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Cox Posts Weaker Data But Stronger IP Phone Gains

Despite racking up a huge $2.5 billion loss in the fourth quarter because of a one-time write-off, Cox Communications ended last year on a modest upswing as it steadily picked up more high-speed data and cable telephony subscribers. In its last quarter as a public company, Cox reported adding 140,691 cable modem subscribers, about even with the year-ago period although down from its record-setting pace in the third quarter. The MSO closed 2004 with nearly 2.6 million data customers, up about 585,000 for the year. On the telephony front, Cox signed up 89,119 digital phone customers in Q4, its biggest quarterly gain ever, thanks largely to its rollout of VoIP service in five markets. The MSO closed 2004 with just over 1.3 million cable telephony subscribers, up about 315,000 for the year. Cox, which owes most of this total to its older circuit-switched product, plans to launch VoIP service in five more markets this year. Cox also added 58,825 digital cable subscribers in the fourth quarter, down from its pace of the previous four quarters. The MSO ended 2004 with slightly more than 2.4 digital video subscribers, up about 270,000 for the year.
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