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Cox Plugs Into Home-Networking Trial

Cox Communications Inc. is the latest cabler to plug into home networking
with a trial announced in its New England market.

The limited market trial among 20,000 customers in Rhode Island and
Connecticut will offer home-networking routers, software, installation and
technical support.

Cox is offering a $299.95 wired Ethernet version and a $349.95 wireless
802.11b Ethernet version, both able to network up to two computers and four
devices, with an option to add additional PCs for an extra charge.

The MSO is not releasing which vendor it is using for the networking
equipment. Director of new-business development Stu Cassell did say the MSO
would be testing two vendors for equipment, adding, 'We haven't made a decision
going forward.'

The trial will test not only the technology, but also the service.

'The technology itself is fairly well baked, but we need to test our
operations and how well the customers react to this,' Cassell said.

Customers will also pay a monthly $9.95 service fee, giving them access to
technical support, file and print sharing and troubleshooting. New customers can
have their home networks installed at the same time as their cable modems.

Cox plans to evaluate the trial results later this year, and it will likely
announce plans for future rollouts afterward.

While the length of the trial has not been set, Cassell noted, 'We would like
to wrap it up relatively quickly so that we can make a decision and move