The Difference Between Offer And Provide

from the fun-with-numbers dept

Yesterday, there was a lot of attention paid to Comcast's decision to catch up to other US broadband providers and add a VoIP option to their list of services. In the announcement they focused on how this VoIP service would be offered to the 40 million homes they service. Most of the press picked up on that number and it became a big story. However, it looks like that 40 million is a bit misleading. Comcast may reach almost 40 million homes - but most of those only get cable TV service. Only 5.5 million currently receive broadband access from Comcast - which is a significantly smaller number. Obviously, the number of broadband subscribers will grow (perhaps rapidly) and offering a bundled VoIP offering could even help it grow - but it's a still quite far away from actually providing 40 million users VoIP. Technically, a company like Vonage could go out and claim that they're "offering" VoIP to a much larger audience - because Vonage can be used on almost any broadband line. It's all in the difference between "offer" and "provide." Update: Comcast is now backing off those numbers a little, saying that it really depends on how their tests go. In other words, it sounds like a situation where the press was doing the overhyping, not Comcast itself.

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  • identicon
    dkan24, 28 May 2004 @ 1:00am

    No Subject Given

    VoIP is a different sell from broadband. To the 35 million Comcast cable subscribers who do not subscribe to Comcast broadband, VoIP will be phone service offered by Comcast. Not broadband VoIP. If Comcast can offer a feature-laden phone service for cheap, then the 40 million ARE potential customers. You do not need to subscribe to "broadband" to recieve "phone service". Regardless of what we know about POTS vs. VoIP, it is the same to most people - at least those who do not even subscribe to broadband. The key is Comcast offering more features than POTS can (doubtful as VoIP offerrings rarely take advantage of the their true IP nature), and at a very low price. We shall see.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 May 2004 @ 9:38am

    No Subject Given

    I'm not expecting Comcast to actually come up with the goods - I still don't have the 3Mbps they were promising in December last year....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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