Cox Review – 2020

Cox Communications is better known as Cox Cable and it started its broadband internet service to residential addresses in 1996.

Pros of Cox

  • Offers fast internet
  • Has a fiber optic backbone
  • A no-contract plan available
  • Offers bundles that include internet, TV, and/or telephone service
  • Offers a discounted package to low-income households

Cons of Cox

  • Doesn’t have much of a presence in any state other than Kansas
  • Doesn’t offer fiber internet even though much of its network is fiber-optic

Table of Contents

Overview of Cox Internet Services

Cox Communications is a cable TV carrier. The company branched out to offer telephone and internet services. Cox Communications is better known as Cox Cable and it started its broadband internet service to residential addresses in 1996.

The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia. It began life in 1962 as a cable TV company. Over the years, the business expanded its network through acquisition and more recently updated the backbone of the system by replacing its coaxial cable with fiber optics. Today, Cox cable is the third-largest cable internet provider in the United States. Its service area includes locations in 19 states.

As well as carrying TV and internet to its customers, Cox offers a landline telephone service. It markets internet-only deals as well as bundles of TV, internet, and telephone services to residential customers. Cox Cable is the USA’s seventh-largest telephone network.

The company’s service area is denser in Kansas. It also has a large network in and around New Orleans, another block of zip codes around Southern California and Arizona and small territories throughout the East Coast States. It has operations in 19 states but apart from Kansas, Cox doesn’t have complete coverage across any state.

Check out our roundup of Best Internet Providers

 

Some Points About Cox

As well as delivering the internet to homes, Cox Cable has set up a network of Wi-Fi hotspots in public places across the country. Subscribers to the home internet service get free access to the internet through those hotspots when they are out and about. There are a total of 650,000 Cox Cable Wi-Fi hotspots in the USA.

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) publishes a survey every year on the customer approval ratings for a range of telecommunications service providers. This is called the ACSI Telecommunications Report and its 2019 edition, eleven named ISPs in the USA were ranked according to customer responses. Cox came joint sixth in that chart of eleven providers. Customer responses were collated into a satisfaction rating of 60%. This was slightly better than its rating in 2018 when it was 59%.

Cox Communications has a good reputation as an employer. It has won recognition and even awards for encouraging diversity. It was in Diversity Magazine’s list of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity in 2018 and it is also on the list of the Top 10 Companies for African Americans.

The company runs a clean energy policy to try to reduce its carbon footprint and help clean up the environment. This is called the Alternative Energy Project.

Cox sponsors sports teams within its service area and it also runs a generous charitable foundation in each of the states where it operates.

As well as running TV, internet, and telephone services, Cox has a smart camera internet-connected home automation and security service called Homelife.

The company runs a discounted access plan for low-income households.

Cox Plans

As with all internet services, Cox rolls back a little on its headline with the caveats written in the fine print of its website. However, tests by the Federal Communications Commission found that the actual internet speeds of Cox users are only slightly less than the speeds promised in the service’s advertising.

Here is a selection of Cox Cable’s internet-only plans.

 

Plan Download Speed Minimum Term Data Cap
Internet Starter 10 10 Mbps 12 months 1 TB per month
Internet Essentials 30 30 Mbps 12 months 1 TB per month
Internet Preferred 150 150 Mbps 12 months 1 TB per month
Internet Ultimate 300 Mbps 12 months 1 TB per month
Gigablast 940 Mbps 12 months None
Straightup Internet 25 Mbps None 1 TB per month
Connect2Compete 25 Mbps None 1 TB per month

The data limit of 1 Terabyte (TB) per household is pretty typical in the industry. It is very rare that anyone will actually exceed that amount of data in a month. Those who do use all of that data don’t get cut off. Instead, they get charged $10 per 50 GB block of additional data usage.

It is possible to avoid those overuse charges by adding on an unlimited data feature or a 500 GB additional allowance – each of these adds to the monthly bill. The unlimited data package is included in the price of the Gigablast plan.

Cox Pricing Overview

The table below shows a selection of Cox Communications’ internet service plans and their prices.

 

Plan Standard Price/Month Introductory Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Internet Starter 10 $44.99 $19.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Internet Essentials 30 $65.99 $29.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Internet Preferred 150 $83.99 $49.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Internet Ultimate $104.99 $69.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Gigablast $119.99 $99.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Straightup Internet $50.00 None None None
Connect2Compete $9.95 None None None

These prices are all subject to tax except for the Straightup Internet plan, which has taxes included in the price.

Cox Cable also offers bundles for TV, internet, and landline telephone combinations.

All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

The Connect2Compete plan is only available to qualifying low-income families. In order to prove eligibility, the household must be part of one of these assistance programs:

 

  • K-12 children who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program, SNAP, and/or TANF;
  • Receive Tenant-Based Vouchers, Project-Based Vouchers or Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA);
  •  Live in Public Housing

 

All plans with a 12-month term agreement include an early termination fee (ETF) if the customer breaks the contract before the end of the initial 12 months. This fee amounts to $10 for every month remaining on the contract.

The Straightup Internet plan is a month-to-month agreement and service must be pre-paid at the beginning of each month. It is possible to opt for a month-to-month service with any of the plans that are advertised as having a minimum service period. Those who choose to take the service month-to-month will pay $10 per month more per month on the price of the plan.

It is possible to avoid the equipment fee if you already have your own modem. The installation fee of $20 is for self-installation and the $75 is for installation by a technician.

Cox Customer Service

As with any service to the general public, the telephone helpline of Cox Cable is guarded by a queuing system. It can take a long time to get through, navigating through the menu structure can lead confused callers to the wrong department, the customer service operators are not always well informed, and calls can get dropped before any problem resolution is achieved.

The call center is to be avoided whenever possible. Cox Cable has built a number of useful customer self-service features into its website. Customers get an account page, which is protected by a username and password. In this space, each customer can see all bills past and present and also pay current bills online. The support pages of the website offer troubleshooting guides and it is possible to speak to an agent through an online chat system. There is also an app for mobile devices that links the customer straight through to a support technician. All support departments can also be contacted by email.

A Cox trump card is its chain of real-word stores. Those who are sick of communicating over the web can go into a store and speak to an assistant or even take a damaged box in for repair or replacement.

Choosing Cox Plans

Although Cox Communication doesn’t get stellar satisfaction ratings from its customers, it also doesn’t do too badly – appearing at the midpoint of the ISP customer satisfaction league table. Investigations by regulatory bodies show that Cox Cable more-or-less keeps to its service quality promises. The prices of the company’s internet plans are reasonable and the speeds that the service offers are impressive.

All indicators show that Cox Cable’s internet service is reliable and that the company is conscientious in serving its customers. Cox Communications treats its staff well, respects and supports local communities through charitable donations to local causes. It supports local sports teams within its service area and makes an effort to improve the environment. There isn’t much to dislike about Cox Cable and its internet service except, perhaps that it would be nice if it covered a larger geographical area.

If you choose to commit to the Cox Cable service, pay the setup fees and then decide you don’t want the service, the company will cancel the contract for you without penalties and refund your money as long as you notify them of your intention to cancel within 30 days of signing the contract. New customers really have nothing to lose when they decide to give Cox Cable a try.