A rumour circulating from folks close to Level 3 has Comcast coming out with VoIP in a big way next year too. The rumour is likely based upon Sandford Bernstiens Craig Moffit's analyst report of last week.
Here's what I'm hearing but it may not be fully accurate so I'm hedging as a
brief long call with Comcast and the promise of a call back later this morning has them saying it's just a rumour:
"Five Cities will be unveiled Feb 11th with another 50% of all Comcast covered in another 6 Months. The goal is to have 100% of all Comcast covered by the end of 2005." My source also says that "Comcast accelerated having entire country covered by a year."
Comcast says this is not yet decided. The question becomes how accurate their partners employees are who are whispering loudly.
Comcast says they will build out the network this year and next. When they go live will likely be based on consumer uptake of their service offering.
I'm calling I spoke with Comcast PR to see what they have to say...and basiclly what we know is in the offing but no timetable really exists to be made public.
But the tea leaves seem to say that the MSO's know they have competition and need to move fast. They are not used to doing that but their saving grace is that the RBOC's move slower.
Comcast also would not confirm a deal with Level 3, but did not deny it either, saying only "they have not announced a deal" with them.
My guess is some of what Moffitt stirred up is true. Also that there is a plan and its based on how fast things get built out, how they test. Remember, every comcast system is not created equal and thus the testing and phasing in of the service, regardless of network architecture has to be considered. They won't offer a less than top notch service. That's one of their mantras based on my discussions with their senior executives in the past.