Ready for a free service? Which one?

As telcos are seeing an increasingly tough triple play battle with cable TV companies, and after Verizon Communications just announced it is offering a free DSL promotion, Telephony has again posed a recurring, but still vexing question: "Voice, video, data: Which one should you give away?"

Telecom service providers have been debating this question for years, though it was always just for fun. Now, things are getting serious. It was often assumed that voice, that service of dwindling revenue and lessening importance would be the most obvious service to pay the price by adopting a model in which there is no price to pay. Yet, a couple of telcos at the TelcoTV 2009 show in Orlando last week noted that they had no real expectation of video being a money-making service for them. So, should a telco discount anything but the broadband connection?

All the various promotional price adjustments made to different services have created a very complex competitive environment and are not necessarily in the best interests of consumers.

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