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Networking The Internet Upgrades

Cox Promises National Gigabit Rollout; Starting With Phoenix, Las Vegas, Omaha 129

Posted by timothy
from the faster-is-better dept.
As reported by the (variably paywalled) Wall Street Journal, Cox Communications is joining AT&T (and, of course, Google) in building out more gigabit connections to U.S. households. The company "became the biggest U.S. cable operator to commit to rolling out a gigabit-speed broadband offering to all its residential customers, starting this year, the latest sign that the push for ultrafast broadband speeds sparked by Google Inc. is gaining traction throughout the industry. ... [Cox president Pat Esser] said Cox's plan isn't contingent on whether towns and cities offer any sweeteners to Cox to make the rollout easier. Two years ago, Google's ability to get discounted and free services from Kansas City as it constructed its fiber service raised the hackles of local incumbent operators, including Time Warner Cable and AT&T. AT&T has indicated it is interested in getting similar concessions from towns as it rolls out its gigabit speeds." After the three Western and Mid-Western initial cities (Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Omaha) next year, other cities served by Cox should start getting the speed upgrades in 2016. (Similar but briefer story at Light Reading.)
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Cox Promises National Gigabit Rollout; Starting With Phoenix, Las Vegas, Omaha

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  • non-paywalled link (Score:3, Informative)

    by soundguy (415780) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @03:41PM (#47084271) Homepage

    For those who don't want to support the scumbags at newscorp

    http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2014/05/cox-communications-plans-1gigabit-speed-for.html

  • by QuietLagoon (813062) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @03:42PM (#47084273)
    ... google fiber's gigabit speeds, Cox should also commit to rolling out google fiber's reasonable prices.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Charliemopps (1157495)

      ... google fiber's gigabit speeds, Cox should also commit to rolling out google fiber's reasonable prices.

      They can't. I get sick of posting this but:
      The cost to provide you internet is directly proportional to the density of the population where you live. Google is only installing fiber in very dense areas. As a result it's very very cheap for them to do this. Cable and telco companies have to provide service to a wider array of customers. Cable companies do so in somewhat less dense areas and telcos provide it in fairly remote areas. It costs you about the same to install a remote and provide service when the

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by Frosty Piss (770223) *

        They can't. I get sick of posting this but: The cost to provide you internet is directly proportional to the density of the population where you live.

        For large providers such as Cox and (maybe someday) Comcast, the cost is spread out over their entire customer base. I know, for you Tea Baggers (I'm sorry, "Libertarians"), that's tantamount - gasp - "Socialism". I know, I know, farmers in Bum-Fuck-Nebraska should be paying $1000 a month for their dial-up...

        • There's this thing in economics called marginal profit. If the cost of deploying service to another customer would exceed the revenue, that means you're taking scarce, valuable resources, and making them less valuable. That's a bad thing.

          A lack of price signals and economic calculation like this is why socialism and communism always, always fails. All "socialist" societies today have some form of price system for this reason.

          • Pardon my ignorance, but what does public ownership of productive capital have to do with this issue?
            • I don't know, what do you mean?

              • You've said that "this is why socialism always fails", which strikes me as a non sequitur, if I've ever seen one.
                • The parent was suggesting that Cox could just eat the costs because they profit elsewhere.

                  It's the same thing. You can't actually do that, because you're taking marginal losses. In socialism the phenomenon is well understood by economists, fewer people seem to understand it's relevance to massive corporations and that they can fail for the same reason. It's bad for the owning entity, and it's bad for the public at large because you're wasting scarce, valuable resources.

                  I didn't understand the "public owners

                  • Except that I lived in a socialist country and I don't think anyone was doing there anything of the kind. Certainly not when it comes to services like this. Your boondocks phone line simply wouldn't get installed. And when it comes to spreading costs, does Comcast actually itemize the expenses to individual subscribers? Somehow I haven't heard of any company practicing this.
                  • by flyneye (84093)

                    I suggested to Cox that they eat sh*t; as the last thing I said to their billing dept about 8 years ago.
                    Disconnected my cable AND internet from them and havent looked back since.
                    Gigabit or not, Id use sneakernet before I EVER use COX again.

                    Everywhere Ive ever seen socialism, it is in undesirable living conditions, under complete assholes. That would indicate a major FAIL for all those splitting red hairs out there... nuff said.

