Cox launches new channels, increases Internet speeds

Staff reports

BATON ROUGE – Cox Communications announced it will add high definition and digital channels line-ups, and increase Internet speeds for customers in 17 south Louisiana parishes.

With the improved services, there will also be increased charges for some products. All price and channel charges will go into effect Dec. 8.

“Cox has annually invested millions of dollars in new technology in order to reliably deliver to our urban and rural customers the nation’s best cable, Internet and phone products,” said Jacqui Vines, senior vice president and general manager for Cox Louisiana. “Because of these investments, we are able to add more value to our existing products, expand our HD and Digital line and increase speeds for our four most popular Internet packages.”

As part of the channel changes, Cox will launch six new HD channels bringing the Baton Rouge market total to 74. New additions include ESPNews HD (ch. 738), Investigation Discovery HD (ch. 749), msnbc HD (ch. 764), Tennis Channel HD (ch. 784), Disney XD HD (ch. 786) and BBC America HD (ch. 787).

In addition to the HD launches, Cox customers will also receive three new digital channels: CSPAN3 (ch. 143), Sportsman Channel (ch. 258) and The Word (ch. 271).

Along with the channel launches, some channels will move within tiers and into new service levels. The moves will allow Cox to enhance overall HD and digital offerings.

New channel line-up cards will be sent to customer homes, and will be available at local service centers and on-line at www.cox.com.

With the channel launches, the content in OnDemand will also increase. OnDemand is free with Cox Digital Cable service and has more than 5,000 hours of content including HD Free Zone OnDemand and MyPrimetime, which delivers the most popular prime time TV shows within 24 hours of original airing. A newly launched on-screen guide makes navigation easier than ever before.

“As much as we try to absorb costs, we have seen a 78 percent increase in the retransmission fees for Basic and Expanded Basic service, as well as over 10 percent increase programmer fees to entities like Disney, ESPN, Fox and NBC Universal,” said Vines. “With these recent changes, most of our video customers will see a rate increase of less than 6 percent.”

Customers who subscribe to Basic Cable only will see a $2.58 monthly price increase. Those customers who subscribe to Expanded Basic will see an additional 42-cent price increase, for a total of $3. Certain premium services and digital tiers will increase $1, per service or tier.

Cox High Speed internet customers will see speed increases across the four most popular tiers:

• Economy customers will migrate into the new Starter high speed package. Download speed for Starter customers will increase from 768Kbps to 1Mbps

• Value customers will migrate to Essential. Download speed for Essential customers will be increasing from 1.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps

• Speed for Preferred High Speed Internet will increase from 10 Mbps to 12 Mbps

• Speed for Premier High Speed Internet will increase from 20 Mbps to 22 Mbps.

Cox High Speed Internet customers subscribing to Starter, Value, Preferred or Premier can expect a price increase between $2 and $3, depending on the level of service they subscribe to. There will not be a price increase on the Cox Ultimate Tier. Changes to Internet pricing are only for residential customers, not Cox Business customers.

Cox will continue its partnership with regional Councils on Aging to offer a 20 percent discount on Basic Cable services to qualifying low-income senior citizens.