NEW YORK — Altice USA, the provider of Optimum and Suddenlink-branded internet, TV and phone services across 21 states, is progressing with its fiber buildout while continuing to roll out enhanced broadband services to customers on its existing hybrid fiber coax (DOCSIS) cable network, according to results for the third quarter ending September 30, 2018. 1 Gbps broadband services are expected to be available across the whole Optimum footprint in 2019 through digital switched video upgrades.
Network Investments: Enhancing Broadband Speeds, Video Services and Reliability
Altice USA’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployment continues to progress well with the company launching up to 1 Gbps symmetrical 1P fiber broadband services with an advanced wireless gateway for Optimum customers in select areas of Long Island in the third quarter of 2018. Altice Gigabit fiber service provides a next-generation connectivity experience to support the most data-intensive activities, from streaming 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) and high-definition (HD) video on multiple devices, online multi-player video game streaming platforms, video chatting, streaming music, high-quality virtual-and augmented reality experiences, and downloading large files simultaneously on dozens of devices at once.
While building the FTTH network, Altice USA also continues to roll out enhanced broadband services to its customers on its existing hybrid fiber coax (DOCSIS) cable network. 1 Gbps broadband services are expected to be available across the whole Optimum footprint in 2019 through digital switched video upgrades. In addition, further 1 Gbps capacity will be added in certain areas in the Suddenlink footprint, as well as continuing to build new homes at an accelerated pace. As a result of recent enhancements to Altice USA’s network and with the launch of Altice One, an increasing number of consumers are selecting increased broadband speeds and using more data:
- Approximately 80 percent of Altice USA’s Residential broadband gross additions are taking download speed tiers of 200 Mbps or higher as of the end of Q3 2018 (47 percent of the Residential customer base now take speeds of 200 Mbps or higher, more than doubling from 23 percent at the end of Q3 2017, and 79 percent of the customer base take speeds of 100 Mbps or higher).
- These upgrades are allowing the company to meet customer demand for higher broadband speeds with the average broadband speed taken by Altice USA’s customer base up 63 percent YoY to 172 Mbps at the end of Q3 2018 (from 106 Mbps at the end of Q3 2017 and just 56 Mbps at the end of Q3 2016). Average data usage per customer reached over 240 GB as of the end of Q3 2018, growing over 20 percent YoY as customers are using Altice USA’s broadband services more and more. Optimum customers are connecting 11 devices in the home on average.
- Altice One is also improving customers’ broadband experience with an advanced WiFi router and WiFi mini repeaters. Altice USA has reached over 200k unique Altice One customers (>4 percent of total customers), adding approximately 100k Altice One customers per quarter on a run-rate basis as of the end of Q3 2018.
In addition, Altice USA continues its video QAM to IP transition on its cable network to enhance its video service delivery, and Altice One has been enabled for both QAM and IP video to support the transition.
The company’s focus with these network upgrades is on improving the quality of broadband Wi-Fi / video services and cost efficiencies as well as boosting speeds. As well as initially expanding the availability of 1 Gig broadband services, the upgraded coax network and new FTTH network will both be IP-based, which is optimal for multi-device service offerings and will be access network technology (fixed and wireless) agnostic in the way services are offered to consumers. Continuous user interface improvements will be possible, and the upgrades will enable CPE cost reductions, as well as additional network cost efficiencies.