This week’s announcement that Cedar Point Communications had signed a "milestone" agreement with TransNational Communications Inc. marked the first time the VoIP switching technologies vendor has linked up with a telco customer. It won’t be the last, said a company executive, because telcos were always part of the Cedar Point road map.

"We’ve always been a local exchange switching company," said George Kassas, founder and executive vice president of business development at Cedar Point. "We focused on the cable industry initially, as the right choice for us … given the cyclical business of telecom."

Now like a clothes washer, the cycle has moved onto spin, and telcos are wringing out their networks for IP, including video. Cedar Point is there, ready to help TNCI make the move to a "facilities-based company" serving its business customers across a 50-state footprint. This move, said Brenda MacDonald, vice president of carrier relations at TNCI, will include video along with voice and data because video is "huge. Video is definitely the direction this is going in – especially the ability to do it over the voice platform to reduce costs."

But first TNCI must move from being a national reseller to being a facilities-based service provider, and "Cedar Point gives us the opportunity to go to the next level (two words which still cause old General Instrument types to cringe). It lets us serve our existing base and grow in a world of voice while still being able to do more in the world of TDM based on the abilities of the switch," she said.

The Cedar Point switch has a "capability that allows you in the switch to do TDM-to-TDM, TDM-to-IP, IP-to-IP and IP-to-TDM," said Kassas.

If it could get from Penn Station to 49th and Sixth in less than 20 minutes, it would be a real best-seller. – Jim Barthold

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