We’ve been hearing for quite some time now that Gigabit internet speeds were just around the corner but we may have just seen the first real push to move it into the mainstream. We first started hearing whispers of 1 Gigabit download speeds in 2011 as Google announced a pilot project in a residential area of Palo Alto, California. Soon, Kansas City, Kansas would become the first city in America with a Gigabit Network as Google announced them as the first destination for their growing pilot project dubbed Google Fiber. The signs were promising. Soon more cities were added to that list first spreading to Kansas City, Missouri and later moving on to cities such as Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah. The only problem was, there was only one player, Google. I generally tend to look very favorably on Google, particularly for their contributions and innovations in the tech world. With that said, everyone knows that for true innovation we need competitors to push the boundaries, to force us to be better.
Well my friends, it seems there may finally have found a competitor for the incumbent as Cox Communications announces its intentions to start rolling out a Gigabit network of their own. Cox communication currently has a customer base of 6.2 million customers comprising 3.5 million Internet subscribers, 2.9 million cable subscribers, and 3.2 million telephone subscribers. They are currently headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia; a suburb of Atlanta. Cox communications is the 3rd largest cable provider in the US but is a distant third to Time Warner (12 Million) and Comcast (23 Million) which are hoping to merge though critics are urging federal regulators to step in. Here’s a couple of reasons explaining why this would be terrible for the internet ecosystem.
Cox have earmarked Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Omaha as the first three cities to host the new network with plans to roll out the service across all Cox Communications markets by the end of 2016. The roll out will start in various neighborhoods across the three cities which are as of yet to be determined. Cox also plans to begin including infrastructure in new development projects like condos and office buildings in the hopes of providing their users a vast Wi-Fi network to make use of. In fact, they are working with key partners in the hopes of creating over 250,000 Wi-Fi spots distributed across the country. In addition to providing the first real competition to Google in the world of Gigabit networks they’ve also announced that their traditional services will also be benefiting from a boost as their premier service jumps from 50mb/s downloads to 100mb/s. Consequently their standard service is also doubling from 25 to 50 so all in all this is good news for internet users everywhere! On the one hand this may be just what we need to kick the race to Gigabit speeds into high gear but if we’re still a ways away from that Cox’s doubling of their down speeds will force other big players to do the same or perhaps even surpass that. As a strong advocate for the open internet nothing could make me happier!
Tell us what you think below! Is Cox’s service a legitimate contender in the world of Gigabit speeds or are they just a pretender caught in the wake of the behemoth that is Google. As always we want to hear from you!
If you happen to be one of the lucky few that does have Gigabit speeds, you might need a fast VPN to keep up, so check out our article of some of the fastest VPNs around.