Cox Unleashes Wideband

Cox Communications Inc. has booted up its first deployment of Docsis 3.0, introducing a new high-speed access tier in Lafayette, La., where the MSO locks horns with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and faces an aggressive municipal fiber-to-the-home deployment.

The new tier, dubbed "Ultimate Internet," offers burst speeds of 50 Mbit/s downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream. Cox is selling the wideband service for $139.99 per month, but "promotional pricing" should be around $90 per month, an MSO official tells Cable Digital News.

Cox's best single-channel Docsis tier, "Premier," caps the downstream at 20 Mbit/s and the upstream at 2 Mbit/s, and costs about $57 per month, according to MSO Website data for the region.

The MSO official says Cox expects to deploy Ultimate Internet in "several more markets" by the end of 2009, and in more than two thirds of Cox's footprint in 2010.

Fellow MSO Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) expects to have its entire network wired up for Docsis 3.0 by the end of 2010. About 35 percent of Comcast's footprint is already wideband-enabled. (See Comcast Widens Wideband Footprint .)

Privately held Cox didn't specify where Docsis 3.0 will show up next, but some candidates sites include northern Virginia; New Orleans; Phoenix; Orange County, Calif.; and central Florida.

Atlanta-based Cox, the third-largest U.S. cable MSO, has about 4 million residential high-speed Internet subscribers.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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