Communications Test Design Inc. to service Cox Communications products with 100 workers at a new facility

WICHITA — A new company is coming to northeast Wichita to partner with Cox Communications and create about 100 new jobs.

Pennsylvania-based Communications Test Design Inc., or CTDI, is taking 112,000 square feet at 3434 N. Comotara.

“This is a dedicated facility for Cox,” says Jim O’Hara, CTDI director of marketing. “We’re an engineering test and repair company, and we service network equipment for customers.”

That means products Cox customers are going to use or have used will have software uploaded on them at this facility or be recycled or prepared for reuse here.

“CTDI and Cox … have a really nice relationship now,” O’Hara says.

This is the fifth such facility the companies have partnered on nationwide.

The almost 40-year-old CTDI is based in West Chester, Pa., and its headquarters handles services for a number of different customers, including wireless operators.

“Our history is we typically do expand our operations to service other customers in the region,” O’Hara says. “That would be down the road.”

It likely also would mean a second facility.

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Cox retail center at Shops at Tallgrass near 21st and Rock to move, but not far

UPDATED — Cox Communications Kansas/Arkansas is moving its retail center at 21st and Rock, but it’s not going far.

The store will move from the Shops at Tallgrass near the northeast corner across the parking lot to the north of Dillons.

“We are just keeping in line with the Cox retail marketing strategy,” says spokeswoman Sarah Kauffman.

At 3,000 square feet, the new store will be larger than the existing one.

“We really want consumers and customers to have an experience when they walk in a Cox store,” Kauffman says.

The new store will be especially hands-on with technology, she says, “where customers can test or try out the products.”

That includes high-speed Internet, digital cable and home phones.

Ish Tamas of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

In about a week, Cox will start remodeling the space, which was where Supplement Giant and Home Fitness Exercise Equipment Co. used to be.

Last summer, owners Wayne and Lisa Ragsdale made their own short jaunt across the parking lot to new space where a former Blockbuster was.

The new Cox store should open in a couple of months.


Cox Communications Kansas/Arkansas commits random acts of kindness

WICHITA — Cohlmia Marketing owner Carol Skaff was working at home Tuesday afternoon when someone with Cox Communications Kansas/Arkansas knocked at her door.

“This very nice guy with a beautiful smile said, ‘Hi, are you Ms. Skaff?’ ”

As she later posted on her Facebook page: “I’m thinking he’s either here to upsell me or report a service problem.”

That wasn’t the case.

“We want to thank you for your business, and we’re offering you free snow removal,” the man said.

He handed Skaff a flier about it.

“I was a little bit speechless, and I just sat there for a second and went, ‘Oh, OK.’ ”

The snow shoveling, which Cox hired Complete Landscaping Systems to do, is something the company considers a random act of kindness.

“With the weather being what it is, we thought, OK, well, would there be anyone we could identify as a Cox customer that we would be able to help out today?” said spokeswoman Sarah Kauffman. “It was just a hey, what can we do that would be nice?”

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Cox tests premium land-line products in Wichita

WICHITA — Nationally, Cox is looking to offer customers new services for their land lines, but before moving ahead with potential upgrades the company is asking 300 Wichitans what they think.

Wichita is a test market for Cox Premium Communications, which includes advanced phone features such as the ability to transfer calls between wireless and home phones.

Potentially, customers also could choose if they want their land lines to ring at home or if they’d prefer calls to come through their wireless phones.

“They chose Wichita, Kansas . . . to ask customers, ‘Hey, do you like this? Does this work well for you?’ ” says Cox Communications Kansas spokeswoman Sarah Kauffman.

She says Wichita is “very well suited for the trial.”

That includes operationally.

“We raise our hand every time there is a new technology,” Kauffman says of testing products.

In other markets, Cox is testing its wireless phones.

Kauffman says Cox could start wireless service here by late 2010.