the surface a harmless exploration, given Michael Powell's feelings that VoIP should be unregulated, to see states get involved only will make it harder for the new telcos to emerge easily.
What we could end up with, if the states each enact their own VoIP legislation is something similar to the repealing of Prohibition, which granted the states the right to control alcohol on their own. This has led to different rules and regs in all 50 states, and made it a challenge to winemakers to ship and beer companies to promote nationally.
One can only hope the folks in Utah keep a hands off approach to the emerging space.