A new development that might be able to lift the penetration of cable modems in the market (currently below 1% of cable TV users) is IP voice-over-cable modems.
Packet cable modems are currently being developed by companies such as Cable Television Laboratories, Cogeco Cable, Comcast, Roger Cablesystems, TCI, Time Warner and others.
This would finally provide the cable TV companies with the long-awaited teleco-bypass. There are, however, still a large number of technical problems to overcome and there is little hope for commercial products before 2001.
Nevertheless it is yet another avenue in the information highway and indicates the enormous variety of technological options that is emerging. There will soon be many service providers from many different markets who will be able to package products and services in a unique way to fit individual users. It will mean the end for the laid-back traditional operators in the telecommunications, cable TV and broadcasting markets. They will be hit in their markets from all directions and will have to come up with very good marketing and customer services in order to survive the upcoming onslaught.
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