          • However you ignore that rolling fiber to suburban america is only unprofitable if you use a short return window.
            Rolling fiber based on a 10-15 year payback is a profitable investment for any suburban residential area as long as you plan to migrate all customers to fiber.
            Fiber gets rid of all mid of the way active amplification systems, that fail every few years and that require power supply (either solar+battery or an utility electricity bill).
            GEPON can be rolled with up to 20 km from the GEPON base to the

            • by Bengie (1121981)
              Better than that, rolling fiber is profitable after 3-5 years, and in more optimal areas like a high density suburb, 2 years.
              • Rolling new fiber perhaps, replacing a functional HFC network, using added savings as the profitability criteria, utterly different economical parameters.
                There is no question that it no longer makes ANY SENSE to roll out new copper networks, none whatsoever. But for existing networks, replacing the old coax one with a fiber one, the economics aren't quite as sweet.

        • by jon3k (691256)
          Not only do you not know the difference between far right wing conservatives and libertarians but you also don't know what socialism is either. You are impressively ignorant.
        • by DedTV (1652495)
          Not to interrupt your rambling Limbaugh fellating, but Cox doesn't spread costs across their entire customer base.
          They use regional pricing based on the cost of serving that area, in theory anyway. I'm sure that in reality, they charge whatever they think they can get from the people in that area. But areas with more densely packed residential areas do tend to have lower prices and don't seem to significantly subsidize service offerings in less densely packed areas which usually have higher prices.
          • by pepty (1976012)

            But areas with more densely packed residential areas do tend to have lower prices and don't seem to significantly subsidize service offerings in less densely packed areas which usually have higher prices.

            Is that due to density or neighborhoods that are actually served by multiple providers?

            • by DedTV (1652495)
              It seems to be "density of neighborhoods". Places with lots of multistory apartment buildings, subdivisions, etc tend to be cheaper than places where you'll commonly see a residential house flanked by a warehouse and a 7-11.

              Local competition of course drives prices down. The price per Mb in Omaha and Vegas are over $3 where the only real competition is wireless carriers but it's well under $3 in Phoenix where Cox has competition from Cable One. Of course there's numerous other factors, from easement restr
      • What we have now is service AND prices as if everybody lives in the middle of nowhere.

        • by overshoot (39700)

          There's a reason that we who are serviced by Cox have established the unofficial motto, "Cox sucks."

          Pay more here for megabit speeds (no, that's not as in "50 megabit," that's as in "one, on a good day) at prices higher than Google charges for gigabit. And for the "it's all about density" set: that's central Phoenix, which sure has more density than Kansas City.

          The speeds keep dropping, and they use "we need to invest in more capacity" as an excuse. The charges go up, but the speeds go down anyway.

          The onl

          • I've had Cox, probably in the same city as you (given your reference to CenturyLink), for over a decade. Performance has always been as advertised, often better. Service interruptions have been rareâ"less than one per year. I've never heard different from anyone else.

            They recently replaced my modem with one meeting a newer DOCSIS standard, presumably anticipating the upcoming service upgrades.

          • Wouldn't that be "Sucks Cox"?

      • The cost to provide you internet is directly proportional to the density of the population where you live.

        I have made the same argument many times before. BUT...

        The fact is that even in the denser cities, U.S. customers pay far more on average for less service than in most "Western" countries.

        That isn't just due to lower densities, because as I say it's true across the U.S. What it is due to is simple lack of real competition, or failing that, adequate regulation.

      • They can't. I get sick of posting this but:

        I'm sick of replying to this, but... Your apology for high ISP prices would carry a whole lot more water if the ISPs did not have very much lower prices in areas where they have competition than in those areas (more densely populated, btw) where they do not have competition.

      • by sjames (1099)

        When did Kansas become densely populated? And why haven't the other ISPs managed to deploy gig fiber in metro areas? Are you claiming NYC is too rural?

        • by Paul Carver (4555)

          No, NYC is too corrupt and too union. It doesn't help that everything in NYC is expensive, but don't imagine for a minute that running high speed fiber in NYC is just a matter of buying the fiber and paying a competitive hourly wage for somebody to run it through a conduit. There's definitely a reason why no little startup is just buying some cheap datacenter grade GigE switches and running new fiber building to building in NYC.

