& cplSiteName &

Cox Aims for 'Gig for All' by 2020

Mari Silbey

Cox's gigabit strategy hasn't gone quite according to plan. As one of the first cable companies with a gigabit-speed offering, Cox had intended to begin gigabit deployments across its entire footprint by the end of 2016. (See Cox Lays Out Gigabit Roadmap .)

That didn't happen. Instead, Cox Communications Inc. has entered parts of 13 states out of the 18 in its footprint with fiber-to-the-home services. According to Cox Vice President Philip Nutsugah, the company plans to reach the rest of its customers (or at least 99% of them) with gigabit broadband by the end of 2019.

Currently, Cox offers gigabit service in parts of: Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Arkansas; Orange County and San Diego, Calif.; Gainesville, Fla.; Macon, Ga.; Wichita, Kan.; Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La.; Omaha, Neb.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; Rhode Island; Hampton Roads and Roanoke, Va., and Northern Virginia (NOVA). The company has also started offering gigabit broadband in Connecticut, although a spokesperson says there's been no official launch event there yet.

There are two high-level technologies in play across Cox's gigabit roadmap. One is the continued deployment of deeper and deeper fiber, with fiber driven all the way to the home in select cases. The other is the transition to DOCSIS 3.1 over existing hybrid fiber-coaxial plant. (See Cox's Finkelstein: Lots of Fiber, No Regrets!.)

For the D3.1 upgrade, Cox is first putting in place new converged cable access platform (CCAP) systems. Nutsugah says that about a third of Cox's new CCAPs should be installed by the end of the year. That may lead to early D3.1 service launches also in 2017, although the DOCSIS 3.1 debut may not officially happen until next year.

More broadly, Cox has stated previously that it's working towards a node-plus-zero (N+0) architecture, similar to the approach that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is taking. (See Cox Reveals Next Steps for D3.1, CCAP and Comcast Goes N+0 in Gigabit Markets.)

That means pushing fiber all the way to the last active node in the plant, eliminating the need for amplifiers between the node and end-user modems. Driving fiber deeper has multiple benefits. With a combination of FTTx and N+0 HFC deployments, Cox can not only support greater bandwidth demand from traditional residential subscribers at home, it can also use its capacity to enable more WiFi services in public community spaces.

For more broadband market coverage and insights, check out our dedicated gigabit/broadband content channel here on Light Reading.

"Cox, at the end of the day, is a connectivity company," notes Nutsugah. "And so, take the city of San Diego for instance, not only have we built out ... fiber to the home in the city of San Diego, we also have a significant deployment of business B2B fiber."

Nutsugah adds, "We've got some real interesting partnerships on the WiFi side of the house so in the gas-lamp district, as an example, we worked with the city of San Diego ... for them to allow us to hang, unobtrusively, WIFi access points on those historic streetlamps throughout that district. We've partnered with them to have Cox WiFi all through Balboa Park. We got on the USS Midway. So we have worked very closely with the city of San Diego to have that connectivity available."

What today supports WiFi services may also provide necessary backhaul capacity for 5G wireless radios in the future, and for as-yet-unknown new smart city applications. How deeply involved Cox plans to get in the smart city movement remains to be seen, but at the very least, the cable company is investing in the broadband infrastructure that will make smart cities possible. (See Cox Connects With 2 Smart Cities.)

Indeed, the broadband investments underway -- by Cox and others -- will be critical for meeting the steady increases in bandwidth demand that are expected on multiple fronts in the coming years.

— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/11/2017 | 3:50:07 PM
Public Wifi
I think public-private partnershiips are key to increasing connectivity in public areas. 

San Diego seems to be on top of this. Hopefully we'll see other municipalities embrace these kinds of technological "upgrades". 
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/13/2017 | 8:30:35 AM
Re: Public Wifi
I tend to agree. Provided the state legislature hasn't passed laws hamstringing such efforts at Comcast, AT&T, or CenturyLink request. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/17/2017 | 9:27:53 AM
Re: Public Wifi
You're right, public-private tends to work best. The public portion needs to eliminate regulatory, zoning and similar obstructions. Private needs to make sure venture operates in a way that it's not a sinkhole of money.
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/20/2017 | 2:09:35 PM
Re: Public Wifi
I'd agree. Though a lot of these state-level municipal broadband bans (usually crafted by AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter or Comcast) make life notably more difficult for public/private partnerships as well. Which is a shame, since these tend to be the only viable options in many areas these same companies deem not profitable enough to bother with (yet they'll still pass laws hamstringing these efforts in case they want to serce these people SOMEDAY). 
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/22/2017 | 8:58:45 AM
Re: Public Wifi
Yes, it will be interesting to see if public/private partnerships will work out, and that seems to be the trend for many areas. While Cox in planning for the build out in two years it does seem possibly there may be a delay as with only "13 states out of the 18 in its footprint with fiber-to-the-home services," their previous plans have not been on target.
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
February 26-28, 2018, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
Project AirGig Goes Down to Georgia
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/13/2017
Here's Pai in Your Eye
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 12/11/2017
Verizon's New Fios TV Is No More
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/12/2017
Ericsson & Samsung to Supply Verizon With Fixed 5G Gear
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/11/2017
Juniper Turns Contrail Into a Platform for Multicloud
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 12/12/2017
Animals with Phones
Don't Fall Asleep on the Job! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed