Optimum Rolls Out Plans for 10 Gbps Fiber Internet Connectivity in the U.S.

10gbps fiber internet from Altice USA for Optimum and Suddenlink customers

The race for super-fast fiber internet is once again rearing to take off, with Optimum’s parent company Altice USA announcing its plans to roll out a fiber network capable of 10Gbps internet speeds.

Altice USA owns and operates Optimum, Suddenlink and Lightpath. It is currently the fourth largest cable provider in the United States. Dubbed “Generation Gigaspeed”, the project has just been announced (pdf) by Altice.

Using proprietary technologies developed by Altice Labs, the company intends to extend its hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network even deeper with fiber networks. The company claims to be the “first major U.S. cable provider to announce a large-scale fiber deployment plan”, not surprising because everyone else is limiting themselves to specific states and regions. And that includes big players like AT&T, Comcast and even Google Fiber.

Though no geographical roll-out strategy has been revealed, the plan itself is a five-year-long project that will see “all” Optimum customers and “most” Suddenlink customers get speeds of up to 10Gbps. It’s not clear at this point whether the company will straight away provide full speeds to early users when the project starts rolling out in 2017, but the assumption right now is that they will provide higher-than-normal speeds and eventually ramp up as their capability increases.

Interestingly, Altice hasn’t allocated any capital budget for the fiber internet roll-out, saying that it will use “efficiency savings” to reinvest into the project. That’s definitely a change from what we saw with Google Fiber. One of the reasons the unit was culled down was because of the capital-intensive nature of the fiber internet industry that it was trying to penetrate. As such, it will be an interesting case study if Altice is, in fact, able to use savings to fund the fiber network rollout.

But it must be noted that this is not just a wild guesstimate. Altice is no novice to fiber connectivity, and is already on track to roll out to 22 million homes in France by 2022. The U.S. project is, of course, a much bigger one, but Altice is already proving its ability to handle large deployments of fiber technology for internet delivery. It currently serves 4.6 million customers in 20 states in the U.S. with digital cable television, high-speed Internet, voice, WiFi and advertising services through its three brands.

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