Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Videotron's Telephony Progress

Mark Evans


Videotron Ltee said yesterday it added 14,900 cable telephony customers in the first two months the service was available (Jan. 28 to March 31). What's more interesting is the story behind the numbers. Videotron's ability to build its subscriber base has been held back because it doesn't have enough technicians to meet demand. This is because the company rolls out the service by sending a crew to each household. These crews disconnect the Bell line, install Videotron's VOIP hardware and make sure all the phone jacks work. Another growth "factor" is the service has been limited to certain parts of Montreal. As the "footprint" expands, Videotron's telephony business could gain even more momentum. Bell Canada is already feeling the pain - having lost 60,000 local lines in the first quarter. It can only get worse now that Rogers plans to spend $330-million to acquire Call-Net Enterprises, which has nearly 500,000 local customers.

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