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Infrastructure In Place, Municipalities Start Offering VoIP

A Massachusetts telecommunications start-up company has spied some low-lying fruit in the form of municipalities interested in rolling out VoIP for their citizens and taxpayers. The firm, vCentrix Inc., has already begun working with the town of Norwood to provide VoIP.

Steve Crummey, vCentrix CEO, said Tuesday that of the some 2,000 municipalities in the U.S. that already provide some sort of public utility, about 400 are ripe for VoIP. “They’ve already laid all the infrastructure,” he said.

Norwood fits that bill, because its utility, Norwood Light, has already built out a fiber optic network including local loop as well as broadband services for subscribers. The charter of Norwood Light has been to serve the town’s citizens and save money for its taxpayers.

Talal Ali-Ahmad, founder and president of vCentrix, said VoIP is simply the next migration of services, not only for municipalities, but also for other ILECs, CLECs, MSOs, and ISPs--all of them targeted by vCentrix. Ali-Ahmad said the firm has “plenty of work to keep us busy,” although it’s too soon to discuss other customers. “Our network is developed to deliver [VoIP] as long as there is a broadband network first,” he said.

One driving force behind the rapid growth of VoIP, he added, is the growing interest on the part of telecommunications service providers to deliver VoIP as part of their triple play bundle, typically a package of offerings that include cable television, broadband, and local and long distance telephoning. “The next migration is VoIP,” he said.

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