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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
•  Area Codes for the U.S. and Canada



Is there a fee to switch to Cox Long Distance?

Answer: There is no charge to switch over to Cox Long Distance. And, Cox Long Distance is simple and affordable.

Why am I still receiving a separate Long Distance bill from companies like AT&T or MCI?

Answer: Long Distance companies prefer to bill customers
directly for their long distance calling, that is why you receive a separate bill.

However, if you select Cox as your long distance provider we can put all of your local and long distance on one easy to understand bill.

What are some of the FCC charges that I see on my bill for?

Answer: The Universal Fund Fee was created by the FCC to help provide affordable telecommunications services for low-income families, to remote areas and advanced services, such as Internet access, to eligible organizations. All long distance carriers pay into this fund. The Carrier Line Fee helps recover a portion of fees paid to local telephone companies for access.

Can my long-distance company be changed without my permission?

Answer: Switching your long-distance company without your approval is called "slamming," and it's illegal.

  • Slamming: The illegal practice of changing a consumer's telephone service - local, intralata or long distance service - without permission. Such unauthorized switching violates FCC rules, regardless if the change was intentional or unintentional.
  • Cramming: A practice in which customers are billed for enhanced features such as voice mail, caller-ID and call-waiting that they have not ordered. This Definition is provided so that each user will be able to differentiate slamming vs. cramming. Cramming is NOT to be tracked for purposes of reporting to the FCC.

What is a Universal Connectivity Charge (UCC)?

Answer: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires Cox and other long distance carriers to pay into the Universal Service Fund. This helps provide affordable telephone service and gives schools, libraries and rural healthcare providers access to the Internet. Cox is recovering its costs for the required payments into this fund through a separate charge on each residential customer's bill. This charge is called the Universal Connectivity Charge. more info >

Will the rates increase?

Answer: Please see more information in regard to your local rates

What's the difference between intra-state and inter-state?

Answer: Intra-state refers to calls that originate and terminate within the same state. Inter-state calls originate in one state and terminate in another. Cox Communications is licensed to provide both intra and inter-state services to our customers.

What are the rates for your service and features?

Answer: Cox Communications has been able to offer many of our customer’s local service at a price lower than their previous provider. Our other features, such as Voice Mail, Caller ID and Call Waiting, may also be lower.


Can I keep my current phone number?

Yes, in most instances, Local Number Portability (LNP) allows a customer to change local exchange carriers and maintain their current telephone number, even though they are now serviced by a different provider.

With Cox Digital Telephone, will directory assistance be available?

  • Directory Assistance is available with Cox Digital Telephone service.

Will I still be listed in the phone book?

Answer: Yes. Or if you choose, the information can be kept private

How can I tell who my long distance provider is?

Answer: There are several ways to determine who your long distance provider is:
a) Contact Cox Customer Care.
b) You may easily determine your Long Distance Carrier by calling 1-700-555-4141 from the phone line in question. A recorded message will state the name of your carrier.
c) Dial "0" and an operator who will assist you.

Can you assist me with my Voice Mail?

Answer: This guide has a special insert devoted to Voice Mail, its features and also provides comprehensive operating instructions. If you are having any difficulty with your service after reading this insert, please contact your local calling center and a Cox Customer Care Representative will assist you with your account.

Can I make a phone call and watch TV at the same time?

Yes. In fact, you can also be surfing the Internet with Cox High Speed Internet. Cox's broadband network allows you to use multiple appliances simultaneously.

Is Cox renting its phone line from another service provider?

Answer: No, Cox Communications is a facilities-based provider. That means all of our services are provided over a network that we've built and monitor.

What makes Cox Digital Telephone better than its competitors?

Answer: Cox Digital Telephone is provided over an upgraded digital fiber-optic network that has made Cox first in reliability. Our state-of-the art technology assures you of crystal-clear connections and, to keep your phone service trouble-free, we monitor the network 24 hours a day.

Installation & Repair

Does someone have to be home at the time of install?

Answer: Yes, it is important that we make sure that the phone jacks in your home have dial tone and that all of the services that you requested are in working order before we leave.

What exactly do you do during the time of install?

Answer: We will attach a Network Interface Unit (NIU) to the side of the your home (usually where the other utilities are located), test phone lines and jacks, verify services and test outgoing and incoming call ability.

What is a Network Interface Unit (NIU)?

Answer: A Network Interface Unit (NIU) is the device placed on the side of a customer's house that connects incoming signals to the wiring inside a customer's home. Cox's NIU is similar to the device that other phone companies utilize.

