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WOW Adds VoIP Service

WideOpenWest LLC has announced plans to begin a full-market rollout of voice-over-IP telephony in the metropolitan Denver area, using Gemini Broadband Voice service.

Having completed a market trial this spring in Lakewood, a Denver suburb, the Castle Rock, Colo.-based cable overbuilder is planning a full launch of broadband long-distance telephone service bundled with cable-modem Internet service and digital cable.

Dubbed WideOpenTelephone, the flat-rate services will offer 1,000 minutes of intrastate and state-to-state calling for $35 per month. Customers would still use their incumbent provider for local telephone service.

By the end of the year, WOW hopes to add an international calling plan as well, according to a spokesman.

While the focus for now is on Denver, WOW plans telephony trials in Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, using the Americast cable systems it is buying from SBC Communications Inc. Franchise transfers have been completed in those communities, and the sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

WOW's network buildout in metropolitan Denver is continuing. The company has franchise agreements with 13 suburban localities.