Cox Communications isn't going to leave all the gigabit fun to Google and the telcos.
During The Cable Show this week, Cox Communications Inc. announced that it will deploy broadband services with speeds of 1 Gbit/s as an option to all residential customers. The full timeline hasn't been worked out, but Cox will start rolling gigabit service in select markets in 2014. (See AT&T Turns Up Gig Heat in 21 New Metros and Keeping Up With Google Fiber.)
As a privately-held company, Cox has more flexibility than other cable providers to make capital investments. For example, the cable operator was one of, if not the first in the US to upgrade its cable plant to 1 Gigahertz in 2007.
For the gigabit rollout, Cox hasn't specified which technologies it will use, but a spokesperson did tell Light Reading that the service will rely on portions of Cox's existing network in addition to newer fiber infrastructure.
The spokesperson also pointed out that Cox already delivers gigabit speeds to commercial customers. In the short term, she added, the company plans to double speeds for some of its regular residential broadband tiers as it looks forward to full gigabit deployment.
Cox executive vice president and chief technology officer Kevin Hart told Multichannel News that the company is preparing for gigabit service in part through transition to an all-digital network. The operator will use the reclaimed bandwidth from roughly 60 analog channels to support upgrades to DOCSIS 3.1 technology.
In a related story, the cable industry has decided to brand the DOCSIS 3.1 platform as Gigasphere.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading