Cox Internet-only price increases after 12 months
Cox Communications gives a first-year discount to customers who agree to a one-year contract when they sign up for Cox internet services.
When the discount expires, customer billing increases to the actual cost of the plan. The actual cost for each plan is shown in the table above, and illustrated in the interactive chart below. In simple terms, you can expect the bill to go up about $20 per month.
Regardless of promotions, most Cox bills also include a $10.99 WiFi equipment leasing fee. This is tucked away in the “fees and taxes” section of the monthly bill, and can be removed if you purchase your own modem and router.
Actual cost of Cox internet by plan
|Plan name||Advertised 1st-year price||Advertised 1st-year price including WiFi fee||2nd-year price including WiFi fee||Price difference before fees|
|Cox Internet Starter 10||$29.99/mo.||$40.98/mo.||$55.98/mo.||$15/mo.|
|Cox Internet Essential 50||$39.99/mo.||$50.98/mo.||$76.98/mo.||$26/mo.|
|Cox Internet Preferred 150||$59.99/mo.||$70.98/mo.||$94.98/mo.||$24/mo.|
|Cox Internet Ultimate 500||$79.99/mo.||$90.98/mo.||$110.98/mo.||$20/mo.|
The Cox Internet Starter 10 plan costs $44.99 per month after the first 12 months of service. For customers who lease the WiFi gateway from Cox, the final bill amount is $55.98 including tax. The first year price includes a $15/month discount, making it cost $29.99 for the first year.
Cox’s most popular Preferred 150 plan has a final price of $83.99 after 12 months, or 94.98 per month including leased WiFi equipment. New customers can sign up for the current advertised rate of $59.99 per month, which represents a $26 monthly discount. This is currently the largest dollar amount discount offered by Cox for new customers.
The Cox Gigablast plan is the most expensive internet-only option, going up to $130.98 per month when you account for the WiFi fee; and it’ll cost you an extra $30 per month if you want unlimited data, which is pretty much a neccessity if you actually use gigabit capacity for home uses like 4K streaming. I’ve written about the pros and cons of the Cox Gigablast plan here.
Cox internet price after 12 months summary
In summary, the price of each Cox internet plan after the first year is as follows:
- Cox Internet Starter 10 price after 12 months: $44.99/mo.
- StraightUp Internet price after 12 months: $50/mo.
- Cox Internet Essential 50 price after 12 months: $65.99/mo.
- Cox Internet Preferred 150 price after 12 months: $83.99/mo.
- Cox Internet Ultimate 500 price after 12 months: $99.99/mo.
- Gigablast price after 12 months: $119.99/mo.
As mentioned above, all plans except StraightUp have a $10.99 WiFi equipment fee attached.
Cox Internet pricing: fees and fine print
There are three fees you need to be aware of that affect the actual cost of AT&T internet-only service:
- WiFi fees
- Installation fees
- Early termination fees
WiFi fee: adds $10.99 to Cox bills
WiFi fees are a standard $10.99 for all Cox plans except the StraightUp plan, which includes it in the sticker price.
However, you can remove the fee by purchasing your own modem and router; Cox maintains a list of compatible models on their site.
Cox installation fees: $20–75, no free self-install
Installation fees are particularly bad with Cox, because they charge a $20 fee for self-installs as well as a higher $75 fee for professional installation.
This is unusual in 2021, when the vast majority of providers (even Comcast) provide free self-installation as the primary install option.
Cox early termination fees: adds $10–120 for contract cancellation
Finally, early termination fees are another issue with Cox that has dissapeared from a lot of other major cable providers like Spectrum. They charge a fee up to $120 if you cancel Cox internet service while under contract; and since one-year contracts are the default option for online ordering, most customers will have one.
It only applies for the first year, but it can be inconvenient for renters who may need to move unexpectedly. They charge $10 for each month left in the contract, so if you cancel mid-year you’re looking at a $60 fee on your final bill.
Thankfully, the longest internet-only contract offered by Cox is one year. So, if you’ve been a customer longer than 12 months, the early termination fee does not apply to you.
Why did my Cox internet bill go up?
Because the promotional rate and final price is obscured in Cox advertising and during signup, customers are frequently surprised and frustrated when their bill jumps 50%+ after a year of on-time payments.
It’s counterintuitive that Cox would award the lowest pricing to new customers rather than reward and retain their long-time and most valuable customers. However, it actually makes sense in the context of the cable internet industry. In fact, first-year pricing is the norm across all major internet service providers in the US, including local and more well-liked brands like Sonic or Ziply Fiber.
As a product, internet is poorly understood by most people who sign up for it. To the average buyer, the difference between 100 Mbps and 500 Mbps is not clear; they just want the cheapest price for useable WiFi.
This has created a situation where internet service providers compete aggresively on price, and work hard to get you signed up for related products like TV and home security (Cox Homelife) once you’re on the hook.
With that in mind, they have a strong incentive to sacrifice some revenue in the first year to get customers enrolled in autopay; once signed up, most will not bother to switch so long as the bill is raised little by little over time.
Can I get my Cox bill back to the promotional rate after 12 months?
Cox will often extend or reset promotional rates for customers who call in and request it. However, the process for doing so is quite complex and only works if you follow a certain script.
I’ve written up the Cox bill reduction process in detail here.
Summary: Cox promotional, average, and final pricing
When comparing Cox cable to other internet options in your area (likely AT&T), it’s important that you find and compare the final pricing.
If you’re renting an apartement for two years, the average of the promo and final price over two years is what matters most for your total billing.
As a long-term resident for three or more years, the promo rate really doesn’t matter; although you should definetly call in and try to reset it each year, or have a service like Billshark do it for you.
Here's a summary of the entry, 2-year average, and final price for each Cox internet plan:
AT&T Internet-only final and averaged prices
|Plan name||1st-year price||Average price over two years||Final price|
|AT&T Cox Internet Starter 10||$29.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$37.49/mo. + $10.99 fees||$44.99/mo. + $10.99 fees|
|AT&T StraightUp Internet||$50/mo. + $0 fees||$50/mo. + $0 fees||$50/mo. + $0 fees|
|AT&T Cox Internet Essential 50||$39.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$52.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$65.99/mo. + $10.99 fees|
|AT&T Cox Internet Preferred 150||$59.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$71.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$83.99/mo. + $10.99 fees|
|AT&T Cox Internet Ultimate 500||$79.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$89.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$99.99/mo. + $10.99 fees|
|AT&T Gigablast||$99.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$109.99/mo. + $10.99 fees||$119.99/mo. + $10.99 fees|
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is Cox internet by itself?
Cox internet-only pricing ranges from $29.99 for basic 10 Mbps internet to $119.99 per month for gigabit-range 940 Mbps internet. Pricing advertised is before fees and equipment lease charges, which typically add an incremental $10.99 to the monthly bill on all plans except their StraightUp prepaid plan.
How much does it cost to cancel Cox internet?
Cancellation can cost up to $120 if you cancel Cox internet before the end of your contract. The fee is calculated by charging $10 for every month left in-contract, so typically customers pay a smaller percent of the total possible fee.
Did the price of Cox increase in 2021?
Cox pricing has remainded consistent throughout 2021, and their are no publicized plans to change or increase pricing. However, most plans are subject to first-year discounts, which often confuses customers when their bill adjusts to the actual price after 12 months.