Insight Telephony: VoIP in, Comcast Out?

New York -- Insight Communications Co. Inc. said it is planning to roll out voice-over-Internet-protocol telephony service next year -- a move that might spell the end of its telephony relationship with Comcast Corp.

At the Credit Suisse First Boston LLC Media & Telecom Week conference here Wednesday, Insight chief operating officer Dinesh Jain wouldn’t give specifics about the VoIP launch, but he said Insight already has circuit-switched service in four of its markets.

That circuit-switched service is through a deal Insight reached with AT&T Broadband (now Comcast) in 2000, under which AT&T Corp. agreed to foot the bill for switching equipment and serve as the local-exchange carrier.

In exchange for providing access to its cable network, Insight receives a monthly access fee, as well as fees for marketing and billing support. At the time, the deal was perceived as extremely favorable to Insight.

While Jain said telephony remains an important part of Insight’s business -- it currently has about 49,000 circuit-switched telephony customers -- he added that the MSO is currently in negotiations with Comcast concerning their telephony deal.

"From our perspective, the deal is not working for either side," Jain said in an interview after the conference.