Cox Internet Service Disclosures
Updated: August 11, 2023
Cox is committed to providing its customers with a high-quality Internet access experience. The disclosure below explains the performance characteristics, commercial terms, and network practices for broadband Internet access services (“BIAS” or “Internet Services” or “Services”) provided by Cox. The disclosure may be changed from time to time without notice (with the date of the last update reflected above). The information provided in the disclosure is not a contract between Cox and its customers or any users of the Services provided by Cox but is designed to provide you with information to understand our Services and make informed decisions regarding your choice of Internet Services. It also does not obligate Cox to provide any specific level of service or to maintain any level of service or network configuration and creates no rights that are not already available to a customer or user by law or under any agreement with Cox. The information provided is applicable to residential Cox Internet service (Cox Internet) and small/medium business Cox Business Internet service (CBI) and Cox Fiber Internet service (CFI) offered by Cox on a retail, mass-market basis.
A. Performance Characteristics:
A1. Service Description:
Cox offers multiple residential Internet Service packages providing different maximum downstream and upstream speeds. In increasing areas within its service locations throughout the United States, Cox offers residential packages with downstream speeds of up to 2 Gbps. Cox uses wireline networks to provide Cox’s broadband residential Internet services.
In some locations, a Fiber to the Node (FTTN) network architecture is used together with Data Over Cable System Interface Specification (DOCSIS) technology to provide reliable service over a shared network. The FTTN network uses fiber optic cables connecting headend distribution hubs to optical nodes located close to residential areas. DOCSIS broadband Internet service passes from the optical nodes to customers’ premises through coaxial or fiber optic cables. In the customers’ premises, DOCSIS cable modems, gateways, or Radio Frequency Over Glass (RFOG) Optical Network Units (ONUs) with cable modems are deployed to provide an in-home data interface. Cable modems provide Ethernet port interfaces, while gateways provide Wi-Fi connections as well as Ethernet port interfaces.
In some locations, Cox’s wireline networks use Passive Optical Network (PON) technology to provide reliable service over a shared network. In these areas, fiber optic cables run from the headend distribution hubs all the way to the customers’ premises with optical splitters used to divide the optical wavelength among the customers. In the customers’ premises, PON Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) are deployed to provide the in-home data interface. PON technology delivers data from a single source to multiple endpoints sharing the capacity of the wavelength, allowing Cox to provide fast, reliable connectivity for subscribers. An ONT provides at least one Ethernet port interface for the in-home data interface. Cox also offers gateways that connect to the ONTs to provide Wi-Fi interfaces as well as Ethernet interfaces for PON subscribers.
In some PON locations, older ONTs may only support speeds of up to 940 Mbps due to speed limitations of the equipment’s Ethernet ports. PON locations with newer ONTs support speeds up to 2 Gbps. The most appropriate package for a particular customer will depend upon a variety of factors, including the types of real-time applications typically used, the number of devices, and the number of users in the household. Cox’s network provisioning and engineering practices are designed to enable its customers to receive the speeds for the packages they are subscribed to. However, it is important to note that many factors beyond Cox’s control can affect the actual speeds customers are able to receive to their devices, including:
Cox’s architecture and related engineering standards are constantly evolving through a long-term, multiyear network upgrade transformation. As such, service types and speeds that Cox offers may vary by location throughout the duration of this transformation. However, there should be no discernible, persistent performance characteristic variations related to geography, where the same service types and speeds have been deployed.
A2. Actual Speeds:
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has compiled nationwide network performance tests of various Internet Service Providers (ISPs), which include comparisons of actual speeds to advertised speeds. The tests have measured different timeframes for upload and download speeds. Two timeframes measured were (1) the average peak period 7 PM to 11 PM (Monday through Friday) and (2) an overall category of 24-hours (Monday through Sunday). Cox’s most recent results validated the performance of its network and its advertising as compared to actual performance.
Cox’s ratio of weighted median peak download speeds as a percentage of advertised speeds was 112.89%. Cox’s ratio of weighted median peak upload speeds as a percentage of advertised speeds was 96.45%. Based upon the ratio of weighted median peak download speed to advertised download speed, a typical 150 Mbps subscriber would expect to receive 169 Mbps download speed.