          • by sjames (1099)

            So why not Atlanta? Very little union activity there, still a reasonable density. Miami?

      • by Nemyst (1383049)
        That would be all nice and good if the providers had fiber rolled out at Google's speeds and prices in dense urban areas. Hint: they haven't. The fact they have to support other areas doesn't affect their ability to provide a competitive service to Google's own offering in the same or similar areas.
      • The cost to provide you internet is inversely proportional to the density of the population where you live. Google is only installing fiber in very dense areas. As a result it's very very cheap for them to do this.

        FTFY.

      • What you're really asking for here is tiered services. Those that live outside of city centers should pay for living there. And you, living in an urban area should get very fast service and low rates.

        That's funny. I live in one of the largest cities in the US and Internet speeds are low, prices are high and just about all the choices I have include restrictive (to the point of abusive) contract terms. Perhaps you should get your facts straight before spouting off like that.

      • by citizenr (871508)

        ... google fiber's gigabit speeds, Cox should also commit to rolling out google fiber's reasonable prices.

        They can't. I get sick of posting this but:
        The cost to provide you internet is directly proportional to the density of the population where you live.

        oh, so this is why I can get 1Gbit (with 100Mbit upload) at $30 in RURAL FUCKING ROMANIA.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        That's an incredibly short sighted view, but one which many companies seem to take. If you lay in fibre it will be serviceable for at least the next 50 years, probably a lot longer. Rural phone lines cost a lot to put in, but amortized over 100+ years it's not so bad.

        In reality they probably already have fibre and conduit most of the way, it's just the last mile that is costly. The government could offer them a cheap or interest free loan just to do that bit, if they are unwilling to invest in the long term

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 24, 2014 @03:47PM (#47084307)

    - if you torrent[even over encryption] they will send >=90 sec RSTs every 5 minutes forever...
    - SMTP in/out will be blocked so no email servers without ugly hacks and middleware.
    - it will almost certainly be capped, unless the price is >$100 per month...and even then it might be anyway.

    Having said all that Cox is still among the best of the worst. But competition to stagnate and wring the customer for every penny is fierce in the ISP business.

    • by ncc74656 (45571) *

      SMTP in/out will be blocked so no email servers without ugly hacks and middleware.

      Have your SMTP server respond on a non-standard port (such as 588) as well as the standard ports, and you can connect to it from within Cox's network. Auto-configuration in some mail clients makes this a little bit of a pain, but you only have to set it up once.

      If you're talking about running a server on their network, they want you to fork over the extra $$$ for business-grade service. I did that for a while, but residential

      • Not just that, but of the crappy, scummy things ISPs do, this is one I support. Not having their service be a source of spam is sort of in their interests.

        • by rickb928 (945187)

          It doesn't actually work like that. Plenty of spam being sent on port 110.

        • Blocking inbound SMTP isn't going to prevent any spam; it's just going to force people to use commercial email services to get their mail. No excuse for it.

          There are three kinds of users who send outbound SMTP

          • Legitimate home email users.
          • Infected zombies sending spam.
          • Spammers using home systems.

          Many ISPs have a policy of "block SMTP by default, but allow it if the user requests", which keeps out the zombies. It does force them to deal with occasional spam complaints because of customers who spam on pur

    • 1 Mbps =~= 10 GB/day = 300GB/month. If your cable company puts a bandwidth cap on your service, it's effectively slowing you down to less than DSL speeds.

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        Cox so far has not limited customers, but does send out nastygrams when you hit 250 GB. If they roll out gigabit, you will be able to receive your nastygram in record time, about 40 minutes into your monthly billing cycle.
  • by colfer (619105) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @03:50PM (#47084315)

    Cox also competes with Verizon FiOS in several markets. This article says only 9%, last year: http://www.telecompetitor.com/... [telecompetitor.com]

  • by rossz (67331) <ogre&geekbiker,net> on Saturday May 24, 2014 @03:53PM (#47084325) Homepage Journal

    And even if they weren't lying and actually made the service available, they'll put a 5Gig cap on your data and charge a small fortune for more.

    • by Chewbacon (797801)

      They aren't doing this yet. I get the occasional notice from them about going over my bandwidth, however according to them they have no policy for charging a fee for going over. They do ask me to call to setup a business account.

