Cox to invest $400M in network to reach underserved areas
Cox Communications said it will invest more than $400 million over the next three years to bring symmetrical 1-Gig speeds to more than 100,000 households in various unserved and underserved areas in and around its legacy service footprint.
Among the early examples is a partnership with the city of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, that will bring fiber-fueled broadband services to more than 6,000 homes. Cox is backing that with a $20,000 donation from the James M. Cox Foundation to the Boys and Girls Club of Tahlequah to fund a Cox Innovation Lab that will provide tech and support to the community.
Cox said several other, similar projects are underway in parts of Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Florida, Louisiana, California, Virginia and Arizona. Cox has set up a website about the expansion and a way for prospective customers to sign up for service availability updates.
"Today's families are even more reliant upon fast Internet speeds to power their increasingly digital lives but many still lack access to a fast and reliable connection," Cox President Mark Greatrex said in a statement.
Network expansion being used to spur subscriber growth
Cox's private investment on network expansions in targeted areas centers on bridging the so-called "digital divide." However, several US operators are expanding their reach in various ways – through private investment or with the aid of government subsidies – to reach into underserved or unserved markets, or to "edge out" their networks to adjacent areas where competition (or limited competition) already exists. Recent examples include:
Together, those efforts will generally help operators generate broadband subscriber opportunities at a time in which the pace of broadband sub growth has slowed following spikes that occurred during earlier phases of the pandemic.
Like other cable operators, Cox is also focused on upgrading its existing networks to support 10-Gig capabilities. Back in February, the company pledged to make a "multibillion-dollar annual infrastructure investment over the next several years to build a 10-Gigabit-capable, fiber-based network."
Cox will deliver on that using a mix of DOCSIS 4.0 upgrades and deployments of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
A version of this story first appeared on Light Reading.
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will present our Cable Next-Gen Europe conference as a free digital symposium on June 21.
Charter has sparked RDOF work in all 24 states where it won bids. The cable op booked about $19 million in RDOF revenues in Q1, and expects to have about $9 million per month come in over the next ten years.
As we have for the past two years, Light Reading will stage the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference as a free digital event over two half-days in mid-March.
Launch of 2-Gig and 5-Gig FTTP tiers in 70-plus markets puts more pressure on cable ops to enhance their existing DOCSIS 3.1 network or accelerate their upgrade activity centered on the new DOCSIS 4.0 specs.
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