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Copyright 2021 Faulkner Information Services. All Rights Reserved.
Publication Date: 2112
Report Type: VENDOR
Cox Communications, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is a provider of broadband
communications and entertainment services to six million customers. A top US cable television service provider in the United States, Cox provides
digital cable TV, high-definition TV, video-on-demand, high-speed Internet
access, and IP-based cable telephony to businesses of all sizes. This company
profile looks at Cox’s operations in greater detail.
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6205-B Peachtree Dunwood Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: (404) 843-5000
Stock Symbol: Privately held
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Cox Communications, with six million residential and commercial customers, is
a top cable TV provider in the US and the largest private telecommunications
company in the country. In addition to offering
cable, the company provides local and long distance voice services over its
IP-based broadband network, high-speed Internet access, and advanced digital
video programming services. Cox addresses all sizes of business customer,
providing a range of voice, data, video, and business services. The company’s digital telephone service reaches all
markets, and the company competes with larger telecommunications firms, which
have also rolled out IP-based voice services. The firm is held by Cox Enterprises
as a wholly owned subsidiary.
History & Milestone Events
Cox Enterprises’ founder, James M. Cox, established the organization with the
acquisition of the Dayton Evening News in 1898. The company continued to acquire
newspapers and eventually expanded into broadcasting with the purchase of radio station
WHIO in 1934. Cox Enterprises entered the cable television industry in 1962,
establishing Cox Cable with the acquisition of three Pennsylvania cable systems
located in Lewistown, Lock Haven, and Tyrone. These were followed by the
purchase of systems based in Oregon, California, and Washington. Cox ventured
into the telephone market in 1993, when the company founded Fibernet, an
competitive access carrier. The company dropped cable from its name in 1996 and
then became known as Cox Communications. Cox Enterprises controls 63 percent of
Significant milestones are included in the following timeline:
- 1995 – Cox Communications became a public company on the
New York Stock Exchange.
- 1996 – Completed two trades of cable systems with
Tele-Communications, Inc (TCI), and US WEST Media Group representing a total of 697,000 customers, expanding the size of
cluster systems in Hampton Roads, New England, Omaha, Phoenix, and Louisiana.
- 1997 – Became the first CATV provider to provide high-speed Internet
access, local and long distance switched telephone services, and digital video
over its Orange County, CA, cable system.
- 1999 – Signed agreements to acquire a total of 2,164,000 customers from Gannett, AT&T, TCA Cable, and Media General,
adding nearly six million
additional customers in 18 states.
- 2000 – Passed $3.5 billion in revenue to become a Fortune 500 company for the first time;
established Cox Business Services (CBS).
- 2002 – Began transitioning customers to a new High-Speed Internet
- 2004 – Cox Enterprises acquired the
remaining publicly held minority interest of Cox Communications.
- 2005 – President and CEO James O. Robbins announced plans to retire; John
Dyer, senior vice president of operations for Cox’s Western Division, was
CFO; entered into a joint venture with other leading cable
operators and Sprint Nextel.
- 2006 – Signed an agreement to purchase cable systems in
Arizona from Cable
America; closed the sale of
certain cable TV systems to Cebridge, including West
Texas, North Carolina, California, and markets served by Middle America
Cox from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- 2008 – Acquired more than $300 million worth of 700-MHz
spectrum at auction and joined the CTIA, the Rural Cellular
Association, and the CDMA Development Group (CDG).
- 2010 – Launched consumer mobile services in
three markets – Orange County, CA; Omaha, NE; and Hampton Roads, VA – over the
Sprint 3G network; began work on its own wireless network in
Phoenix and San Diego to provide 4G wireless; carried the first US 3D TV program, the US Masters Golf Tournament,
to its customers who owned 3D receivers.
surpassed $1 billion USD in annual revenue.
- 2011 – Sold its advanced wireless
services spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless for $315 million USD. The
companies also agreed to sell each other’s residential and commercial
products. Cox announced it would no longer sell its 3G wireless
- 2013 – Cox acquired EasyTEL, a voice,
video, and data services provider.
- 2014 – BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music filed suit
against Cox Communications for failing to cancel subscriptions for customers
who pirate content.
- 2015 – Cox acquired Trapollo, a provider of tele-health and remote
health monitoring programs for chronic disease management, independent
living, and employer health and wellness programs. Cox is required to
pay a $25 million fine in the BMG/Round Hill Music piracy case.
- 2016 – Cox announced it was making a strategic investment in Unite
Private Networks (UPN), which provides fiber-based communication networks
and services and operates a 6,200 route mile fiber network. Financial terms
were not disclosed.
- 2017 – Cox acquired Blueprint RF, a managed network solutions
provider serving hotels across the US. A US district court judge ordered Cox
to pay $8.4 million in legal fees related to the copyright case brought by
BMG/Round Hill Music.