    • And it will can't handle Netflix too. lol. For that to be unthrottled you need to buy a tier with HBO and +400 channels that you will never watch for $200 a month.

      • by jon3k (691256)
        What are you talking about, I watch Netflix via Cox every day. We have 150Mb/s for $87/mo.
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday May 24, 2014 @05:31PM (#47084709)

      I have yet to see them lie about their service. They advertised 150/20mbit Internet here and I took them up on it. It's great, fast downloads abound. It gets the promised speed, even during fairly peak times. They do not slow any services I can see, and indeed have Netflix cache engines in their data centers so Netflix streaming is great.

      They have a bandwidth cap, but it is fairly reasonable, 400GB/month, which I've yet to get anywhere near. I'd prefer a little higher, but this is high enough that even with regular Netflix/Youtube streaming, downloading from Steam, etc, it is still enough. The cap is stated in their literature clearly, and you have a meter you can use to see your usage.

      If you go over? No charge, no slowdown. If it is a little and not that often, they'll send you a message, nothing more (I have friends with lower tier accounts that have gone over). Enough over and they'll call you about it and bitch at you. I don't know anyone who's been shut off, though Cox says they can do that in extreme cases.

      So I'm gonna say you don't know what you are talking about. Cox are not saints or anything, but their service is fast and operates as promised, they don't seem to pull any BS, and they keep upgrading it.

      • by oldhack (1037484)
        Same experience for me. They are expensive, but they deliver what they promise.
      • by Sarius64 (880298)

        I have yet to see them lie about their service.

        You're just full of shit. In San Diego I pay business rates for 80 Mbps and get 32 Mbps if I'm lucky. Over five years of logs available to anyone at Cox that cares.

      • by fafalone (633739)
        400GB a month is already unreasonable for some, and it's rapidly becoming unreasonable for higher percentages. Not only is online video here, but people want it in HD. 400GB is only 10-20 full Blurays. It's only 10 TV seasons at 1080p for 1hr shows with full length seasons. At least 1 of every 3 months I'll exceed 400, sometimes hitting 600GB+. And I'm just one person... imagine a family with a few teenage kids, or college students living together?

        People who exclusively stream don't get full bitrate, but
    • Doubt it would be that low.
    • I've had Cox business service to my home for nearly a decade now. They have not raised the price one penny in all that time. The service is rock-solid, and the speed is exactly what they advertised; I have never experienced any bandwidth throttling that I can detect. There are no blocked ports or other shennigans, and their tech support staff answer the phone in person when you call for help.

      My experience with other vendors was pretty miserable in comparison. YMMV, but Cox has earned my business.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      Right now in my market Cox offers a 150Mb/s (with Speedboost, I have seen 177Mb/s) with a 400GB/mo cap. That's about 85 720p Bluray downloads per month or 640 hours (26 days, 24 hours a day!) per month of Netflix HD video streaming. I'm sure there are corner cases where people need more than that, but we've got to be talking a fraction of 1%. And in those cases, they can just opt for business service with no data cap. It's really not THAT unreasonable. Of all the Cable companies, Cox is probably the le
  • One again the press is hyping up the news a bit much. What's left out of the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press is that they will "BEGIN market-wide deployment of gigabit speeds by the end of 2016", and that they will "start with new residential construction projects and new and existing neighborhoods in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha." Not existing properties. Thanks for the extra hype in the so called "fiber to the press".
  • ... 5 gig cap which can be reached in 5 seconds. $50 extra for each gig over a month etc. 64kb max streaming Netflix allowed. However no caps and full 1 gb/sec speed for Cox crapola vision in 3D service etc.

    Yes post was a sense of sarcasm but I hope I am far off with this due to watching what happened with net neutrality being a thing of the past now.

    • They have a 5 gigabyte monthly cap? Are you serious?

      • by PRMan (959735)
        I'm pretty sure he said right in the post that he was being sarcastic.
        • Hard to know these days, since my own monthly cap, download+upload, is 35GB.

          And don't tell me to switch ISP, there's two choices where I live. Expensive cable with 35GB monthly cap or extremely expensive satellite with 5GB monthly cap.

      • by rickb928 (945187)

        Never did for me.

