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Cox Sets 1-Gig Rollouts In Motion

Less than a month after announcing plans to offer 1 Gbps speeds to residential customers in all markets, Cox Communications on Thursday announced that it will start by targeting new residential construction projects and new and existing neighborhoods in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha.

Cox said the plan, to involve all MSO locations, is to "begin market-wide deployment of gigabit speeds by the end of 2016."

"We are excited about our road map to offer gigabit speeds to all of our residential customers," said Cox Communications president Pat Esser, in a statement. "Starting today, we will begin deploying new technology and infrastructure that will give customers the choice of gigabit speeds in all markets we serve."

Esser announced the MSO’s big 1-Gig plan last month in an interview with Bloomberg that was timed with The Cable Show in Los Angeles. Also that week, the cable industry announced that “Gigasphere” would serve as the consumer-facing brand of DOCSIS 3.1, a platform that will pave the way for multi-gigabit speeds over the HFC network.

In an interview at The Cable Show, Kevin Hart, Cox’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said the operator will be taking a “hybrid” approach to 1-Gig. Although DOCSIS 3.1 is still out on the horizon, Hart said Cox is has begun to “accelerate operational readiness” for the next-gen platform.

In addition to offering gigabit service to neighborhoods, Cox announced this week that it will also offer gigabit speeds to units in select new condominiums and apartments, will offer WiFi in  common areas of the developments.

Tied into the 1-Gig plans, Cox also said it will also double the speeds on its “most popular” broadband tiers for all customers this year – its “Preferred” tier will go from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps (downstream), while “Premiere” will jump from50 Mbps to 100 Mbps. Cox noted that more than 70% of its high-speed Internet subs take one of those two offerings.

Cox, which serves about 6 million residential and business customers, also announced it has expanded its WiFi network to the Phoenix metropolitan area and to Greater Las Vegas. Those access points will also be accessible to broadband subs who get service from the “Cable WiFi” roaming consortium, a group that also includes Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks.

The MSO noted that it has invested more than $15 billion in its communities through infrastructure upgrades to deliver video, phone and high-speed Internet service to homes and businesses.