James, a Cox cable-Web buyer in Irvine, California, received an unwelcome e-mail on Tuesday from the Web supplier. Cox’s e-mail informed James, who pays $80 a month for broadband, that his 30Mbps add speeds will quickly be diminished to 10Mbps.
A Cox spokesperson informed Ars that James and comparable prospects can preserve their 30Mbps add speeds in the event that they improve to a more recent modem. However that choice wasn’t included within the e-mail to prospects, which created the impression that the upload-speed minimize is obligatory except they pay for a dearer Web plan.
The completely different messages given to prospects and an Ars reporter recommend that Cox is attempting to get folks to modify to the lower-upload velocity plan and is just mentioning the choice of maintaining the present plan as a final resort. Primarily based on what we have realized, prospects who wish to preserve their present add speeds and value ought to discuss to a Cox customer-service rep and ask for that choice if the rep would not point out it. Prospects can preserve their current modems with out shedding Web service fully, however their add speeds might be minimize except they improve to a brand new modem and select to maintain their current plan. Cox has about 5.3 million broadband prospects in the US.
James, who most popular to maintain his final title unpublished, just isn’t alone in getting the unhealthy information. Cox’s “Final” Web plan with 300Mbps obtain and 30Mbps add speeds was modified to a 500Mbps obtain, 10Mbps add package deal early last year. At first, Cox let prospects on the 300Mbps/30Mbps model preserve it, with none nudges to vary their plans or improve their modems. However that modified with the e-mail Cox despatched to James and different prospects this week.
Whereas the enhance from 300Mbps to 500Mbps obtain speeds is good, it pales compared to a 67 % minimize in add speeds throughout a pandemic that has demonstrated the significance of upstream bandwidth to households with folks working and taking lessons at residence. James and his spouse each do business from home and have two kids, together with a 3-year-old son now sufficiently old to stream video on an Amazon Fireplace Youngsters Version pill.
James purchased his personal modem for $70 in November 2017 to keep away from rental charges. In accordance with Cox, James should purchase a brand new modem or lease a brand new one from Cox (with the primary 12 months’ rental charges waived) with the intention to preserve the 300Mbps/30Mbps plan.
Cox e-mail leaves key questions unanswered
The Cox e-mail despatched to James and different prospects mentioned:
We’re making vital community upgrades to offer a greater Web expertise for all of our prospects. To do that, we have to transfer Final Basic 300 plan prospects with older modems to the brand new Final plan on or after Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
Your invoice is not going to enhance because of this transformation to your Web service plan.
Final has obtain speeds of as much as 500Mbps, 60 % greater than Final Basic 300. Final’s decrease add speeds of as much as 10Mbps nonetheless help the everyday wants of most customers like video chatting, gaming, and importing massive recordsdata. Nevertheless, it’s essential to replace your present modem to benefit from the full enhance in obtain speeds.
The e-mail went on to say that prospects can improve to a Cox-certified DOCSIS 3.1 modem or the official Cox Wi-Fi gateway and that prospects who need greater than 10Mbps uploads ought to “name to study extra about gear and our velocity plans.” (DOCSIS is the Knowledge Over Cable Service Interface Specification utilized by the cable business to offer Web entry over coaxial cables.)
The e-mail didn’t clarify why James cannot merely preserve utilizing his current plan on his current DOCSIS 3.0 modem, an Arris SB6183 that helps as much as 686Mbps obtain speeds and 131Mbps add speeds. The e-mail additionally did not clarify why upgrading to a greater modem would result in a 67 % minimize in add speeds from 30Mbps to 10Mbps, when commonsense would recommend a modem improve ought to enhance each obtain and add speeds.
Cox e-mail spurs confusion and anger
It appeared to James that the one choice to preserve his present add speeds was to purchase the dearer “Gigablast” package deal that features 940Mbps obtain speeds and 35Mbps add speeds. The plan’s common value is $120 a month, with a $100 promotional price for the primary 12 months. It’s the solely plan Cox advertises with add speeds above 10Mbps.
“It seems like I am both shedding my 300/30 plan in favor of a 500/10 plan, or I will be paying Cox much more cash,” James informed Ars, earlier than we did extra analysis into the predicament. “In the course of a pandemic the place video conferences are king, Cox is attempting to power people working from residence into their prime tier to make a fast buck. My space in Irvine would not have any different broadband choices, so I am caught till 5G to the house makes an look or Starlink miraculously works in semi-dense city environments.”
Different prospects who acquired the identical e-mail complained in a Reddit thread yesterday. “Simply received that very same e-mail. Work might be pissed when my productiveness slows to a crawl trigger uploads take 3 instances as lengthy,” one particular person wrote.
“Cox is fucking rubbish,” one other particular person wrote. “I used to have AT&T fiber 1000/1000 till I moved. Similar value now I’ve 500/10. What bullshit.”