During the wee hours Mon morning, Cox quietly upped the speed for its flagship, high-speed data service to 4Mbps from 3Mbps in most markets, keeping the price point at $39.95/month for bundle users ($49.95 standalone). Upload was raised to 512kbps. And Cox went a step further, increasing speeds at no charge for all tiered data services-its value tier jumped to 256kbps from 128. Significantly, Cox opted to drop the requirement that a consumer subscribe to other Cox services to get the value package at $24.95/month. "It’s a way to target the intenders-the dial-up community that hasn’t felt the need to go up to a 3-meg product," a Cox rep says. "Maybe they are DirecTV customers or don’t subscribe to a multichannel service." Cox’s premiere service increased to 5Mbps from 4Mbps, keeping a $54.95/month bundled price. Cox has yet to upgrade Las Vegas, Gainesville, FL, and Middle America markets, prompting some Internet message board junkies to complain Mon that they’re the company’s "red-headed stepchildren." Additional information about higher speed deployments in these markets will be made later this year, Cox says. Along with the faster speeds, Cox is rolling out a campaign today dubbed "Fast is Beautiful." Complete with print and outdoor advertising, TV spots and a fastisbeautiful.com Web site, the campaign is aimed at emphasizing the possibilities with faster speeds. "These speed increases were literally implemented overnight in most Cox markets-an incredible demonstration of the power and flexibility of our network," svp, marketing Joe Rooney said. In most instances, modem service was down 1-30 mins during the upgrade. Cox Business Services will increase speed soon, too.

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