Cox Communications released highlights of its first-quarter performance, which included double-digit, year-over-year growth in its residential digital cable, high-speed Internet and phone services.
"Cox increased residential customer relationships by 1.3 percent and increased the number of triple-play customers by nearly 20 percent, as compared to close of the first quarter of 2007, this despite intensifying competition and a challenging economy," said Cox President Pat Esser. "We said that we would focus on being the best provider of telecommunications and entertainment services to our markets, selling more advanced services; our continuing growth shows we've done just that.”
Details of Cox’s full-first quarter results are only available to the company’s investors, and Cox didn’t say in today’s press release whether its basic video subscribers had declined in the face of competition from telcos such as Verizon.
While Cablevision recently reported that it had increased its basic video subscribers, other cable operators have seen their basic video subscriber numbers drop due to increased competition.
At the close of the first quarter, Cox had 2.46 million residential telephone subscribers for a year-over-year growth of 16 percent. The nation’s third-largest cable operator had 3.8 million high-speed Internet residential customers for a 10.3 percent growth rate, while adding 3.2 million digital cable subscribers for a 10 percent growth rate.
All told, Cox has 6 million residential customer relationships, which increased by 1.3 percent from the same time frame a year ago. Cox’s bundled customers grew by 7.6 percent, for a total of 3.8 million.
"The competition for video customers is now in digital, and opportunities abound even with increased competition. With more expansive high-definition offerings, on demand and DVRs, customers are buying more video services from us than ever," Esser said.
At the end of the first quarter, the number of subscribers to Cox’s HD tier grew by more than 50 percent when compared with the first quarter of 2007, while the company’s DVR subscriptions increased by almost 30 percent.
Cox is working on upgrading its network with more fiber optics through its extendable optical network (E.O.N.) initiative. With most markets being upgraded to 1 GHz, the company is deepening its fiber reach and using new technologies to deliver faster Internet speeds, more HD service and more interactive video services.
The company was successful in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) wireless spectrum auction earlier this year, acquiring 12 MHz of spectrum licenses covering approximately 76 percent of its footprint and 20 MHz of AWS spectrum covering all of its footprint. Cox said the spectrum is a key component to the company’s wireless vision to offer its customers mobile access to Cox services delivered to the home or office.
Cox also saw continued success in its business services division. By the close of the first quarter, Cox Business grew customer relationships by 30 percent over the same period last year. Thirty percent of those customers now take more than one service, and commercial voice lines increased by 24.5 percent.
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