Cox Communications Inc. Wednesday gained total price deregulation from the
federal government for its Phoenix, Ariz., systems -- the company's largest
cluster, with about 600,000 area subscribers.
The Federal Communications Commission ruled that Cox faced 'effective
competition' from Qwest Communications International Inc. in the local pay TV
Cox, based in Atlanta, is the fifth-largest cable operator, with about 6.2
Qwest Choice TV employs VDSL (very high-speed digital-subscriber-line)
technology that offers a 190-channel platform, including 27 pay-per-view and 45
music channels. It has about 42,000 subscribers in the Phoenix area.
Cox -- which filed for deregulation with the FCC in May -- is no longer
regulated on the basic tier by Phoenix-area local governments. Nor is the
company required to offer uniform rates in a franchise area.
Cox filed for rate relief in nine communities, and it was granted relief in
eight, including Phoenix, which has 465,000 households, the FCC