Charter, Bright House Add VoIP

Voice-over-Internet-protocol services are bursting out on cable systems all over.

Charter Communications Inc. joined the crowd that has partnered with Sprint Corp. for VoIP support, and Charter has recruited Level 3 Communications and Accenture for the effort, as well.

Charter wants to “significantly increase telephony developments in each of our divisions during 2005,” an executive said in a press release. Charter had about 31,000 phone customers at the end of the second quarter, with more market launches coming this year and next.

Level 3 and Sprint will provide long-distance and local-calling connectivity and Accenture will provide provisioning services.

In Florida, Bright House Networks has introduced VoIP services in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties in the Tampa Bay area, The St. Petersburg Times reported on Tuesday. Plans are to expand the service into Pasco County in September and Hernando and Citrus counties before the end of the year, the article said.

Bright House will offer the service as a local and long-distance package costing $39.95 to $49.95 per month, including such features as voice mail, call waiting and caller ID, the article said.

Bright House officials in the Tampa area could not be reached for immediate confirmation Tuesday morning.