Cox Las Vegas Deals Out 50-Mbps Internet

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Cox Communications Las Vegas is launching Ultimate Internet, a 50-Mbps service touted as providing the fastest Internet speeds in the state of Nevada, marking the MSO's sixth market to commercially roll out DOCSIS 3.0 technology.

In Vegas, Cox's primary telco competitor is CenturyLink (formerly Embarq), which offers DSL service with a top speed of 10 Mbps. The cable operator said it would "conduct a side-by-side" speed test of Ultimate Internet vs. "a common speed of 1 Mbps and the key local competitor's top-speed of 10 Mbps" at a press conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Cox also offers the 50-Mbps tier, which offers 5 Mbps upstream, in Louisiana, Northern Virginia, New England (Rhode Island), Phoenix, and Orange County, Calif. (Palos Verdes).

Cox Las Vegas noted that the DOCSIS 3.0 service is delivered over a "non-fiber" network; like other MSOs, Cox uses a hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) architecture. The claim by cable operators including Comcast and Time Warner Cable that they employ "fiber-optic" networks has been a bone of contention for Verizon Communications, which has spent billions on its FiOS buildout.

"The technology that enables our company to provide 50 Mbps over coaxial cable represents the latest development by the cable industry to provide 21st century speed and reliability," Cox Las Vegas senior vice president and general manager Marilyn Burrows said in announcing the service.

According to Cox, the Las Vegas system has invested more than $740 million since 2005 in technology upgrades and infrastructure expansions to offer DOCSIS 3.0, expand HD channels (currently at 61), introduce VOD and launch Cox Digital Telephone.

The Ultimate Internet service will be available to all Cox residential and business customers within Cox's Southern Nevada footprint. The company said business customers should contact the Cox Business office in Las Vegas for pricing information. For residential subscribers, Ultimate Internet is $119.99 per month.

The Vegas system is using Motorola's DOCSIS 3.0 gear and is launching with Motorola SurfBoard 6120 modems. Customers must purchase a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, either from electronics retailers or from Cox Las Vegas for $99.99. In addition, Cox will charge a professional installation fee for both new and existing customers.

The service also include PowerBoost, which increases speeds to 55 Mbps when Ultimate Internet customers download large files, as well as 10 e-mail accounts, McAfee security software and 5 Gbytes of online storage.

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