Comcast has just introduced 100 Mbps voice and scalable voice service in in California and the bundle shows the cable provider is very serious about becoming a major player in the fixed-line voice and data business. Combining Sharepoint, Exchange Server and antivirus software, Comcast Business Class Internet is a viable solution for companies who want to outsource much of their information technology needs to their carrier.
For more, I reached out to VoIP blogger and tech enthusiast Andy Abramson for his thoughts:
"This new effort combines the Docsis 3.0 cable modem standard with the acquisition of NGT by Comcast. The NGT purchase gave them a group with a deep understanding of the small and mid-size business market, who were buying telecom and data services that NGT was reselling from Level3. This likely means that Comcast is now looking at becoming a bigger part of the business technology ecosystem, and in many ways competing with the same companies they have for years purchased massive amounts of bandwidth from. The voice for business is a SIP trunking like offer, but I would expect to see more 2.0 type voice services and applications come along soon. This also means that all the companies in the hosted VoIP and cloud communications space now have to look over their shoulder as Comcast will be working both in their franchised markets as well as likely going out of footprint in some type of play with their cable industry brethren. It comes at a time when the traditional telcos are also focusing more and more on wireless, than wired, creating an opportunity to provide more competition. Clearly they have used the consumer market as a test bed and now feel they are ready to talk business."
It is great to see NGT technology being put to great use and as Comcast expands its footprint it will put pressure on SIP trunking and hosted VoIP providers who are already consolidating in order to gain scale. Still, the market for SIP services is pretty open allowing virtually the smallest of the small players to compete with the behemoths. Whether SMBs get picky about their suppliers in the future is unknown but if you are a SIP trunking provider or CLEC, I would be investing in branding and differentiation while the market is accommodative.