In a video telephony system, a coaxial cable network, which is preferably a part of an existing cable television system, provides a local link for the transmission of the video telephone signals between each originating and destination location and a respective "head end" located on the cable company premises. Each of the head ends is connected to a "point of presence" of a telephone interexchange carrier so that a connection between pairs of head ends, and thus between a pair of video telephone locations, can be made via a switched digital network maintained by the carrier. Certain of originating and destination locations comprise a standard television set, serving as the audio/video display, and a consumer-type camera or camcorder, serving as the audio/video source. Others of the originating and destination locations comprise ISDN video telephones which are connected to the various points of presence of the interexchange carrier via local exchange carrier telephone networks. The video telephone numbers for cable subscriber locations are administered to be the same as the standard ten- (i.e., area code plus seven-) digit telephone numbers used for regular telephone calls directed to those locations.