Cox Starts Gigabit Rollout In Virginia

Cox Communications followed up its recent launch of Gigabit services in Phoenix by announcing a limited rollout of 1-Gig in Virginia, starting with new homes at the Viridian Reserve at Hickory in Chesapeake.

Cox laid claim to being the first “national communications provider” in the state to commit to a residential Gigabit Internet strategy.

The Virginia announcement comes after Cox announced earlier this year that it will begin market-wide deployment of gigabit speeds by the end of 2016. Earlier this month, Cox began to roll out its new service, branded as “G1GABLAST,” in Phoenix, where the MSO will initially offer it to more than 5,000 homes there this year, and ramp that up to 150,000 homes in Phoenix by the end of 2015. Cox has also identified Las Vegas and Omaha among markets that will get access to Gigabit speeds in the early phases of deployment.

The number of homes that initiallyi will have access to the new offering in Virginia as well as anticipated pricing on the product weren’t immediately known. In Phoenix, Cox is selling 1-Gig for $99 per month as a stand-alone service, and $69.99 per month when bundled with other Cox services.

Update: Cox said 165 homes are planned for this new community, noting that the company expects to make Gigabit speeds available to residents at the Viridian development by late 2015. Cox hasn’t announced pricing for its 1-Gig offerings in the Virginia area, but said it will “price the service competitively.”

Cox is initially powering G1GABLAST using fiber-to-the-home technologies, but intends to use broaden access to 1-Gig speeds using DOCSIS 3.1 as that technology becomes available.

"We are excited about our road map to offer gigabit speeds to all of our residential customers," Pat Esser (pictured above), president of Cox, said in a statement about the Virginia rollout. "We are deploying new technology and infrastructure that will offer our customers the choice of gigabit speeds in all markets we serve."

"We are proud of our long-standing commitment to the Hampton Roads community," added Gary McCollum, senior vice president and region manager for Cox Virginia. "Cox is driven by our customer feedback and we will continue our investment to deliver what customers have come to expect from us: industry leading products and services and a superior customer experience."

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.