You may review the FCC’s most recent speed test results at the link provided below, including the results for Cox: https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/measuring-broadband-america/measuring-fixed-broadband-twelfth-report.
The program utilized by the FCC to capture speed performance data also captures data on latency performance, which generally measures the round-trip time it takes for a data packet to travel from one point to another in a network. The FCC program reflects aggregate median latency ranging from 16.39 milliseconds for the 24-hour period to 17.47 milliseconds for the peak period within the Cox network. These latency measurements do not typically have a perceptible impact for users. The following table represents actual performance characteristic data as measured in the latest FCC report: the Twelfth Measuring Broadband America Fixed Broadband Report (12th MBA Report).
Tier (Download/Upload Speeds in Mbps)
Sustained Weighted Average Download Speed (Mbps)
Median (Actual) Download Speed (Mbps)
Sustained Weighted Average Upload Speed (Mbps)
Weighted Average Latency (milliseconds)
The FCC program’s validated data statistical averages represented in the table above can be located here. The actual download speeds are presented in Table 2 of the Measuring Fixed Broadband – Twelfth Report located here.
The FCC program did not measure all of the speed tiers offered by Cox, which change from time to time, but focused on speed tiers representing at least 80% of Cox’s residential subscribers. Although all tier measurements are not presented, the FCC program results are representative of expected performance characteristics on tiers not measured.
A4. Cox Wi-Fi Hotspots:
Eligible Cox Internet, CBI and CFI customers who enjoy our Internet Service at their home or office may also access Cox Wi-Fi at Cox or Cable Wi-Fi hotspots. Customers of Cox’s StraightUp Internet Hotspot Pass℠ pay per use service may access Cox Wi-Fi via secondary DOCSIS streams transmitted over Internet access gateways providing Cox Hotspots service. Cox Wi-Fi hotspots access is provided on a “best efforts” basis. The performance experienced in accessing the Internet while connected to a hotspot will vary significantly from the performance experienced with a wireline connection and will vary among hotspot connections as well. These Wi-Fi hotspots rely on unlicensed spectrum allocated by the FCC, and therefore are not protected from interference from other uses of the same spectrum.
A5. Impact of Other Data Services (Non- Broadband Internet Access Services):
Apart from the Internet Services it offers over the shared network described above, Cox offers other services using its network facilities, including Internet Protocol-based services such as Cox voice over IP telephone service and Cox IP-delivered cable video service. Cox voice service and in-home IP-delivered cable video service traffic receive special quality of service (QoS) treatment due primarily to the latency sensitivity of the service. Cox provides other services over the same network facilities that are managed separately from Cox broadband Internet Service, such as Cox Wi-Fi Hotspots services partitioned on separate data streams. These separately managed services have no material impact on the overall availability of bandwidth capacity for Internet Services. To the extent Cox offers services, such as TV Everywhere video streaming and Cox home security and automation services, that are not managed within a closed network and traverse the Internet, such traffic is not distinguished from other Internet traffic and receives no special QoS treatment. Cox regularly monitors data usage, congestion and capacity to decide where additional capacity in the network is needed for the mix of services it provides.
B. Commercial Terms:
B1. Cox Internet:
As stated above, Cox provides a range of wireline residential Internet Services. Cox Internet service is provided subject to Cox's Residential Customer Service Agreement (“Customer Service Agreement”) or Cox’s Residential StraightUp Internet℠ Customer Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”). Prospective customers should read both the applicable agreement and AUP before purchasing Internet Services from Cox. The service agreements and the AUP may be changed at Cox's discretion in accordance with the terms of the agreements. The current versions of the service agreements and AUP are posted on cox.com.
IInformation about residential pricing, data plans and fees, and additional network services can be found on the Speeds and Data Plans pages and Internet Pricing and Plans pages of cox.com. 2 Gbps is only available in certain areas of the Cox footprint served by fiber to the premises technologies. In addition to the pricing shown, residential customers may also incur local, state, or federal taxes. These webpages may also include standard promotional rates being offered in Cox markets from time to time. Additionally, more targeted promotional offers for our Internet Services are available from time to time through cox.com and our other sales channels. Customers subscribing to Cox Internet also have access to Cox Wi-Fi hotspots, provided at no additional charge. Residential customers purchasing bundle packages consisting of Internet and other services may incur additional taxes, fees and surcharges related to the other services subscribed to in the specific bundle packages.
