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Cablevision takes VoIP wide

Mon, 11/10/2003 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Cablevision Systems Corp. has launched its flagship IP telephony service, Optimum Voice, throughout the MSO's Long Island, N.J., Connecticut, Westchester and New York City service area. The expansion makes the service available to more than 4 million homes, the company said.

The launch follows a trial Cablevision conducted in Long Island earlier this year.

The service will tap the broadband backbone of Optimum Online, Cablevision's residential high-speed data service. Cablevision currently has more than 1 million cable modem customers.

"The integration of Optimum Voice with Optimum Online...will create a superior new information service far beyond anything available today from traditional voice or data providers," said Tom Rutledge, Cablevision's president of cable and communications.

Cablevision will offer Optimum Voice for a flat rate of $34.95 per month, a fee that includes unlimited local, regional and long-distance calling across the U.S. and Canada. The service also features traditional calling features such as E-911, caller ID, call waiting, call return, three-way calling and call forwarding.

Cablevision also reported third quarter financial results, posting net revenues of $975.8 million, up 12 percent from a year ago, and a net loss of $104.6 million (36 cents per share), widened from a net loss of $79.5 million in the same-year period. Cablevision noted that it would restate financials for 2003 to account for $15 million of expenses that were improperly recorded in 2002 and earlier, Dow Jones reported.

On the service front, Cablevision said revenue generating units rose 23 percent to 4.71 million versus a year ago. The MSO signed up 157,700 new digital video customers in the quarter, giving it a total of 755,300. Cablevision still managed to lose 8,900 basic video subs in the quarter, most of them in New York City.

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