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Cox Internet Service Disclosures

January 13, 2017

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 High Speed Internet service (CHSI) and small/medium business Cox Business Internet service (CBI) offered by Cox on a retail, mass-market basis.

 

A. Performance Characteristics:

A1. Service Description for Cox High Speed Internet (CHSI) and Cox Business Internet (CBI):
Cox’s wireline network used to provision the vast majority of CHSI and CBI services is what is commonly referred to as a hybrid fiber-coax network (“HFC”), with coaxial cable connecting each subscriber’s cable modem to an Optical Node, and fiber optic cables connecting the Optical Node, through distribution hubs, to the Cable Modem Termination System (“CMTS”), which is also known as a “data node.”  The CMTSs are then connected to higher-level routers, which in turn are connected to Cox’s Internet backbone facilities. Our Internet technology is based on the Data Over Cable System Interface Specification (DOCSIS). DOCSIS is a shared access technology that continues to evolve (e.g. DOCSIS 3.0 to DOCSIS 3.1) where a population of users shares the available bandwidth.  This allows Cox to take advantage of statistical multiplexing, a bandwidth sharing technique used to distribute bandwidth efficiently across the user population while providing a level of service designed to meet the needs of customers running the applications of their choice.  Increasingly, Cox is deploying a Fiber to the Premises (“FTTP”) network architecture to residential and business locations throughout various parts of our service footprint.  A residential service over FTTP currently being deployed by Cox is branded G1GABLAST℠.

Cox offers multiple residential Internet Service packages providing different maximum downstream and upstream speeds.  For example, in select communities throughout the United States, Cox offers residential packages with upstream and downstream speeds of up to 1 Gbps.  The most appropriate package for a particular customer will depend upon a variety of factors, including the types of applications typically used and the number of users in the household.  To receive a specific recommendation for your household usage, please visit http://www.cox.com/residential/internet/speed-advisor.cox

PowerBoost® is a cable technology that provides end users with a temporary burst of downstream or upstream speed when the end user is consuming or sending a large file and there is available bandwidth in the Cox network to activate the speed boost.  When PowerBoost® is automatically activated, bandwidth is increased for the user for the first 12-35MB of the file.  PowerBoost® is a registered trademark of Comcast Corporation and is used by Cox with Comcast’s permission.  PowerBoost® is available on the Preferred, Premier and Ultimate CHSI packages.  It is also available on all CBI tiers.

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:

  • Computer performance, including hardware age, software and operating system versions, the presence of viruses and malware, and the number of simultaneous applications running.
  • Home network (Wi-Fi) connections, which may be slower than wired connections.
  • Congestion on websites visited, including high demand by multiple simultaneous users.
  • Fluctuations in latency within connecting networks outside of Cox’s network, such as gaming servers.
  • Modem performance due to outdated modems and firmware.  Please see Certified CHSI Modem Devices section below for details.

Cox’s architecture and engineering standards at the access layer are consistent throughout its entire network. By design, therefore, there should be no discernable, persistent performance characteristic variations related to geography.  Consumers purchasing services in one geographic location should experience like performance to customers purchasing identical services in a different location.

 

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 aggregate median download speeds as a percentage of advertised speeds were 100% and 103% for the peak and 24-hour periods, respectively.  Cox’s median upload speeds as a percentage of advertised speeds were 105% and 105% for the peak and 24-hour periods, respectively.  Based upon the ratio of actual download speed to advertised download speed for the 50 Mbps service tier, a typical 50 Mbps subscriber would expect to receive 50 Mbps download speed for the peak period and 51.5 Mbps overall.

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-report-2016

 

A3. Latency:

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 of 19.8 milliseconds within the Cox network.  These latency measurements do not typically have a perceptible impact for users.

 

A4. Packet Loss:

Similarly, the FCC program referenced above also captures data on packet loss performance.  Packet loss is the percentage of packets that are sent by the source but not received by the destination.  Congestion along the path of packets traversing networks is the most common reason for packets not being received.  A packet is counted as lost by the FCC program if latency exceeds 3 seconds or is never received.  The latest report indicates aggregate packet loss measured on Cox’s network of 0.11%.  These packet loss measurements are sufficiently small so that the perceived quality of most applications is unaffected.

The following tables represent actual performance characteristic data as measured in the latest FCC report:

Tier (Download/Upload Speeds in Mbps) Peak Median Download Speed (Mbps) 24-hour Median  Download Speed (Mbps) Peak Median Upload Speed (Mbps) 24-hour Median  Upload Speed (Mbps)
15/2 15.68 15.88 2.17 2.17
50/5 51.15 51.79 5.19 5.2
100/10 91.67 99.61 10.4 10.4

 

Tier (Download/Upload Speeds in Mbps)

Peak Median Latency (milliseconds) 24-hour Median Latency (milliseconds) Peak Average Packet Loss % 24-hour Average Packet Loss %
15/2 20.24 19.38 0.085 0.083
50/5 19.84 19.38 0.133 0.116
100/10 20.87 20.5 0.069 0.087

 

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 5% of Cox’s overall customer base.  Although all tier measurements are not presented, the FCC program results are representative of expected performance characteristics on tiers not measured.