Will the house have to be re-wired?

Answer: Usually not. There might be a time when our customer wants an outlet in a place that is not pre-wired or there is a problem with the existing pre-wire but this is the exception, not the rule.

With power outages, if one service goes down, will the other Cox services go down also? (i.e. Cox High Speed Internet goes down, will the phone service go down also?)

Answer: No. Outages can occur for a variety of reasons that may not affect the telephone lines. Cox's Network Operations Center constantly monitors the network for potential problems, quickly identifies interruptions in service, and remedies the problem.

Will I have to buy a special telephone for the new service?

Answer: No, the telephone devices working with your current service should work on Cox's Digital Telephone service. Cox utilizes the same type of switching equipment and software as other telephone service providers.

Will Cox Digital Telephone lines work with regular computer modems?

Answer: Yes, Cox telephone service also works with dial-up modems.

If my cable goes out, will my phone go out too?

Not necessarily, because cable outages can occur for a variety of reasons that may not affect the telephone lines. Cox's Network Operations Center constantly monitors the network for potential problems, quickly identifies interruptions in service, and remedies the problem. In addition, if the problem is an electrical power outage, Cox provides back-up power so your phone keeps working.

Telephone Terms Glossary

Telephone Jack: The term jack sometimes means both receptacle and plug and sometimes just the receptacle. The most common telephone jack is the RJ-11 jack, which can have six conductors but usually is implemented with four. The RJ-11 jack is likely to be the jack that your household or office phones are plugged into from the ordinary "untwisted" wire (sometimes called "gray satin" or "flat wire") people are most familiar with.

LNP: (Local Number Portability) The capability of keeping the same local telephone number when switching carriers.

NIU: A network interface unit (NIU) (sometimes called a network interface device) is a device that serves as a commmon interface for various other devices within a local area network (LAN), or as an interface to allow networked computers to connect to an outside network. The NIU enables communication between devices that use different protocols by supplying a common transmission protocol , which may be used instead of the devices' own protocols, or may be used to convert the specific device protocol to the common one.

Tone: Each key on the telephone produces two tones, one indicating the row and the other the column of the key.

Pulse: At the destination (receiver end) of the communications circuit, a pulse code demodulator converts the binary numbers back into pulses having the same quantum levels as those in the modulator. These pulses are further processed to restore the original analog waveform.

Modem: (MO dulator- DEM odulator) A device that allows a computer or terminal to transmit data over a standard telephone line. It converts digital pulses from the computer to audio tones that an analog telephone line is set up to handle and vice versa. The term usually refers to 56 Kbps modems (V.92, V.90), the current top speed, or to older 28.8 Kbps modems (V.34). The term may also refer to higher-speed cable or DSL modems or to ISDN terminal adapters, which are all digital and technically not modems.

V.90: Provides up to 56,000 bits per second downstream (but in practice somewhat less). Derived from the x2 technology of 3Com (US Robotics) and Rockwell's K56flex technology.

V.xx: The V Series Recommendations from the ITU-TS are summarized in the table below. They include the most commonly used modem standards and other telephone network standards.

ISP: An ISP (Internet Service Provider) is a company that provides individuals and other companies access to the Internet and other related services such as Web site building and virtual hosting

Stutter dial tone: A stutter dial tone is a dial tone interrupted by short pauses of silence. The stutter dial tone indicates that you have a voice mail message waiting.

Cramming: is the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on your telephone bill. Entities that fraudulently cram people appear to rely largely on confusing telephone bills in order to mislead consumers into paying for services that they did not authorize or receive. In addition to providing local telephone service, local telephone companies often bill their customers for long distance and other services that other companies provide. When the local company, the long distance telephone company, or another type of service provider either accidentally or intentionally sends inaccurate billing data to be included on the consumer's local telephone bill, cramming can occur.

Slamming: refers to the unauthorized switching of your long distance by a new long distance carrier. This problem can be prevented by asking our local phone company for a PICC freeze after you choose your long distance company.

PICC: A PIC freeze is a "lock" placed on your phone line to prevent the unauthorized switching of your long distance service.

CLEC:(Competitive Local Exchange Carrier)- Telephone companies (i.e. Cox Communications) that are authorized to provide local telephone service in competition with the Regional Bell Operating Companies (i.e. Pacific Bell, US West, SNET, etc.) or other established independent companies such as GTE.

Interstate Long Distance: refers to calls placed from one state to another (also called state-to-state long distance).

intrastate toll: prices of toll calls where the origin and destination are in the same state.

interstate toll: prices of toll calls where the origin and destination are in different states.