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Cox Touts ‘The Gig Life’

Ahead of its plan to deploy 1-Gig speeds in all markets in the coming years, Cox Communications is already starting to prime consumer expectations in Phoenix with an event that aims to “demonstrate the power of Gigabit speeds.”

The MSO is running the “Cox Gig Life Experience” at Chase Field Plaza, an area located near the western entrance of the ballpark that serves as the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. There, Cox is exhibiting the types of apps and services that can be delivered via 1 Gbps broadband links during game days through August 10. The event, which kicked off on July 30, is also giving visitors a chance to win a tablet and a $500 gift card. The Phoenix Business Journal was on hand to get a glimpse at Cox’s 1-Gig demo.

And expect to hear more about Cox’s 1-Gig plans on social media such as Twitter, as the MSO has apparently staked its claim on the #CoxGIGLife hashtag.

And Cox will be doing more of this as starts to execute a plan to start deployments of Gigabit speeds to all markets by the end of 2016. The MSO has also pledged to offer 1-Gig speeds to existing and new neighborhoods in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha, Neb., starting in the fourth quarter.

Cox expects to tee up additional 1-Gig demos as it moves ahead on the initiative.

“The event is designed to demonstrate the power of Gigabit speeds and ‘The Gig Life’ it enables, raising awareness with customers that they will have access to this technology very soon via Cox,” Cox spokesman Todd Smith said via email. “We are investing a tremendous amount of capital in our markets to deploy Gigabit infrastructure to all residential customers and will aggressively promote it over the coming months. You’ll see several local initiatives in each of our markets to help educate customers on this exciting new offer.”

Cox hasn’t outlined its precise technology strategy for the 1-Gig rollout, but it’s expected to include a mix of FTTP- and DOCSIS-based approaches, including DOCSIS 3.1, an emerging CableLabs platform that will enable MSOs to deliver multi-Gigabit speeds over their widely deployed hybrid fiber/coax networks.

“All options are on the table,” Philip Nutsugah, vice president of product management for Cox High Speed Internet, told Multichannel News in an interview in May (subscription required). “There are lots of ways to deliver gigabit speeds. We will have a lot of options available to us.” he said.

Cox’s initial 1-Gig markets – Omaha and Phoenix – are already being targeted heavily by competitors.

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.

Ahead of its 1-Gig rollout, Cox has begun to upgrade the speeds of its two most popular high-speed Internet tiers, doubling the downstream of “Preferred” from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps, and “Premier” from 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps.  Omaha and Phoenix are included in the initial batch of upgrades, which Cox expects to roll to all its markets by the end of the year.