Cox Communications has beaten CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) to the punch by officially launching 1 Gbps service for residential customers in Phoenix. CenturyLink had launched 1-Gig service to business customers in 16 cities, including Phoenix, on Aug. 5, but had not launched 1-Gig service for residential customers until now.
Cox calls its service G1GABLAST and said it will charge $69.99 as part of a bundle. The 1 Gig service will first be deployed in parts of the Phoenix metro area and expanded from there. It's also being prepared for Cox's Las Vegas and Omaha systems, also hot markets in the 1 Gig race.
Cox has "an aggressive road map to expand availability to 150,000 homes (in all its 1 Gig-enabled markets) by the end of 2015," the company said in a statement emailed to CED Magazine.
Both Cox and CenturyLink will make extensive use of fiber in their deployments. Kevin Hart, Cox's executive vice president and CTO, told Multichannel News that the first deployments will use fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology but the MSO will move to DOCSIS 3.1 when that platform is ready to go, perhaps as early as mid-2015.
Gigabit speeds are becoming table stakes for many metro areas across the country. CenturyLink announced a 16-city effort throughout its footprint, including Omaha, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City as well as Phoenix, as part of its 1 Gig plans.
The Gig craze was officially started by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) when it began setting up "fiberhoods" in Kansas City. It has since included practically every RBOC--Verizon (NYSE: VZ) being the major exception--and MSO. AT&T (NYSE: T) leads the way among incumbent telcos with plans to target to 100 cities and municipalities, including 21 new major metro areas, for its high-speed data services expansion.
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This article was updated to include that CenturyLink had launched 1-Gig service to businesses in Phoenix and 15 other cities in August.