AT&T aims VoIP services at consumers

FRAMINGHAM (12/15/2003) - AT&T Corp. last week said it is aggressively expanding its voice-over-IP services with a new focus on consumers. While the carrier has offered VoIP services to some business customers since 1997, under a new initiative AT&T said it would expand its VoIP business services worldwide and begin offering new services to U.S. consumers next year. The VoIP push is meant to target the growing number of broadband Internet users who are looking to simplify their voice and data communication by running them over one network, AT&T said. The company added that it has had a fourfold increase in business VoIP customers this year, and recent trials also have shown a growing demand in the consumer market. Meanwhile, Qwest Communications International Inc. appears to be the first regional Bell operating company to offer a residential VoIP service -- to DSL customers in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Qwest announced intentions to do so last month and turned up the service last week.

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