Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Night 16° Partly Cloudy
News >  Business

Comcast offering fiber-optic phone service in Spokane

Comcast cable customers in Spokane now have the option of using the company’s fiber-optic network for local and long-distance phone service.

The company announced Wednesday it has added the voice-over-cable option in Spokane; it has already introduced the same service in several other major U.S. cities, including Seattle.

Here are some of the key points for Spokane consumers to consider:

When does it start?

This week. Comcast officials say it can take up to five days for new customers to switch their current phone numbers to the Comcast system.

What does it cost?

If you have Comcast Internet and cable TV, the phone service is $39.95 a month.

If you have just one of those Comcast services, the monthly rate is $44.95.

As a standalone, Comcast digital phone service would cost $54.95. Rates don’t include taxes and fees.

What about long distance and other features?

Comcast said the prices include unlimited long-distance dialing at no extra cost. International calls would not be included in those rates.

Is there an installation charge?

Installation ranges from $10 to $29.95.

What other features come with the service?

Three-way calling, anonymous call rejection, call forwarding, call return, call screening, call waiting, caller ID, caller ID blocking, repeat dialing and speed dial.

What happens if the cable system suffers a power failure?

A Comcast press release said the Spokane system has back-up battery capacity for up to several hours for an emergency.

Will 911 emergency calling work with the new service?

Comcast, like other companies in the wake of widespread attention to this issue, said it has made sure that its digital voice system connects with the enhanced 911 emergency network.

That way, customers’ home addresses are visible to fire and police dispatchers.

Is this VoIP (voice over Internet protocol)?

Yes and no. Yes, it’s digital phone service using packet data, just like on the ‘Net.

But none of the phone messages are handled on the Internet; all the phone traffic travels inside Comcast’s protected fiber network.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.