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Cable Tech

Cox nears launch of 2-Gig broadband

Cox Communications will join the multi-gigabit club. The operator announced late last week that it will launch symmetrical 2Gbit/s speeds in certain neighborhoods across its footprint later this month.

Cox has yet to identify where the new 2-Gig product will be initially available or shed much detail on the architecture it will use to deliver those speeds early on. However, the product announcement arrived a couple months after Cox made a formal commitment to "10G," an industry initiative focused on delivering symmetrical 10-Gig speeds over multiple types of access networks, including hybrid fiber/coax (HFC), fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) and wireless.

(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)
(Source: Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy Stock Photo)

Cox said its 10G plan will be fulfilled through a mix of upgrades to DOCSIS 4.0 on HFC along with enhancements or additional deployments of FTTP.

Cox has deployed 1-Gig service in some areas where it operates FTTP, but it's also marketing 1-Gig speeds downstream paired with 35Mbit/s upstream via its widely deployed DOCSIS 3.1-based HFC network. Cox is selling that service, under the "Gigablast" brand, for $99.99 per month, with a one-year contract. Cox also applies a data usage policy to 1-Gig-1.15 Terabytes per month before charging an additional $10 for every additional bucket of 50 gigabytes (Cox caps data overage charges at $100 per month). Cox also offers an unlimited data plan to residential broadband subs.

Cox has been asked for more details on its 2-Gig plans, including pricing, markets that will initially support the offering and what data policies, if any, that will be applied to the new tier. Light Reading will update the story when those details come to light.

Update: Cox is making the new 2-Gig offering available initially to certain fiber customers in neighborhoods that are part of the early rollout, and is making 2-Gig available in new-build areas, a Cox official said. The data policy of Cox's 1-Gig service also applies to the new 2-Gig service, the company confirmed.

Pricing on the 2-Gig service starts at $110 per month for customers who take Panoramic Wi-Fi, Cox's premium whole-home Wi-Fi service.

Cox is pushing toward 2-Gig as it and other cable operators continue to be faced with new multi-gig services from telcos, including AT&T, Windstream, Frontier Communications, Verizon and Ziply Fiber, that are delivered on FTTP networks.

Several other US cable operators have launched multi-gig services on their HFC and FTTP infrastructure. Canada's Rogers Communications is nearing the launch of a fiber-based 8-Gig service. Comcast and Charter Communications are among those that have made progress with DOCSIS 4.0 trials that have pumped out multi-gigabit speeds. GCI, Alaska's top cable operator, intends to use DOCSIS 4.0 to bring 10G capabilities to its HFC network.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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