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Altice USA ramps up for 5-Gig service

Seeking to reverse a recent decline in broadband subscribers and boost its sagging competitive position, Altice USA plans to launch symmetrical 5-Gig and 2-Gig services over its new all-fiber network in the New York metro area, starting early next month.

In a press release issued today, the third-largest US cable operator said the two new multi-gig services will launch in parts of Long Island beginning in June. Altice USA will then roll out the services across its entire New York tri-state fiber footprint by end of year.

Altice USA said it will brand the two new broadband services as 5-Gig and 2-Gig Optimum Fiber Internet, respectively. The 5-Gig service will cost new customers $180 per month, while the 2-Gig offering will be priced at $120 per month.

Altice USA is preparing to raise its fiber game in the Optimum footprint in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by boosting its top broadband speeds to 2-Gig and 5-Gig.   
  (Source: The Lightwriter/Alamy Stock Photo)
Altice USA is preparing to raise its fiber game in the Optimum footprint in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by boosting its top broadband speeds to 2-Gig and 5-Gig.
(Source: The Lightwriter/Alamy Stock Photo)

The move, which Altice USA has been telegraphing for the past few months, comes as the operator continues to shed broadband subscribers as it competes against Verizon's fiber-fueled Fios service in the hotly contested New York metro market and elsewhere in the Northeast. In Q1 2022, for instance, Altice USA lost broadband subs for the third quarter in a row, shedding 13,000 data customers, at a time when most cable operators are still gaining broadband subs.

Over the past few months, Altice USA officials have repeatedly stressed that they are playing for the long term and that the current sub losses will turn back into gains sometime later this year or early next under a revamped strategy unveiled last fall. The strategy calls for ramping up capital spending, installing more fiber lines, opening up dozens of retail stores, and overhauling product branding, pricing and promotions.

"We believe we are in a significantly better competitive position today than we were 12 months ago, and we're moving full steam ahead preparing for the launch of our own multi-gig fiber broadband service later this year on our Optimum Fiber network," Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said earlier this month on the company's Q1 earnings call. His optimism followed the company's announcement last fall that it would bring fiber and multi-gigabit speeds to more than two-thirds of its footprint, including 2.5 million homes in some of its rural Suddenlink areas, by the end of 2025.

"We've got building blocks, and building blocks take time to deliver," Goei said at that time. "This is a medium- to long-term strategy."

In today's press release, Altice USA said the higher speeds will enable customers to access higher resolution video streaming up to 8K, lower latency for data-intensive applications like virtual reality and gaming, greater reliability, and Smart Wi-Fi 6 for broader whole-home coverage.

"As we continue to expand our new 100% Optimum Fiber Internet network across our footprint, we are pleased to bring the fastest residential fiber internet service to the tri-state area," Goei said in the release. "Customers on our Optimum Fiber network are already enjoying fast, symmetrical speeds and a reliable connectivity experience, and we look forward to bringing even faster service with more bandwidth than ever before with our 5 Gig and 2 Gig Optimum Fiber Internet speeds."

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— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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