Cox Goes Statewide in Calif.

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Los AngelesCox Communications has become the first incumbent cable operator in California to gain state certification under its franchising-reform law.

The operator’s application was prompted by the company’s wish to resume selling video service to residents of a high-end housing development in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego County.

Cox was providing a bundle of video, high-speed internet access and telephone service in the area. But last year, the San Diego city attorney ordered the operator to drop its video service.

In entering the Stonebridge Estates development, Cox had crossed the boundary into Time Warner Cable’s franchise area. By straying out of its specified territory, Cox broke local and state law, according to city officials. The municipality’s action was prompted by a complaint from Time Warner.

Cox complied with the order, dropping video from its service bundle last August. Video was the only product subject to local regulation by San Diego.

Armed with the state franchise, Cox will resume offering video service to the housing development on May 8. In a bid to regain customers it was compelled to disconnect, Cox will waive its customary video-installation fee.

The permit was issued April 27. Cox’s state franchise will expire in 2017.

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