Cox's @Home Conversion Hits Bump


After largely avoiding the major technical snarls other Excite@Home Corp.
affiliates have encountered, Cox Communications Inc. hit its first bump Tuesday
in migrating cable-modem customers to its own system.

Cox has a taken a two-pronged strategy to its conversion, migrating customers
from Excite@Home to Cox's Internet-service provider, then switching data traffic
over to its own new network.

When it began the network conversion in the Phoenix system Tuesday, a router
problem darkened about 2,000 customers' connections starting at about 8 a.m.

Network engineers tracked down the problem and were able to bring those
customers back up by the end of the day, according to Susan Leepson,
public-relations manager for Cox.

'The good news was that it was an isolated problem and we were able to figure
it out and fix it,' she said. 'We are about one-third of the way through the
transition, and this is our first major outage.'

By the end of this week, all Cox cable-modem customers should have received
their conversion kits in the mail.

So far, the Atlanta-based MSO has switched traffic to its own network in
Roanoke and Hampton Roads, Va., and it has started the network conversion in its
Connecticut/Rhode Island; Orange County, Calif.; San Diego; Phoenix; New
Orleans; and Tucson, Ariz., markets.

In related news, Cox also signed a deal with Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3
Communications Inc. to provide part of the nationwide Internet-protocol backbone
for its 779,000 high-speed Internet customers.

Cox will use Level 3 for its backbone transport connection in five major
markets and tap the carrier's OC-48 links to connect its regional data centers
and metropolitan networks to the Level 3 backbone.

AT&T Corp. will also provide IP-backbone transport.