Cox Communications and Verizon stood out for their wireline services in the recently released J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Business Study.

Cox Communications was first in the large enterprise business category for overall customer satisfaction index scores while Verizon placed second. On a 1,000-point scale, Cox scored 782 to edge Verizon’s score of 779. Cox further scored a 5 on the J.D. Power Circle ratings, which was the highest mark attainable, while Verizon had a 4.

AT&T was third at 778 followed by, respectively, CenturyLink (772), Comcast (766), and Time Warner Cable (758.)

Verizon took the top honors for the SMB category with a score of 759 and Power Circle rating of 5 while Cox was second at 753 with a mark of 4. AT&T was again third (730), followed by Comcast (728), Time Warner Cable (717), CenturyLink (710) and Charter Communications (700.)

Verizon was also first in the “very small business” category with a 727 and another Power Circle rating of 5 followed by Cox (710), Charter (694), CenturyLink (689.) AT&T and Comcast tied with scores of 688 while Time Warner Cable was last at 681.

The annual study measured customer satisfaction with providers of telecommunications voice and data services in three segments: very small businesses (companies with between one and 19 employees, with a corporate service plan); small/medium businesses (companies with between 20 and 499 employees); and large enterprise businesses (companies with 500 or more employees).

Satisfaction was measured across six factors: performance and reliability (27 percent); cost of service (18 percent); sales representatives and account executives (19 percent); billing (14 percent); communications (15percent); and customer service (12 percent).

"As annual improvements in network performance continue, such performance-related issues as network outages and reliability continue to be key elements of dissatisfaction for business and a reason to consider switching providers," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services at J.D. Power. "It's imperative for telecom providers to communicate the improvements the industry has made relative to network performance and to provide quick resolution when issues do occur, as even minor outages can hamper business capabilities to service customers."

The 2014 U.S. Business Wireline Satisfaction Study was based on responses from 4,220 business customers of data and voice services at very small, small/medium, and large enterprise businesses in the United States and included evaluations of their data and voice service providers. The study was conducted in May.