Cox residential Internet packages (excluding StraightUp Internet℠) include monthly data plans for different levels of data usage, tailored for the range of household uses. A Data Plan is the amount of data included in the monthly Internet package, measured in Gigabytes (GB) or Terabytes (TB). Data Usage is the amount of data, or bandwidth, used from all online activities through the cable modem, router or Wi-Fi modem. Monthly data usage calculations are based on the customer’s individual monthly usage cycle and include the customers’ combined download and upload usage of Internet Service. Please visit https://www.cox.com/aboutus/policies/speeds-and-data-plans.html for information on specific Data Plans. Data usage from Non-BIAS data specialized services Cox provides customers through separate subscriptions does not count toward the Data Plan. Internet access through a Cox Wi-Fi hotspot does not currently count toward the Data Plan.
Cox provides customers with tools to monitor their data usage. Cox provides a Data Usage Meter to monitor actual data usage. Both Cox and an independent third party, NetForecast, have tested the Data Usage Meter for accuracy. The 2022 NetForecast audit report abstract can be found here. Cox also provides a Data Usage Calculator for customers to estimate the amount of data usage in their household based upon the activities of their household users.
Cox does not adjust the speed or quality of Internet service if the Data Plan is exceeded. Cox has implemented in most areas a plan that charges overage fees after a customer exceeds the monthly data included in their Data Plan. Customers are notified by email and text message when they approach, meet and exceed their Data Plan. Unused data does not carry over from month to month and is not prorated. For additional details on Data Plans, please see the Data Usage learning site.
Cox’s StraightUp Internet℠ Service is a pay-as-you-go monthly Internet Service with an all-in fixed price per month not subject to Cox’s data usage billing policies. Please go here for details.
B2. Cox Business Internet (CBI) and Cox Fiber Internet (CFI):
Cox also provides a range of wireline business Internet Services. CBI and CFI customers are bound by the terms of the Commercial Service Agreement (CSA) and Cox Business Acceptable Use Policy. The CSA and AUP may be changed at Cox's discretion in accordance with their terms. Cox Business offers many pricing options with multiple term choices. The pricing shown on the webpage referenced below reflects popular term agreement and bundle package options for CBI and CFI Service. Other pricing options are available based on term, volume and other services bundled with the CBI or CFI Service. In addition to the pricing shown, CBI and CFI customers may also incur local, state or federal taxes. Contact Cox Business for additional CBI and CFI pricing options. Business customers purchasing bundle packages consisting of CBI or CFI and other services may incur additional taxes, fees and surcharges related to the other services subscribed to in the specific bundle packages.
B3. Early Termination Fees
Residential Cox Internet customers who are subject to an agreement with Cox for a minimum term for services (for example, a 12- or 24-month agreement) (“Minimum Term Agreement”) may be required to pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if Cox Internet service is cancelled or otherwise disconnected after 30 days but before the end of the Minimum Term Agreement term. Residential customers may view their Minimum Term Agreement, which includes information on the application and amount of the ETF, by clicking the link applicable to the minimum term and agreement initiation date.
Term Agreement effective March 23, 2021:
CBI and CFI Customers – Cox Business Internet and Cox Fiber Internet customers may terminate service before the end of the term of the contract (Term) selected provided, however, if a customer terminates before the end of the Term (except for breach by Cox), or Cox terminates any Service for the customer’s breach of the CSA or the AUP, the customer will be subject to termination liability equal to the nonrecurring charges (if unpaid) and 100% of the monthly recurring charges for the terminated Services multiplied by the number of full months remaining in the Term.
B5. Contact Us
If you have a complaint or question regarding your Cox Internet Service, you may contact us using the information found on the following web pages. You will need to select the market in which your Internet Services are provided.
