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Altice USA Preps for Broadband Speed Wars

Faced with growing competition from telcos' 1 Gig broadband offers, Altice USA is furiously upgrading its networks for gigabit capability and boosting data speeds throughout its regions.

Altice USA , the nation's fourth-largest cable operator with 4.9 million overall customers, is both building new FTTH networks in its regions and, more quietly, rolling out DOCSIS 3.1 over its legacy HFC networks to deliver the higher broadband speeds. In particular, it's raising the maximum downstream speed that it offers to at least 300 to 400 Mbit/s in most of its territories.

Speaking on the company's fourth-quarter earnings call earlier this week, Altice USA Chairman and CEO Dexter Goei said the MSO now offers downstream speeds of 300 Mbit/s or more to 89% of its 8.6 million homes passed, up from 83% at the end of 2016 and just 16% at the close of 2015. That 89% figures includes all of the homes in the former Cablevision Systems footprint in the New York metro area, where the cable provider fiercely competes with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s Fios service.

Despite its growing speed capabilities and Verizon's heavy marketing of Fios' symmetrical 1 Gg speeds, though, Altice USA is not yet seeing much customer demand for its 1 Gig product. Instead, Goei said, the sweet spot for subscribers seems to be more like 100 Mbit/s or 200 Mbit/s, at least over its HFC network in in the New York area.

For more on this story, please turn to our sister site, Broadband World News. (See Altice USA Revs Up for Broadband Battle .)

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

kq4ym 3/14/2018 | 10:17:29 AM
Re: Not surprising The pricing difference between the two does seem way out of line. One might not be surprised that they're seeing not much demand for the super speeds yet. I wonder how they might market or advertise the gigabit service to gain more revenue in such an apparent lopsided price schedule.
macemoneta 3/1/2018 | 3:05:21 PM
Not surprising That Altice isn't seeing much take-up for their higher speed isn't surprising, since their pricing isn't competitive. Altice charges $110 for asymmetrical 300Mb service, while Verizon charges $80 for symmetrical gigabit (installation fee waved for both with online order). 
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