Home > #7, Cable MSOs > Cox Communications may need to update with the digital times

Cox Communications may need to update with the digital times

Image taken from Wikipedia.org

Cox Communications is the third-largest cable television provider in the United States and the ranked the fifth in the top worldwide MSOs, with just over 5 million subscribers.  This telecomm provider is a privately owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises and offer cable, internet and phone to its subscribers.  The company appears to have some very moral intentions around the communities they provide service for.  There are several communities in California with middle schools that have received grants for technology from Cox Communications.  A couple weeks ago, the company donated over 8,000 meals to the homeless and underserved in Orange County.  At the same time, at the San Diego headquarter, the company completed an alternative energy project.  Cox Communications seems to have a lot of their interest set on the community.  But that isn’t to say that it doesn’t have problems just like any other MSO.      

As I was looking through forums online about Cox, I stumbled across one on dslreports.com/forum that claims that Cox throttles many sites that stream live video, such as Youtube, Hulu and Netflix.  This means that when loading videos to watch, the internet becomes very slow and the content must buffer for a long time.  There were several customers that claimed they were able to load videos faster when they connected to a neighbor’s internet or when they tethered their computer’s internet network to their Smartphones.  Why is the company doing this and is it intentional?  One customer seemed to think it was not necessarily intentional, but that there was something fishy going on.  He found that he got the same internet speed at other non-Youtube servers, which means it was not just local traffic congestion to the site.  There is forum-post after forum-post just like this one claiming that speed fluctuations are fairly consistent, upload speeds slow down and customer’s experience packet-loss while downloading content from the internet.     

However, not all feedback on forums is negative.  While there are many forums about how slow internet speed is, I came across other forums as well (in different areas of the country as the before-mentioned forums) in which people claim the internet is great that there are no speed or connection problems.  One man from the Vegas area said on dslreports.com/forum, “The phone plan that I have is the cheapest one that Cox offers. Again no issues with the phone. They hooked my alarm to the Cox phone line and it works just dandy.”  So perhaps Cox has pretty sufficient phone and internet packages. 

However, much of what I read stated that the cable was not very good, for many reasons.  There is a lack of HD channels compared to other cable providers, and in this day-in-age, HD is the new format to view television in and upgrading these channels could be crucial to Cox’s success.  Other customers said that the rest of the channels were over-compressed and did not fill the whole screen or where skewed.

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  1. tessdoez
    February 19, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Amy,
    This is a thoughtful post, and I have given you credit for it on Blackboard already. What you discuss in the first paragraph is called corporate social responsibility. Why do you think companies like Cox make these kinds of contributions to their communities?

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