Cox Communications is on schedule to debut a 1-Gbps service in the Phoenix area in the fourth quarter of 2014. There, it will start off with targeted use of fiber-to-the-premises technology and branch out to the rest of the market using DOCSIS 3.1 when the new platform is ready to go.
“This is a top priority for us at Cox,” Kevin Hart, Cox’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said in a recent interview, noting that the operator has already begun to promote the idea through its new “Gig Life” branding.
“We are on track for a fourth quarter launch in Phoenix,” Hart said, noting that the initial launch will feature FTTH and reach greenfield areas, including new multiple dwelling units and other new housing developments, as well as “some overbuild for existing neighborhoods.”
Ahead of the launch, the MSO nailed up a 1-Gig preregistration page in July, and will use a mix of factors, including marketing analysis and market demand, to help Cox determine where it first offers the service, though the plan is to bring 1-Gig capabilities to its entire footprint.
“There are probably three or four different factors that are helping us shape the build curve,” Hart said, adding that Cox will use GPON, particularly in greenfield areas, early on, and then expand broadly using DOCSIS 3.1, a CableLabs-specified platform that will bring multi-gigabit speeds to existing hybrid fiber/coax networks, as products become available.
Hart said the 1-Gig preregistration page has already generated “huge early results.”
“We’re quite pleased with the market reception,” he said. “But we’re not just trying to cherry-pick; we’re just trying to spread it out, and then continue with the 3.1 deployment.”
Phoenix, where CenturyLink also has a 1-Gig project underway, will be the first market to get Gigabit speeds from Cox.
Cox has announced that Las Vegas and Omaha are next in line, and has already committed to start deployments of Gigabit capabilities to all markets by the end of 2016.
The full Q&A with Hart will be featured in Multichannel News’ coverage of next week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver. In it, Hart sheds more light on the MSO’s all-digital upgrade initiative, and an update on the MSO’s plan to develop a next-generation video platform.
For updates on product news, session coverage and other happenings from the annual industry tech-fest, please visit the Multichannel News SCTE Cable-Tec Expo micro-site.