Cox Rolls Out 1-Gig In Phoenix

Cox Communications joined the 1-Gig club Monday with the launch of a new residential service called “G1GABLAST” in Phoenix, where the MSO is selling it for $69.99 per month when combined with the MSO’s “most popular service bundles.”

As Cox announced earlier this year, the MSO will offer the 1-Gig residential service initially to parts of the Phoenix Metropolitan area, and will follow next with deployments in Las Vegas and Omaha. Cox has also pledged to begin market-wide deployment of gigabit speeds by the end of 2016. In Phoenix ahead of Monday's launch, Cox has been touting the coming rollout via a marketing campaign under the banner, “The Gig Life."

Some of Cox’s initial 1-Gig markets, including Omaha and Phoenix, are also being targeted by CenturyLink Communications. Following initial deployments of 1-Gig in parts of Omaha and Salt Lake City, CenturyLink has since begun to offer those speeds in parts of 13 additional markets, including Phoenix.

It was not immediately known how many homes in Phoenix will have access to Cox’s new G1GABLAST offering, and if the operator intends to offer 1-Gig as a stand-alone service.

Update: Cox confirmed Monday afternoon that its stand-alone 1-Gig service in Phoenix will cost $99 per month and shed more light on the number of homes that will have access to the new offering through the end of 2015.

Cox has set up a Web site where customers in Phoenix can check for service availability and sign up for the new G1GABLAST service.

In a recent interview with Multichannel News about Cox’s 1-Gig plan, Kevin Hart, the MSO’s EVP and CTO, said Cox intends to start off with targeted use of fiber-to-the-premises technology and branch out to the rest of the market using DOCSIS 3.1 when the new platform is ready to go. CableLabs is expected to kick off D3.1 interops and “plug-fests” later this year, and to start official certification and qualification testing on D3.1 gear by mid-2015.

Hart said Cox, which began the 1-Gig preregistration process in July, will initially feature FTTH in greenfield areas, including new multiple dwelling units and other new housing developments, as well as “some overbuild for existing neighborhoods.” He said multiple factors are helping Cox to determine its 1-Gig build curve. The full Q&A with Hart is available here.

“We are excited to deliver the choice of gigabit speeds to our customers,” Cox president Pat Esser  said in a statement issued on Monday (October 6). “Coupled with our 2,300 employees in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and more than 20,000 nationwide, our latest investments and the deployment of the fastest speeds available are powering economic growth and development for businesses and residents of the communities we serve.”

Cox is also in the process of rolling out free upgrades that double the max downstream speeds of the MSO’s two most popular DOCSIS 3.0-powered broadband tiers, with Cox Preferred rising from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and Premiere jumping from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps. More than 70% of Cox’s residential broadband customers take one of those two broadband service tiers. Cox expects to complete those upgrades in all markets by the end of the year.