Following up on its announcement at The Cable Show last month, Cox Communications is now offering more detail on the company's pending rollout of gigabit broadband services throughout its territories. (See Cox Goes for a Gigabit .)
Cox Communications Inc. is targeting Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Omaha as its first new gigabit markets and plans to begin deployments across its entire footprint by the end of 2016. In addition to residential home service, the company will offer gigabit connectivity to select condominiums and apartments and will expand WiFi service both in common areas of those multi-dwelling units (MDU) and in public locations across the Phoenix and Las Vegas metro areas.
The announcement by Cox, the first major North American MSO to make a 1-Gig commitment throughout its footprint, follows a recent pattern of competitive announcements from broadband service providers. Typically, one operator introduces or says it will explore delivery of higher broadband speeds, and then other local providers rapidly follow suit. In February, for instance, Google Fiber Inc. said it would look at expanding fiber service to 34 new cities, including Phoenix, where it will compete against Cox for the first time. (See Google Fiber Shifts Into High Gear.)
At the same time, CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) began offering gigabit service in Las Vegas last fall and in Omaha last May, putting Cox on the hot seat in those two markets as well.
This isn't Cox's first venture into gigabit broadband service. In addition to providing gigabit connections to commercial customers, the operator started a fiber-to-the-home trial service in Orange County, Calif. last year. For the company's upcoming deployments, a spokesperson noted that Cox hasn't yet specified which technologies it will use, but said that it will rely on portions of Cox's existing network in addition to newer fiber infrastructure.
While most Cox customers won't get gigabit broadband service immediately, the cable company said it will double speeds on its two most popular Internet service tiers -- Preferred and Premium -- this year, raising the maximum downstream speeds of those tiers to 50 Mbit/s and 100 Mbit/s, respectively.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading