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Focal launches nationwide voice-over-broadband service

Posted: 29 Apr 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Focal Communications? network? voice-over-broadband? switch? telephone?

In a benchmark for the nascent voice-over-broadband industry, Focal Communications Corp. announced Thursday (April 25) the nationwide rollout of its integrated voice and data communications service.

Focal Communications, one of the largest of the surviving competitive local exchange carriers, is offering business users support for 24 voice lines and 1.5Mbps data services over broadband links.

The company is using a switch developed by General Bandwidth Inc. and optimized for voice-over-broadband. General Bandwidth's G6 switch takes digital calls from the customer premises and routes them to the public switched telephone network.

Voice-over-broadband technology came to technical maturity just as telecom carriers sharply cut investments in new service offerings. Focal's move may spur the larger regional Bell operating companies to answer with investments in their own voice-over-broadband services, said a spokesman for General Bandwidth, a startup based here.

The move may ignite competition in voice-over-broadband between the RBOCs and CLECs, using DSL and Ethernet links, and the cable television vendors, which seek to offer voice services over the cable infrastructure.

Over the next 10 weeks, Focal will offer the service to facilities in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, and later on a nationwide basis, the Focal spokesman said.

? David Lammers

EE Times

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