C. Network Practices:
C1. The following describes Cox's network practices as of the date of this disclosure; it will be updated from time to time as Cox's practices change. Cox may take any appropriate measures, whether or not they are described below, in response to extraordinary levels of usage, denial of service attacks, or other exigent circumstances that have a significant effect on our customers' ability to use the Services or Cox's ability to provide the Services.
Cox is committed to the ongoing management of its network to improve its service offerings, protect customers, and create new service and feature enhancements for its customers. Cox does not shape, block or throttle Internet traffic or engage in other network practices based on the particular online content, protocols or applications a customer uses or by a customer’s use of the network. Cox uses other measures to ensure the best overall experience for our Cox Internet customers, including, without limitation: rate limiting of email (as set forth in our email policies), email storage limits (including deletion of dormant or unchecked email), rejection or removal of "spam" or otherwise unsolicited bulk email. Cox may also employ other means to protect customers, children, and its network, including blocking access to child pornography sites (based upon lists of sites provided by a third party and an international police agency), and security measures (including identification and blocking of botnets, viruses, phishing sites, malware, and certain ports as set forth below).
Customers who live in homes with legacy network equipment, such as signal strength amplifiers and splitters connected to their inside wiring, may cause harm to the network. Accordingly, after detection of network harm, Cox may reduce the upload speeds available to that customer. Similarly, use of an incompatible modem for a given tier or the presence of out-of-date in-home equipment may cause harm to the network, so Cox may reduce the download and/or upload speeds available to customers using incompatible modems. In both instances, Cox will notify customers that they are unable to receive the advertised speeds for their subscribed to tiers and provide instructions on how full service may be restored.
If Cox increases the download and/or upload speeds associated with a given tier and existing customers’ modems, and legacy network equipment, such as signal strength amplifiers and splitters, cannot accommodate the higher speeds, Cox may prevent customers from experiencing the increased speeds until Cox is informed that the problems have been corrected.
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses identify devices on the Internet. Due to the ongoing increasing volume of devices connected to the Internet, IP addresses are evolving from IPv4 to IPv6. During this transition, your Cox Internet connected gateway may appear to share an IPv4 address with other Cox Internet connected gateways. This will not materially affect your service.
C2. Port Blocking:
In order to protect you, the network and upstream bandwidth availability, and the rest of the Internet, Cox blocks or restricts certain ports as described on this web page:
There is no typical frequency or location of congestion, although congestion is more likely to occur during peak use hours in the evening. A major news event at any time of the day which results in many customers streaming video of the event can also cause congestion. At an individual node level, in rare circumstances, multiple users of heavy bandwidth applications (e.g., households running multiple instances of concurrent video streaming or uploading), may temporarily reduce the bandwidth available to all users on the same node. At times of congestion, standard network algorithms may be employed to ensure that available bandwidth is equitably allocated to competing users. Cox regularly monitors data usage, congestion, and capacity to decide where additional capacity in the network is needed. In exceptional circumstances due to unforeseen and dramatic increases in traffic over a short period of time, Cox may take reasonable measures on impacted nodes on a temporary basis to alleviate congestion until network capacity can be increased to ensure consistent good performance for all users.
C4. Network and Customer Security Protection:
Cox Internet service performs certain actions to protect your personal security and also suggests other actions that will enhance your personal security. These actions and suggestions are described on this web page: https://www.cox.com/aboutus/policies/annual-privacy-notice.html#security
C5. Certified Cox Internet Modem Devices
Cox certifies devices for connection to its network to ensure that they will meet Cox requirements and provide the services as intended. Our certification process includes extensive lab testing by our Engineering teams. Testing is performed on the device software and hardware to assess network operability and compliance with Cox service requirements, working with vendors to have them update software/firmware to ensure that devices work as desired on the Cox network. As of 2023, DOCSIS 3.1 devices are required for 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps service tiers, but not all DOCSIS 3.1 devices are fully compatible with these tiers. DOCSIS 3.0 devices may be compatible with other service tiers. Use of a device that is incompatible with a service tier may cause network harm resulting in speed limitations as described in the Network Practices section above. Accordingly, DOCSIS 3.1 devices are strongly recommended for all service tiers.
To view a list of cable modems and supported home networking equipment that have been reviewed and certified to be compatible with specific service tiers on the Cox network, refer to: