The cable guys raise their voices

The coaxial crowd has fought since the mid-1990s with telcos to be the dominant high-speed Internet providers across the continent. Now cable companies such as Toronto’s Rogers Communications Inc. and Montreal’s Cogeco Inc. plan to take on the phonesters in the voice arena with technology that transports calls over coaxial wires.

“We’ve been looking into voice over cable for a very a long time…since the idea first came up many, many years ago, in fact,” said Alexander Brock, vice-president, business development with Rogers.

It seems the time has come for the cable crew to put that research to use. After all, they would do well to chase the local voice market, said Tom Jenkins, analyst with Tulsa, Okla.-based research firm TeleChoice Inc.

“Voice represents a huge percentage of all telecom revenues, anywhere from 70 to 80 per cent. It’s a revenue generator. And it has to do with bundling of services.…If I can sell you business video, what’s wrong with me selling you Internet and voice access? I’m adding incremental revenue for very little cost.”