New Time Warner and AOL VoIP: central planning or fiefdoms with agendas?

In my last post, I described two forthcoming, new VoIP offerings on the way from Time Warner. Those are TW Telecom One Solution for the enterprise market, and a Vonage-type VoIP plan for AOL subscribers.

In my last post, I described two forthcoming, new VoIP offerings on the way from Time Warner. Those are TW Telecom One Solution for the enterprise market, and a Vonage-type VoIP plan for AOL subscribers.

Funny, but doesn't Time Warner offer VoIP already? Well, duh, yea.

If you live in a Time Warner Cable service area such as New York City, for instance,you can get Time Warner Cable Digital Phonefor as little as $39.95 a month.

If you have AOL Instant Messenger, you can do PC to PC talk to other AIM users for free. Kind of like a softphone without the softphone UI.

I suppose a plausible argument could be made that Time Warner is competing with itself, but only somewhat. Not everyone has AIM, and you cannot get Time Warner Cable Digital Phone if you do not live in a Time Warner Cable service area. So the strategy here seems to be to extend Time Warner's Internet calling services to those who do not use AIM, call people who don't have AIM, or who don't subscribe to Time Warner Cable.

What I don't understand is why AOL's new Vonage-like VoIP service will reportedly cost $24.99? That's $15 cheaper a month than what Time Warner Cable Digital Phone is asking. So either AOL needs to go up, or Time Warner Cable Digital Phone needs to go down.

You know what I think? This somewhat contradictory strategy shows that several Time Warner fiefdoms are at work on their own priorities and projects. I have yet to be convinced that there is a central strategy behind all of this.

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