Fresh off its launch of 1-Gig broadband service in Phoenix last month, Cox Communications is now deploying several thousand WiFi hotspots to complement its wireline offering in the large Arizona market.
Cox Communications Inc. , the third-biggest cable operator in the US with about 4 million broadband customers, announced that it has deployed 500 hotspots in the Phoenix area. Plans call for deploying another 1,200 access points in the market by the close of the year and 2,500 more in metro Phoenix by the end of 2015. (See Cox Goes Gaga Over Gigabit.)
The Phoenix access point deployment comes as Cox seeks to ramp up the number of public hotspots installed across the US. The MSO, which earlier this year announced the installation of 2,500 hotspots in Omaha, Neb. and sections of Connecticut and Virginia, has now deployed about 25,000 hotspots throughout the nation.
That number pales in comparison to some of its fellow large US MSOs. For instance, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has deployed more than 5 million hotspots throughout the US and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), which is a bit smaller than Cox, has deployed more than 1 million in the New York metro area alone. Even Bright House Networks , which is much smaller than Cox, has deployed more hotspots so far.
But Cox, which got off to a later start in WiFi than most of its cable counterparts, seems determined to start catching up now, especially with the introduction of its new GigaBlast 1-Gig service. The MSO intends to follow up its rollout of GigaBlast in each new market with substantial deployments of WiFi, starting with Las Vegas later this year.
Like most of its fellow MSOs, Cox is installing more powerful WiFi routers in each new broadband subscriber's home to bolster its WiFi rollout. It's also piggybacking on the nationwide "Cable WiFi" network stitched together by four other major cable operators -- Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cablevision and Bright House. This network now offers free roaming service to cable subscribers at more than 300,000 hotspots across the US.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading