Cox Communications said it has entered the next phase of its gigabit rollout as it starts to deploy and introduce DOCSIS 3.1-based broadband services on its widely deployed HFC networks.
Cox initially targeted 1 Gbps speeds using “Gigablast,” a fiber-to-the-premises platform, and confirmed today that Gigablast is now available in all its “major” markets, including targeted FTTP overlays in Omaha, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La.; Las Vegas and Phoenix, and FTTP in all greenfields. Cox first launched Gigablast in 2014 in Phoenix.
Cox, which pledged to begin market-wide deployment of Gigabit services by the end of 2016 in a pronouncement made during The Cable Show in 2014, said it is now driving 1-Gig on a nationwide basis with DOCSIS 3.1, and has the technology up and live with employees, and expects to begin commercial deployments of D3.1-based services in some still-to-be-identified markets later this year.
Cox has already given its blessing to a set of DOCSIS 3.1 modems being sold at retail, including the Arris Surfboard 8200, Motorola MB8600 (Zoom Telephonics has rights to make and sell products that use the Moto brand), and the Netgear CM1000.
Under its current deployment schedule, Cox plans to have gigabit speeds available to 40% of the homes it serves by the end of 2017, and expand from there.
In 2015, Cox execs said the MSO expected to begin D3.1 deployments in 2017.
Cox also appears to be phasing out older D1.1-based modems, noting on the web that, effective Aug. 7, 2017, DOCSIS 1.1 modems “will no longer function on the Cox network.”
Cox, which notes that D1.1 technology is “outdated,” said Cox will provide a replacement modem at no additional charge to customers who use DOCSIS 1.1 modems.