For those of you keeping score at home, Cox Communications has added Northern Virginia to its list of DOCSIS 3.0-enabled deployments.
Following up on Cox’s first DOCSIS 3.0 deployment April 1 in Lafayette Parish, La., the second roll out of the company’s channel-bonded wideband tier encompasses Fredericksburg and Fairfax County.
“This technology is the gold standard for speed and reliability,” said Janet Barnard, senior vice president and general manager of Cox Northern Virginia. “Our customers have said they want an online experience that allows them to do more, do it faster and on a network they trust. DOCSIS 3.0 lets them do that.”
Cox’s “Ultimate Internet” residential service features download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 5 Mbps. The standard price for the residential service will be $139.99 per month, but Cox is offering an introductory rate of $109 per month.
The introductory price seems to be squarely aimed at undercutting Verizon’s service offerings in both Fairfax County and Fredericksburg. Verizon’s fastest data tier has a downstream speed of 50 Mbps and an upstream throughput of up to 20 Mbps for $139.95 per month.
Northern Virginia business customers will also be able to take advantage of DOCSIS 3.0 technology through Cox Business Internet’s new premium package. With download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and 5 Mbps uploads, Cox Business Internet helps optimize support for corporate e-mail, online research and Web-based business applications. While Cox Business offers several fiber-based advanced solutions with higher speeds, the premium package provides an additional option for small- to mid-size businesses.
Cox, the nation’s third-largest cable operator, plans to hit several more of its divisions with Ultimate Internet by the end of this year and have it deployed in two-thirds of its footprint by next year.
When it comes to DOCIS 3.0 rollouts, Comcast has been the most aggressive North American cable operator, but Charter, Cox and Cablevision are also getting the faster speeds in front of their subscribers.
Cox is bonding two to four downstream channels as the 3.0 tiers are rolled out. Cox used cable modems and modular cable modem termination systems (M-CMTSs) from Cisco in the Lafayette Parish deployment, but the cable operator is also testing DOCSIS 3.0 equipment from Motorola.
DOCSIS 3.0 can achieve downstream broadband speeds of up to 160 Mbps by bonding 6 MHz – or in the case of Europe and some parts of Asia and Latin America, 8 MHz – channels together. DOCSIS upstream channel bonding can provide up to 120 Mbps of shared throughput for cable operators.
Current requirements for DOCSIS 3.0 call for equipment to support channel bonding on at least four upstream and four downstream channels, although the platform gives operators the flexibility to bond as few as two channels to meet market needs and competition.