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Cox taps Nortel, Nuera for VoIP prep

Sun, 06/15/2003 - 8:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Cox Communications continues to rely on traditional circuit-switched platforms to offer cable telephony services, but it is also preparing for a day when IP-based voice technologies will solidify.

To help with that future migration to packet-based telephony, the MSO said it has selected gear from Nortel Networks and Nuera Communications to support a packet-trunking deployment that hooks into the MSO's IP backbone.

The combination of Nortel's Succession Communications Server 2000 softswitch and Nuera's ORCA GX-21 and GX-8 media gateways "will enable Cox Communications to transport some of our residential long distance phone calls over our IP backbone - helping to reduce operational costs," said Jay Rolls, Cox's vice president of telephone and data engineering.

Cox already has begun to move some long distance traffic onto its national IP backbone, a move that will save the MSO "millions of dollars in expenditures each year."

Cox, which today uses Nortel circuit-switches to support 750,000 telephone customers, has extolled the financial and technical benefits of on-net VoIP calling for some time.

Cox detailed that approach in a white paper released in February. Cox explained in part that its company-wide IP backbone interconnects all of the MSOs markets, and passes through major hubs such as Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

Made up of 11 regional data centers (RDCs) and three services data centers (SDCs), the architecture enables Cox to host and share a number of Internet applications. The approach could be used for VoIP services, as well, with the SDCs serving as possible host locations.

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