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The Edge

Cox heads to the edge

With an eye fixed on the opportunity to support a wide array of low-latency apps and services in markets around the globe, Cox Communications last week launched a new unit called Cox Edge.

Cox Edge, billed as a full stack, edge cloud computing service, is booting up with service availability in more than a dozen US markets, including several that are in Cox's traditional cable footprint (such as San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix) as well as outside that footprint.

Table 1: Cox Edge: Current Availability

Seattle San Francisco San Jose Los Angeles Phoenix
Denver Las Vegas San Diego Chicago Atlanta
Miami Sterling, Virginia Ashburn, Virginia New York
Source: Cox Communications.

Cox Edge also has plans to extend access to another 30-plus markets.

Table 2: Cox Edge: Planned Market Deployments

Kansas Tulsa Oklahoma City Louisiana New Orleans
Pensacola Ocala Macon Houston Sacramento
Roanoke Hampton Roads Detroit Northern Virginia Cleveland
Rhode Island Connecticut Memphis Tallahassee Boston
Santa Barbara Palos Verdes Sun Valley Orange County Minneapolis
Portland Madison Nashville Jacksonville Pittsburgh
Norfolk
Source: Cox Communications.

Cox Edge will cover those areas by tapping into its own networks, largely through Cox Communications/Cox Business, as well as through a mix of infrastructure partners. The company will tie it all together with a cloud native stack and orchestration platform.

Among those partners is Stackpath, a company that is building an edge-focused global content delivery network. Cox, along with Juniper Networks, led a $216 million Series B funding round in Stackpath last year. Ron Lev, general manager of Cox Edge, and executive director of new growth at Cox, alluded that Cox is making investments in other types of infrastructure companies that can help Cox Edge unlock additional locations around the globe.

Cox Edge will start off with a portfolio that includes content delivery network services, edge bare metal offerings, serverless connectivity, virtual machine, distributed database and managed Kubernetes products. Cox Edge will effectively run as a unit of Cox, with linkages to the cable operator and its commercial services businesses. That's similar to how Cox2M, an enterprise IoT business focused on asset tracking and monitoring that launched in 2018, has been operating.

Cox Edge was spawned to focus on the market's need for low-latency compute services that augment current Internet and centralized cloud architectures, Lev explained.

"It's an infrastructure play," he said. Cox Edge has not announced any customers, but Lev said conversations with existing and new enterprise customers are underway. In addition to working with Cox Business, Cox Edge also intends to drive sales through yet-unnamed channel partners that have a reach into markets and business segments in the US and beyond that fall outside of the traditional Cox network and services scope.

As Cox Edge enters the fray, the company will of course run into other entities, including wireless/mobile operators, that have added edge computing and services to their respective portfolios. Cox Edge hopes to stand out by interlinking and unifying its own network assets with those of its partners.

"The last mile is something that we're bringing to the table that makes us unique [with] the assets that we have," said Lev, who believes Cox Edge is among a "first wave" of operators that are unlocking that last mile to enable edge computing capabilities.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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