Cox Communications Expands Fast 50Mbps Broadband Internet to Virginia

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Cox Communications Expands Fast 50Mbps Broadband Internet to Virginia

cox-logo.gifCox Communications today expanded its fastest broadband service to residential and business customers in Northern Virginia. Now offered in Fairfax County and Fredericksburg it delivers up to 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) downloads and 5 Mbps uploads using DOCSIS 3.0. Last month, this service was launched in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The third generation of cable's DOCSIS (Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification) service introduces channel bonding, a technology that can bond parallel cable channels to transmit data at faster speeds. Speeds are further enhanced with PowerBoostâ„¢, a cable-exclusive technology that provides an extra burst of speed when it's needed.

Cox's Ultimate Internet package provides residential customers with the ability to download movies and music, share files, stream video and compete with gamers around the world, faster than ever. DOCSIS 3.0 meets the increasing bandwidth demands of multiple users while optimizing their online experience. Standard price for the residential Ultimate Internet package will be $139.99 per month, with an introductory rate of $109 per month.

Interestingly, Northern Virginia business customers will also be able to take advantage of DOCSIS 3.0 technology through Cox Business Internet's new "premium package". It too features download speeds up to 50 Mbps and 5 Mbps uploads, but they claim Cox Business Internet helps optimize support for corporate e-mail, online research and Web-based business applications. Yeah right. You're paying more for the premium business with the same speed as the home edition.

[Update - Cox informed me what the business offering gives you]
"50 Mbps business customers get 5 dynamic or static IP address, domain name hosting, the ability to support servers and 24/7 technical support. When bundled with other Cox services, the business service is priced between $200 and $300 depending on the length of contract. Home office business users pay only a slight premium above standard residential service."

So there is some value-add. I've just encountered too many instances of residential vs. business broadband offerings where it's the virtually the same thing but you pay a premium for business broadband. Several years ago TMC considered using Cablevision for our supplementary Internet access at TMC since it was only like $40 for 10Mbps vs. like $800-$1200 for a data T1 that's only 1.544Mbps. Yet, when we looked at the business cable offering it was much more than $40 and we didn't need the static IPs. So basically you're paying more just because you're a business.

Just as a fun test I took my personal home cable router (also Cablevision) plugged it into TMC's cable line and had high-speed Internet for the $40 rate. In theory, we could have ordered service under a residential plan, but that wouldn't be ethical. Still, I hate paying more for business broadband when I'm not using anything more than residential broadband.

The company has already launched DOCSIS 3.0 in Lafayette Parish, La., and plans to offer Ultimate Internet to several Cox markets by the end of 2009, and to more than two-thirds of its footprint in 2010.

Now if only Verizon (FiOS fiber-to-the-home), AT&T (Uverse Fiber-to-the-neighborhood), Comcast (DOCSIS 3.0 55mbps), or Charter Communications (cable broadband) would bring affordable high-speed Internet to my neighborhood. Stuck on pokey DSL!

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