Who wants gigabit broadband? Cox Communications, America's #3 cable operator, is asking customers and expects to begin delivering gigabit fiber this year

Who wants gigabit broadband? Cox Communications, America’s third-largest cable operator, is asking its customers and expects to begin delivering gigabit fiber to some of its residential customers this year (and there was much rejoicing).

Initially, the rollout will be limited to new residential (home) construction in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Omaha. However, the company will roll gigabit fiber to all six million of its customers nationwide (Cox Communications Broadband Coverage Map) starting in 2016.

“We are excited about our road map to offer gigabit speeds to all of our residential customers,” said Cox Communications President Pat Esser. “Starting today, we will begin deploying new technology and infrastructure that will give customers the choice of gigabit speeds in all markets we serve.”

Good news? Heck yeah. However, the limited initial rollout and delayed general deployment in 2016 aren’t exactly inspiring.

Cox: Only the First to Follow?

That said, Cox Communication is following the trail blazed by Google Fiber, which is already delivering gigabit residential broadband in Austin, TX, Provo, UT and Kansas City, KS. However, over the next year or so, Google expects to begin installing gigabit fiber in nine new American cities. Google is turning up the heat on broadband internet providers, and not just on the fiber front.

Earlier this week, Google Fiber announced that it would not charge Netflix and other media companies for fast lane access to consumers, like Comcast and Verizon are already doing.

We also don’t charge because it’s really a win-win-win situation. It’s good for content providers because they can deliver really high-quality streaming video to their customers … It’s good for us because it saves us money … But most importantly, we do this because it gives Fiber users the fastest, most direct route to their content.

Doing the right thing, imagine that.

As of this writing, Cox has not said what gigabit fiber will cost its customers nor has it committed to free and fair peering a la Google.

Still, it is clear that the US residential broadband market is getting more competitive, which is a very good thing™…

What’s your take?

Via Wall Street Journal