Word on the street is that two of the country's largest cable companies, Time Warner Cable and Comcast, are gearing up to introduce new SMB VoIP packages in the next few months.
After winning large numbers of residential customers in their respective markets (Comcast has signed up over 2 million and Time Warner over 1.9 million), they're now setting their sights on the "commercial" VoIP market.
Comcast will be upgrading its network to the tune of $250 million this year to ready it for business class services, and estimates that there are 3-5 million prospect companies throughout the region it serves -- a legion of SMBs with 20 employees or less that represents a $12-15 billion revenue opportunity.
The cable MSOs have been formidable competitors in the markets they play in, and the plans by these two players follow in the footsteps by Cox Communications, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications and Videotron Telecom -- all of which have started to dip their toes into the SMB space.
I expect the going will be slow throughout the year, as these companies get the wrinkles ironed out of their offerings. But the handwriting is on the wall: look out all ye incumbents -- the cable cos are a' comin to take your customers away...