 

A5. WiFi:

Cox CHSI and CBI customers who enjoy our Internet Service at their home or office may also access Cox WiFi at one of several Cox or CableWiFi hot spots.  WiFi 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 WiFi hotspots rely on unlicensed spectrum allocated by the FCC, and therefore are not protected from interference from other uses of the same spectrum.

 

A6. 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, Cox IP-delivered video service and Cox home security and automation services.  Cox voice service traffic receives special quality of service (QoS) treatment due primarily to the latency sensitivity of the service, but it has no material impact on the overall availability of bandwidth capacity for Internet Services.  Similarly, there are Cox IP-based in-home video and home security services that are provided over the same network facilities but managed separately (with QoS) from Cox broadband Internet Service.  To the extent Cox offers data services, such as TV Everywhere video streaming, that are not managed within a closed network and traverse the Internet, such traffic is not distinguished from the BIAS 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 High Speed Internet (CHSI):
As stated above, Cox provides a range of wireline residential Internet Services.  CHSI service is provided subject to Cox's Residential Customer Service Agreement  (Customer Service Agreement) and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).  Prospective customers should read both agreements before purchasing Internet Services from Cox.  The Customer Service Agreement and the AUP may be changed at Cox's discretion in accordance with the terms of the agreements.  The current versions of both agreements are posted on cox.com.

Information 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.  Information about the G1GABLAST℠ residential service, which is currently only available in limited locations, can be found here.  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 Preferred or higher CHSI packages have access to Cox WiFi and Cable WiFi 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 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 WiFi modem.  Monthly data usage calculations are based on the customer’s individual billing cycle and include the customers’ combined download and upload usage of Internet Service.  Please visit http://www.cox.com/aboutus/policies/speedsdataplans.cox for information on specific Data Plans.  Data usage from Non-BIAS data services Cox provides customers through separate subscriptions do not count toward the Data Plan.  Internet access through a Cox WiFi 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 Netforecast report 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 select markets a plan that charges $10 for each incremental 50 GB block of data after a customer exceeds the monthly data included in their Data Plan.  Customers are notified by email and browser alert when they have used 85%, 100% and 125% of 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.


B2. Cox Business Internet (CBI):
Cox also provides a range of wireline business Internet Services.  CBI 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 a popular term agreement option for CBI Service.  Other pricing options are available based on term, volume and other services bundled with the CBI Service.  In addition to the pricing shown, CBI customers may also incur local, state or federal taxes.  Contact Cox Business for additional CBI pricing options.  Business customers purchasing bundle packages consisting of CBI and other services may incur additional taxes, fees and surcharges related to the other services subscribed to in the specific bundle packages.

See Cox Business Internet pricing and speed information

 

B3. Early Termination Fees CHSI Customers
Residential Cox High Speed Internet customers who are under a Price Lock Guarantee (PLG) Service Agreement or 24 Month Service Agreement (each, a “Service Agreement”) may be required to pay an Early Termination Fee (ETF) if Cox High Speed Internet service is cancelled or otherwise disconnected after 30 days but before the end of the Service Agreement term.  Residential customers may view their Service Agreement, which includes information on the application and amount of the ETF, by clicking the link http://www.cox.com/aboutus/policies.cox#ctcs  to access the Service Agreement.

CBI Customers – Cox Business 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.

 

B4. Privacy
Cox protects your privacy throughout the process of providing you service, billing, and customer support. Cox's Services are provided subject to Cox's Privacy Policy for broadband Internet service, referenced in the links below. The privacy policy may change as provided by its terms and conditions.

Your Privacy Rights as a Residential Cox Customer

Your Privacy Rights as a Cox Business Customer

 

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 page. You will need to select the market in which your Internet Services are provided.

http://ww2.cox.com/aboutus/contact-us.cox

 

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 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 CHSI 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).

 

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:
http://ww2.cox.com/residential/support/internet/article.cox?articleId=cacf82f0-6407-11df-ccef-000000000000

 

C3. Congestion:
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), 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.

 

C4. Network and Customer Security Protection:
Cox High Speed 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:
http://ww2.cox.com/aboutus/policies/annual-privacy-notice.cox#security

 

C5. Certified CHSI Modem Devices
To view a list of cable modems and supported home networking equipment that have been reviewed and certified for use on the CHSI network, refer to:
 http://ww2.cox.com/residential/support/internet/article.cox?articleId=b2ec95d0-7ef9-11df-5590-000000000000.

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 DOCSIS Engineering team. 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. Once a device has successfully completed lab testing by the DOCSIS Engineering team, the DOCSIS Operations team will coordinate a field trial in select markets that typically lasts 60 – 90 days. Once the device has completed the field trial demonstrating desired real-world performance, Cox will then certify the device. A DOCSIS 3.0 device is required to consistently receive optimal speeds for Preferred and higher tiers, and is strongly recommended for all other tiers.