Strong growth for Internet-based voice service over cable lines is expected during the next four years, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a new study from Probe Research, a market research firm. Probe forecasts more than 14 million Net-based cable telephony lines in use by 2005, with 8 million in Asia and 5 million in North America. Cable standards and new carrier-grade equipment have cleared the way for Internet phone service in the cable industry, Probe said. Most cable telephony efforts today use older circuit-switched technology, rather than Internet-based packet switching.
The study also pinpoints U.S. cable subscriber totals at 67.7 million as of June 2000, up more than 1 percent from 66.7 million last year. Digital cable systems now have 13 million subscribers, up from 10.1 million in 1999, the study shows.