Comcast announced today the launch of Comcast Digital Voice in the Portland metropolitan area and in Vancouver, Washington. Comcast's new IP-enabled voice service offers customers digital-quality phone service with unlimited direct-dial local and domestic long-distance calling, Web access to voicemail, E911 service and 12 of the most popular calling features.
Comcast Digital Voice answers the call for a reliable phone service like no other IP-enabled offering on the market today. According to a recent Harris Interactive Survey and Comcast's own market research, adoption of Internet-enabled phone service has been slow to date due to perceptions that the technology is not yet mainstream or as reliable as traditional phone service. Comcast's service is designed to overcome these specific consumer concerns.
"Comcast is excited to offer the residents of Portland and Vancouver the reliable and innovative voice services they want, with Comcast Digital Voice," said Curt Henninger, senior vice president and general manager for Comcast Oregon/Southwest Washington. "Our privately managed network serves as a strong foundation for today's voice, video and data products, and is prepared to handle the convergence of interactive applications of the future."
Comcast Digital Voice is designed to be easy for the consumer. Comcast technicians will professionally install Comcast Digital Voice in the home - converting the jacks and existing wiring in the home. Customers can keep their current phone numbers and use their touch-tone phones to make and receive an unlimited amount of direct-dial local and domestic long-distance calls for as little as $39.95 per month. Comcast also offers very competitive international rates.
Comcast stresses quality and reliability. Unlike traditional Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offerings that run on the public Internet, Comcast Digital Voice calls originate and travel over Comcast's advanced, proprietary managed network. Because Comcast Digital Voice is a managed service, Comcast can make sure that customer calls get priority handling. Furthermore, if power goes out in the home, Comcast customers can rest assured knowing Comcast Digital Voice is equipped with 5-8 hours of battery back-up. These are two important reasons why 92 percent of current Comcast Digital Voice customers rate their service from good to excellent.
Comcast Digital Voice addresses 911 concerns. Comcast has the access to the network, systems and capabilities to handle 911/E911 calls the way traditional phone companies do ensuring that calls, location information and telephone numbers are transmitted to the correct local emergency responders. In contrast, 62 percent of the respondents in the March 2005 Harris Interactive Survey said they believed 911 may not be supported by a VoIP provider.
Comcast Digital Voice customers will also receive innovative features including:
- Web access to voicemail
- Compatibility with a majority of home alarm systems
- Ability to manage their account online
- And, coming soon, customers who have Comcast Digital Voice and Comcast High-Speed Internet will have the
ability to use the Digital Voice Center (Web portal) to manage their voice and data communications from one central location.
Potential customers are invited to test Comcast Digital Voice and make free local and domestic long-distance calls at the following locations from noon to 1:00 p.m. today:
- Portland - Southwest corner of Pioneer Courthouse Square
- Vancouver, WA - Westfield Shoppingtown Vancouver
Comcast plans to reach 20 markets and 15 million homes with this new service in 2005, and all Comcast markets, approximately 40 million homes, by year-end 2006.
Comcast is one of the largest cable telephone providers in the United States, with 1.2 million circuit-switched phone customers and more than seven years of experience in the phone business.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (http://www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 21.5 million cable customers, 7.4 million high-speed Internet customers, and 1.2 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in the delivery of programming content.
The Company's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNets. The Company also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.