Policy + charging

Cox Boots Up Its Bandwidth Meter

12:45 PM -- Cox Communications Inc. confirmed that it has launched a bandwidth usage meter for customers in its Gulf Coast (northwest Florida) market after customers started chirping about it on the DSL Reports message boards.

An MSO spokesman said the meter was launched this week and Cox plans to deploy it on a market-by-market basis in its other systems throughout the rest of this year. Here are some screenshots (SFW) that show Cox's meter in action.

The meter, designed internally, is there to help Cox subs monitor their bandwidth usage and track how far they are from hitting the operator's cap on excessive use. Unlike a consumption-based billing system Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) tried out and then mothballed amid a firestorm of criticism, Cox doesn't charge extra for consumption above those bandwidth thresholds, which are broken out thusly:

Table 1:
Cox High-Speed Internet Package Bandwidth Allowance*
Ultimate 400GB
Premier Plus ( Available only in Arizona) 400GB
Premier 250GB
Preferred 200GB
Essential/Value 50GB
Starter/Economy 30GB
*Bandwidth allowances are for upstream and downstream combined. Among those tiers, Ultimate, a Docsis 3.0 tier, offers bursts of 55Mbit/s downstream and 5.5Mbit/s upstream when combined with PowerBoost, a technology that gives a temporary speed boost when there's extra capacity available on the network.
Source: Cox Communications

Cox says a very small percentage (approximately 1 percent) ever exceed their monthly bandwidth allowance.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) has already gone wide with a similar meter for its monthly 250GB cap on excessive use. (See Comcast Expanding Broadband Meter Trials .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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