- 2018 – Cox Business acquired RapidScale, a managed and hybrid
managed cloud services provider, in August. It is expected that this move
will bolster Cox Business’ managed services portfolio. Perley McBride is
named CFO for Cox Communications.
- 2019– A lawsuit with 53 music companies resulting from
alleged piracy by Cox Communications’ customers is pending and expected to
go to trial late in the year.
– Is ordered to pay $1 billion in a judgment against it in
federal court over copyright infringement claims by Sony Music Entertainment,
Warner Brothers Records, and Universal Music Group, amounting to about
$1,000 per infringing download … Pledges to invest $60 million toward
helping "close the digital learning gap" … Launches its free Elite Gamer
service with Panoramic Wi-Fi … Commits to the FCC’s Keep America Connected
– Launches Cox Edge, a full stack edge-cloud computing service … Longtime CEO
Patrick Esser retires at the end of the year; Executive Vice President and Chief
Sales and Marketing Officer Mark Greatrex is named to lead the company … Finalizes
the acquisition of the commercial services segment of Charlotte, North Carolina-based
Segra, one of the largest privately-held fiber infrastructure providers in the US.
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Cox’s vision is to be the most trusted communication and
entertainment provider for both large enterprises and residents by
offering a portfolio of services in digital video, high-speed Internet, and
voice. The company rolled out a new logo and tagline to emphasize its
ability to create millions of human communications on a daily basis. The
campaign composed from these connections is meant to promote a warm look and
feel and the tagline is "bringing us closer."
Cox is not as well known as larger US cable operators, such as Comcast, and it really does not compete with them. The most direct
competitor to Cox continues to be AT&T’s DirecTV and Dish Network, although the
satellite TV providers do not provide the full line of services that Cox does.
In its service markets, Cox competes well against these direct-to-home satellite
providers. Cox has been particularly successful marketing its three-tier service
bundles of digital cable, Internet access, and digital telephony. Other points
of interest include:
- Approximately 18,000 employees nationwide
- 67 percent of customers subscribing to a bundle, with 33 percent
enrolled in triple play
- 355,000 commercial customers
- 1.5 million business phone lines
- $15 billion (and counting) investments in infrastructure upgrades, with
plans to spend an additional $10 billion over the next five years
- 300,000 users of its free Connect2Compete Internet service, a program
expanded at the onset of COVID-19, in addition to free upgrades of
50,000Mbps with Complete Care phone and remote desktop support.(residential
customers on select packages).
In recent years, some of Cox’s success has been stymied by lawsuits,
regulatory fines, and user data security concerns. The company has attempted to
regain user trust by inviting security researchers to share details of suspected
vulnerabilities. Moving forward, Cox said it will acknowledge reports of user data
risk and conduct its own internal investigations.
Also troubling for the
company has been its ongoing legal spat over copyrighted music downloads by its
users. Record companies Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Brothers Records, and
Universal Music Group sued Cox in federal court, ultimately winning1
a $1 billion judgment that seemed to affirm their claims that Cox "failed to
address the copyright infringement." In most cases, Cox was ordered to pay as
much as $1,000 per infringed work. Cox has appealed, saying it cannot be held liable
for the copyright infringement of its users and that it provides a system by which
copyright owners can get infringing content removed as well as a policy to deal with
repeat infringers among its customer base.2
The company has also been accused of throttling connections of entire neighborhoods
for “excessive usage.”3 In online message boards and industry publications,
the ISP was said to tamper with the upstream connections of Internet users who consume
too much bandwidth by imposing restrictions on entire areas surrounding the offending
reported that “Cox responded by lowering the upload speeds
on the gigabit-download plan from 35Mbps to 10Mbps for the customer’s whole neighborhood.
Cox confirmed to Ars that it has imposed neighborhood-wide slowdowns in multiple neighborhoods
in cases like this one but didn’t say how many excessive users are enough to trigger a speed
Future Communications success is difficult to project given the company’s
private nature, although much of its future is likely incumbent on successfully
reversing the $1 billion judgment against it. This possibility, seemingly, grows
more remote by the day. For its part, Cox said that it will continue to fight
the verdict, calling it:
Unwarranted, unjust and an egregious amount. Today, you can download a song
for a dollar. This verdict is for nearly $100,000 per song. We plan to
appeal the case and vigorously defend ourselves. We provide customers with a
powerful tool that connects to a world full of content and information.
Unfortunately, some customers have chosen to use that connection for
wrongful activity. We don’t condone it, we educate on it and we do our best
to help curb it, but we shouldn’t be held responsible for the bad actions of
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Competition for Cox includes over-the-air television broadcast reception
as well as competition from satellite television providers, telecom carriers,
and ISPs. Its voice services are also now competing with traditional phone
services and VoIP offerings. In addition to its regular offerings, Cox can
tailor solutions for companies in a variety of industries, including higher
education, k-12 education, healthcare, government, and hospitality.
