A joint initiative comprised of UPC Netherlands, Casema, MultiKabel, Essent and CaiW, totaling more than 7 million subscribers with more than 450,000 telephony subscribers - today awarded the VoIP Peering contract to a partnership of XConnect, the world's largest provider of "Plug and Peer" Voice over IP (VoIP) interconnection services and Kayote Networks, a leading provider of interconnectivity solutions for routing and peering. This landmark agreement enables all participating operators to share VoIP traffic directly over their IP networks, completely bypassing traditional phone networks and thereby eliminating PSTN interconnection fees.
Eli Katz, founder & CEO of Xconnect is speaking at Internet Telephony Conference & EXPO tomorrow during the VoIP Summit.
"This groundbreaking deal is a momentous event highlighting the tremendous impact VoIP is having on the paradigms and business models of today's telecommunications," said Katz. "With one of the most highly saturated cable marketplaces, providing services to almost 97% of Dutch homes, the Netherlands is an excellent pioneer for driving the world's first cable VoIP Exchange, and we are honored to have been selected to lead this esteemed group of operators in connecting their subscribers' calls."
For more on this news check out http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2006/01/25/1313180.htm.
What does this mean? It means that now, every cable MSO in the Netherlands can pass traffic back and forth among each other, with the key fact that these calls will never have to touch the PSTN. Between all the MSOs they probably pass most if not all the Dutch consumers -- it's a dark day for traditional Dutch phone operators.
I wonder f this will now speed any results from the CableLabs RFI. I would love to see Cablevision, Cox, Comcast et al gather together to peer their VoIP traffic. I guess for now we wait and see, and look to XConnect to see how this all plays out.