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Cable Technology Feature Article

January 23, 2013

Cox Home Security Now Available to Customers in Virginia

By Christopher Mohr, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Cox Communications announced Tuesday that its Home Security service presently available in five other markets is now available in the state of Virginia. Interested customers can see demos at the Cox (News - Alert) Solutions Stores in Hampton Roads. The service provides alerts to homeowners for disasters, safety issues and security breaches like break-ins.

The service goes beyond many basic systems that only sound an alarm when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. Flooding, gas leaks and home intrusion are also detectable. Not only does the system detect these and other events, it also supports home automation. Functions like setting temperature and lighting can be controlled from a web-enabled device like a smartphone or computer. E-mail alerts and the ability to view current home conditions through a web-enabled device are also available and alerts can be sent via e-mail or text.

Cox Home Security also provides alerts that are not emergencies. Children coming home from school, package delivery and vendors who provide services like pool cleaning or lawn care can also trigger the text or e-mail alerts.

No two installations will be alike because of customer preferences. One customer may prefer more control and want to check video camera feeds frequently while another customer is content to receive e-mail alerts in reaction to a specific event, but otherwise do little, if any monitoring.

The system will cost $99.99 for a basic installation and $29.99 per month for the least expensive service option. Customers who get any combination of other services that Cox provides, like Internet or cable can bundle the security system with the services they already have and save money on the cost. All Cox services will appear on the same bill for those who bundle their services. For those who do not want to bundle, the security system can be purchased as a standalone package.

A cable company expanding its services beyond television is nothing new. They had the infrastructure to provide phone service and become ISPs, so why not leverage its infrastructure and provide home security and automation as well? This is a trend that will continue to grow as Cox expands its home security service to more markets.

It is not known what security safeguards have been put in place to protect against hacking. It would be a homeowner’s nightmare if a hacker could shut off all a home’s lights while his burglar partner raided the place.

While it is possible to create a do-it-yourself home automation/home security system with the same features Cox Home Security has, many customers do not have the technological skills to build such a system themselves. Cox provides the monitoring of a traditional home alarm service, but also monitors more potential dangers. It also gives more control over home security to customers by giving them monitoring capabilities and the ability to control home settings. It is a welcome addition to the home security market, especially for those who are not good do it yourselfers, but willing to pay a little more, yet have some control over security and home automation.

The history of cable companies leveraging its infrastructure to enter markets that they weren’t involved in previously continues with the home security market. What industry will they look at next for possible takeover targets?

Edited by Carlos Olivera

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