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Cable Technology Feature Article

June 03, 2011

Comcast to Test Skype Video Conferencing Service for Xfinity Subscribers

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Broadband DSL Reports has the news that “a user writes in to note that Comcast (News - Alert) is currently testing a new video conferencing service in conjunction with Skype, that will ultimately be offered to all Comcast Xfinity subscribers.” 

According to the user writing in to Broadband DSL Reports, “the notice states the company's ‘Skype (News - Alert) on your tv set’ will provide face-to-face video conferencing on televisions and other devices, includes smartphones, PCs and tablets.” 

Natch, given the gathering boom that is video conferencing: “According to the notice, the service will also provide users with a high-definition camera, though Comcast has yet to officially name the service.”

Let’s hope they pay attention to the customer service as well. In the spirit of social media CRM, we note these comments on our Facebook (News - Alert) page just this past week: “[H]ad to call Comcast FOUR times yesterday, first for a partially working phone number, then for missing channels, AGAIN for more missing channels and an On Demand issue. They're coming back again today to fix this. I've had nothing but problems with them. Worst ever.”

“I hate Comcast. I hate them with a passion so hot, it rivals the heat of a thousand fiery suns. I have NO Internet because they screwed up my modem. I have to drive to THEM to fix their mistake. They SUCK.”

Safe to say there’s a bit of room for improvement in building the brand there. 

Skype and Comcast have had serious friction in the past. In January 2010 Venture Beat reported that Josh Silverman (News - Alert), chief executive of Internet phone company Skype, said that innovation is threatened by large companies who want to protect their current businesses:

“Skype’s free voice and video calling on the Internet is threatening incumbent companies who charge for that now. And those companies, such as Comcast (he didn’t mention Comcast by name, but we all know he was referring to that giant cable company, as well as other major carriers), don’t want Skype users, who are a minority of the network users, to take up a lot of their bandwidth without paying for it.”

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Chris DiMarco