The Washington, D.C., suburb of Fairfax County, Va., and Cox Communications Inc. have come
to an agreement on a timetable for the MSO's completion of its
fiber upgrade that gives the cable company more time.
The upgrade had initially been targeted for May 2002, but it was behind
schedule, in part, Cox said, due to problems with getting government rights-of-way
for equipment. Cox had been given 60 days to come up with a plan or face
possible loss or curtailment of its franchise.
According to the new agreement, Cox will have until Sept. 30, 2003, to
complete 95 percent of the work. Cox will continue to pay $2,000 per day into an
escrow account (the payments began in July) until the 95 percent is completed,
with the money -- $872,000 -- returned if the new deadline is met and collected
by the county if it is not.
Cox also agreed to give the county about a $3 million to $4 million price break
on wiring the schools, including expanding the project at Cox's expense.
And the operator promised not to pass along the $2,000-per-day escrow contribution to
Cox says it was pleased with the ruling. "We will meet the deadline and look
forward to completing the upgrade and deploying the services countywide," spokesman Alex Horwitz said.