      • I use Cox and subscribe to the "preferred plan", 25 Mbit down / 5 Mbit up. Monthly limit for that plan is 250GB. They currently offer two plans with higher bandwidth and monthly limits to homeowners in my region.
    • by jon3k (691256)
      Cox already offers 150Mb/s service with a 400GB monthly cap in many, many markets. That's over 26 straight days, 24 hours a day, of streaming Netflix in HD. If for some bizarre reason you need more than that, you can purchase business class service with no cap.
  • With a shrinking bandwidth cap before they start charging.. No thanks.

  • UP TO 1 Gigibit.

    • Cox is pretty good at meeting the end user's expectations where I am (Hampton Roads). I'm paying for 25 down and 5 up. I just ran a speed test twice using two different services and got 34 down and 3.5 up the first time and 33 down and 4.2 up the second time. I have no complaints about that.
      • by Bengie (1121981)
        Now queue up a 1TB download starting at 6pm and let us know what your average is. Screw burst, what's your sustained?
    • by jon3k (691256)
      Right now I have up to 150Mb/s in my service area (with SpeedBoost) and I've seen 177Mb/s sustained for several minutes before dropping down to 150Mb/s. Routinely see 150Mb/s, no problem. This is Cox, not Comcast. Cox is actually pretty good.
  • they have a v6 block assigned to them but the asshats are clueless on how to provide it to their customers. Their salesdroids and technical people are completely ignorant of the concept, they dont have a deployment timeline or any mention on their website and frankly I dont beleive they have an inkling of a plan on how to accomplish it.
    • It's too bad their level-one tech support isn't trained in it yet. You can bet their higher level techs are working on deploying it right now. If they don't get it done soon, they'll be out of business. Globally speaking, we're out if IPv4 addresses.

    • You do realize a lot of customer endpoint equipment, like the Motorola Surfboard and Linksys WRT54GL I use, do not support IPV6.
      • by Bengie (1121981)
        You do realize that if you get a 1gb Internet connection, you're going to need to upgrade your router and then it will support IPv6. You're going to have a hard time finding a retail grade router that supports 1gb WAN-LAN while not having IPv6 support. I'm not sure if there is one.
        • point was that they're not in a hurry... A large fraction of their current customer base does not have ipv6 compatible equipment.
          • by Bengie (1121981)
            The customer base that cares about getting more than 20mb/s from an old router will eventually upgrade their router and will be nearly forced to have IPv6 support. That's my point.

            I'm not sure I'm too worried that people who pay $150/month for the fastest internet package don't realize they're only getting a fraction of their speed. Kind of like purchasing a Prius and not noticing you're only getting 10mpg.
  • As speeds have increased, data caps have decreased. What good does gigabit do you on a 250GB/month data cap? You'll just blow your data cap streaming 4k.

  • [Cox president Pat Esser] said Cox's plan isn't contingent on whether towns and cities offer any sweeteners to Cox to make the rollout easier. Two years ago, Google's ability to get discounted and free services from Kansas City as it constructed its fiber service raised the hackles of local incumbent operators, including Time Warner Cable and AT&T. AT&T has indicated it is interested in getting similar concessions from towns as it rolls out its gigabit speeds.

    All of you ALREADY GET CONCESSIONS! You

  • is waiting.... Unfortunately, even though they compete with Verizon FIOS in Hampton Roads, when they add gigabit to their existing tiered plans it will probably be too expensive.
  • Thing with Cox.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by iamwhoiamtoday (1177507) on Sunday May 25, 2014 @02:19AM (#47086187)

    Just moved, and Cox was my only option for internet. Currently paying about $100/month, at 150mbps down / 25mbps up. While I absolutely love the bandwidth.... I'm on the same 400GB cap that all of their residential service is stuck at. Takes next to no time at all to burn through that. (Yes, legally. What a shock. Steam / Netflix / Streaming.)

    I hope that they bump up their data cap along with the gigabit rollout!!

    • The data cap appears to be an old, unloved corporate policy. Apparently it did get bumped to 400gb according to other posts here, but for years (including through multiple speed increases) I remember that it had been stuck on 250gb. That said I have never heard of anyone's account getting shut off for going over the "cap". I think they just auto-send you a whiny email.

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