In order to provide a more robust WFH service, Cox Business has launched a separate connection for home use that includes broadband, WiFi and related security services.
With millions of employees transitioning to working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, residential broadband networks are strained by increased bandwidth demands from video streaming, remote learning and remote workforces.
"WiFi, congestion and security issues have been a concern of many companies as more employees are having to work from home,” said Steve Rowley, executive vice president, Cox Business, in a statement. “Cox Business Work-at-Home solutions separate work and home connectivity, giving employees enterprise-grade connectivity and WiFi to promote more productive employees.”
The COVID-19 crisis changed the network paradigm for service providers, which now means home-based employees need managed access points, more robust routers and corporate provided phones as part of an increased focus on standardized home office infrastructure that can be managed by a business or service provider.
The Cox Business Work-at-Home solutions provide enterprise-grade connectivity along with security features such as McAfee endpoint security and MalBlock. It also provides access to additional commercial features such as static IP addresses, Microsoft 365 and Cox Complete Care for remote troubleshooting.
Cox Business installs the data connectivity for the WFH solutions while customers can self-install the voice service. Cox Business also includes business-grade service level agreements and support to resolve any issues.
For broadband speeds, Cox Business Internet 50 is 50 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up while the Cox Business 1G tier is 1 Gbps down and 35 Mbps up. For some of the higher speeds, a DOCSIS 3.1 gateway is required.
Cox Business rents the customer premises equipment to the WHF users while providing centralized billing directly to the businesses. A spokesperson for Cox Business said pricing for its WHF solutions is flexible, but the base Work-at-Home bundle starts at $145 per month and can go up with the addition of more features.
With no one knowing for certain how many WFH employees will return to their offices spaces, service providers have directed more of their capex towards providing better connectivity options into employees' homes.
Last month, AT&T Business announced a new broadband service for residence locations that features symmetrical speeds of 1-Gig. AT&T's new service, "AT&T Home Office Connectivity," is available across 21 states via the telco's fiber and copper lines. The service includes an internet access line as well as renting the equipment from AT&T Business.
As another means of home connectivity, Colt Technology Services and Comcast Business are looking at providing SD-WAN solutions into homes. For its part, Cox Business' SD-WAN is part of its cloud portfolio and locations at home could be supported.
With anywhere from 30% to 50% of WFH employees expected to continue as remote workers, look for service providers to devote more capex towards WFH solutions going forward.