Mark Dzuban, a cable telephony expert, has gone full-time at start-up Cedar Point Communications after being named executive vice president, cable telephony deployment. Dzuban previously served on the board of Cedar Point, an IP telephony equipment startup based in Derry, N.H.

In his new role, Dzuban will collaborate with cable operators as Cedar Point shifts from the technology implementation phase to the deployment phase for the vendor's IP telephony gear. Cedar Point makes the Safari C3, a PacketCable-based platform designed to simplify VoIP architecture by integrating several components, including the call management server and media gateway controller, into one box.

To date, the company has scored a laboratory trial with Comcast, and a field trial in New England with MetroCast Cablevision.

Before joining Cedar Point, Dzuban was president of Hatteras House Consulting, a firm he also founded. Before that, he was senior vice president, telephony engineering and operations for AT&T Broadband, where he was responsible for the MSO's traditional circuit switched telephony service rollout. At Cedar Point, all of his attention will be given to a more advanced - and more complicated — packet-based voice platform.

Dzuban said his interest in start-ups and their ability to add new services on existing cable networks drew him to Cedar Point and his decision to move from an advisory role to a full-time role at the company.

After "chipping in" at Cedar Point for about 18 months, he said now "was the appropriate time to take my support to the next level."

In the short-term, Dzuban said he will attempt to create a viable VoIP business that scales and to help cable operators determine which routes are safer and more riskier than others.

"My charge is to help the industry walk through a more complex IP rollout," he said, noting that 2003 will be "a big year of convergence" for IP telephony as operators attempt to integrate a spate of hardware and software elements with their back office systems.

Integration of that technology, not the technology itself, Dzuban predicted, will become the priority over the next year for MSOs that include IP telephony in their service plans.