Cox Communications is the latest service provider to announce symmetrical 2 Gbps service.
Although there have been numerous symmetrical 2 Gbps announcements from telecom companies with fiber broadband infrastructure, there have been fewer announcements from the cable companies because it is more challenging to deliver symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds using the DOCSIS/ hybrid fiber coax (HFC) infrastructure that cable companies largely rely on.
Cox said this week that it will begin offering the 2 Gbps symmetrical service “neighborhoods across its footprint” this month. It offered no other details, such as whether the service will be underpinned by HFC or fiber infrastructure.
The company said in February that it planned to invest billions of dollars to upgrade its network to support multi-gigabit symmetrical service using a combination of FTTP and DOCSIS 4.0.
Now Cox says that at least parts of the network are ready. “As future technologies emerge that benefit the consumer experience, our customers can depend on us for the required increased bandwidth and network reliability to power their increasingly digital lives,” EVP and CTO Len Barlik said in a press release. “Our customers have counted on our speeds and reliable service for more than 30 years and that same connectivity is ready to support the required increased bandwidth to power their digital futures.”
There have been many announcements of multi-gigabit services in the past couple of months. Some highlights:
- Earlier in April, Ziply Fiber expanded its 2 Gbps/5 Gbps service to 30 more cities, a move that added 364,000 locations to the ranks of those getting the faster speeds.
- In March, AT&T expanded its multiple gigabit service and now provides 2 Gbps and 5 Gbps service to more than 7 million locations. It expects to offer multi-gigabit service to 30 million customers by the end of 2025.
- In February, Frontier said that wherever it deployed fiber broadband it is offering 2 Gbps symmetrical service.
The cable industry is responding with faster speeds, even though those speeds are not always reaching the multi-gigabit level.
In March, Mediacom Communications upped the download speeds of more than 900,000 subscribers to several of its services. The top speed in the upgrade is 400 Mbps.
Charter and Comcast also increased speeds, but not to multi-gigabit levels.
One service provider is straddling the cable/telco line. TDS Telecommunications, best known as a telecom company, is using HFC/DOCSIS – in southern Utah. This has enabled speeds as fast as 1 Gbps.