Cox Communications is rolling out its new high-speed Internet service exclusively in Lafayette Parish. Cox announced Wednesday it is now offering Lafayette customers an Ultimate Internet package, with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps and uploads up to 5 Mbps. The company made the announcement at the National Cable & Telecommunications Associations’ Cable Show in Washington, DC.
Plans call for Cox to expand the Ultimate Internet service to the rest of its Greater Louisiana market (which also includes Baton Rouge) in the near future and to more than two-thirds of its national footprint (22 markets) by the end of 2010. While Cox says the decision was not based solely on the competion it faces here from Lafayette Utilities System, it clearly was a factor. “It has to do with competition period,” says Cox spokesperson Ann Ruble. “I think Greater Louisiana was chosen because we have competition from many different sides. This is described as a hyper-competitive market across the entire footprint, the Baton Rouge market and the Lafayette market. We put so much investment into Lafayette that it made sense for the first place to launch.” Ruble adds, “there is a demand [in Lafayette]. On the business side we already have fiber-to-the-premise customers, so we knew it would be a market that would be an early adopter of a product like this.”
How does Cox’s new service stack up against LUS? Cox is selling its Ultimate Internet package — powered through an exclusive Data-Over-Cable Service Interface Specification — at a stand alone price of $89.99 a month. The service also requires purchase of a new modem for $99.99, which does not include installation cost. Ruble could not give specific prices on what the Ultimate Internet service would cost as part of a bundled or package deal that also included Cox cable or phone service, noting those prices will vary depending on the different features and promotions Cox customers have signed up for. LUS, still serving only a very limited area in Lafayette, advertises its “extreme” Internet service, with a 50 Mbps download and upload speed, for $57.95 a month, with no modem purchase required and free installation.