Cox’s products and services are detailed in Table
Cox digital TV services include:
High Speed Internet
Internet access via cable modems, which offer significantly higher transmission
All Internet packages include over 650,000 free WiFi hotspots nationwide, the
Telephone service using Cox’s IP-based fiber-optic network. Service is similar
Customers can purchase packages of Cox’s digital services, including digital
|Homelife||Cox’s Homelife services consist of automated alarm systems that are
monitored 24x7x365 for medical, police, and fire personnel. In addition,
customers have various accessibility features including locking/unlocking
doors, smoke/heat monitoring, text and email alerts, and more.
Cox provides businesses with Digital Telephony over its IP-based network. In
Cox offers business TV services for various industries including bars and
restaurants, hotels, hospitals, medical waiting rooms, dorms, public areas, and
Cox provides the following data services to its business
Businesses can choose bundled options among voice, Internet, and TV
|Networking and Managed Security Services||
Cox has an array of bandwidth solutions available to protect and secure
sensitive data, voice, and video. These services include:
- Charter Communications: https://www.spectrum.com/
- Comcast: https://www.xfinity.com/
- DIRECTV: https://www.directv.com/
- Lumen Technologies:
- Verizon Communications: https://www.verizon.com
- Vonage: https://www.vonage.com/
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Mergers, Acquisitions, and Divestitures
announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire
privately-held fiber infrastructure provider Segra. The
Charlotte-based company offers “super-regional, fiber-based”
services to “commercial enterprise and carrier customers in nine
states in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.” Under the terms of the
transaction, current owner EQT Infrastructure will retain
ownership of Segra’s fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) residential and
small- to medium-sized business services in Virginia and North
Carolina. Meanwhile, Cox will leverage Segra’s remaining
infrastructure to accelerate its own plans to expand broadband
services to neighborhoods and regional markets. The transaction
remains subject to customary closing conditions. No financial
terms were disclosed.
Products and Services
debuted its new Cox Edge service, a full stack edge-cloud
computing service. The company claims the new offering provides
“ultra-low latency compute solutions, helping customers to
improve application performance and to reduce cloud transport and
on-premise infrastructure costs.” Cox Edge is designed to be
deployed within last-mile edge data centers, and can provide
access to Virtual Compute, Storage, Bare Metal, Edge CDN,
Distributed Database services, Serverless computing, Distributed
Containers, and Enterprise Kubernetes services. Additional
information is available at its #product
announced, on the day the program is set to go live for the
public, that it will offer increased download speeds to
participants in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC‘s) Emergency Broadband
Benefit (EBB) Program. Beginning May 12, all Cox subscribers on
the company’s Connect2Compete plan will gain access to an
increased download rate of 50Mbps (up from 25Mbps), and will be
eligible for the aforementioned program’s $50 per month ($75 per
month on tribal lands) discount. Cox had already boosted the
speed of the Connect2Compete tier earlier in the pandemic on a
temporary basis, but it has not confirmed that the increase will
be permanent. Cox also noted that, thanks to a partnership with
PCs for People, it will offer a one-time discount of up to $100
on the purchase of a laptop or tablet to all eligible
subscribers. Additional information is available via the Connect2Compete product page.
Personnel and Organizational
Cox Communications President and Chief Executive Officer Patrick J. Esser
announced he will retire
effective December 31, 2021 after leading the company for 15 years. Esser will be succeeded by Cox Executive Vice
President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Mark Greatrex who will be named president. During Esser’s tenure,
Cox has more than doubled its business to become the largest private telecom company in America serving nearly seven
million homes and businesses across 18 states. He has guided the company’s aggressive investment in products and
networks and sought growth outside the company with investments and acquisitions in telecom infrastructure companies,
home health logistics, and cloud services. Greatrex, who joined the company in 2011, has been responsible for leading
the company’s residential sales team and marketing activities.
that senior vice presidents Jeff Breaux and Colleen Langner have been promoted to executive vice presidents and will
serve as direct reports to incoming President Mark Greatrex, who will succeed Pat Esser when he retires at the end of
the year. Breaux has been appointed executive vice president of Cox Business, where he has held increasing levels of
senior sales and operations leadership responsibility for more than seven years. Breaux will now lead the strategy for
the B2B division that deals with cloud services, fiber infrastructure, and edge computing. Langner will succeed Greatrex
in his previous position of executive vice president and chief marketing and sales officer. She will help the company evolve
its brand, marketing, and sales experience to make more meaningful connections throughout the communities Cox serves nationwide.
1 Brittain, Blake. "Cox Can’t Escape $1 Billion Copyright Verdict,
Can Reduce Award."
Bloomberg Law. June 3, 2020.
2 Cooke, Chris. "Cox Communications Files Appeal Against Billion Dollar Copyright Ruling."
Complete Music Update.
May 27, 2021.
3 Brodkin, Jon. "Cox Slows Internet Speeds in Entire Neighborhoods to
Punish Any Heavy Users."
June 8, 2020.
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