Altice USA (NYSE:ATUS) is rolling along at speed with its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network deployment. Construction has begun on several thousand homes in areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The company says it is on track to construct 1 million in 2018.
Michel Combes, CEO of Altice, and Dexter Goei, chairman and CEO of Altice USA, speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference, reiterated that the plan is to have 100% of the company's footprint in the United States upgraded to fiber by 2025. Rolling out fiber en masse brings a better price point and the opportunity for a cohesive rollout and installation, they said, adding that once the project is complete Altice also will have an edge in terms of cost.
"Once we are fiberized, total cost of ownership must be lower," Combes said. "You will see us in coming years prioritizing investment in fiber."
In the meantime, Altice continues rolling out enhanced DOCSIS-based services. For example, 60% of Suddenlink's footprint - including, most recently, seven cities in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma - now has access to gigabit broadband based on DOCSIS 3.0. Customers in the Optimum footprint also have seen speed increases - up to 400 Mbps for residential customers and 450 Mbps for business customers.
Goei said the actions Altice is taking are to improve the entire customer experience and to eliminate the "misnomer" that people enjoy calling in to call centers or having technicians come into their homes.
"If you improve the network, (you) improve the quality of experience, reduce the number of calls and reduce the amount of intervention," Goei said.
Altice USA has been in the news quite a bit recently. For example, the company launched an Economy Internet low-cost broadband service in its Optimum and Suddenlink footprints. This service, for eligible families and senior citizens, will cost $14.99 per month and will provide downstream speeds of up to 30 Mbps.
The company also has introduced its proprietary Altice Advanced Business Communications (ABC) Hosted Voice Platform to power a cloud-based hosted voice product for small and medium-sized businesses. Altice serves 375,000 businesses in 21 states. Its network includes more than 14,000 fiber-lit locations, 8,000 of which are in the New York metro area. Globally, the ABC Hosted Voice platform supports 2 million end users.
Altice USA also extended its partnership with Amdocs. The two companies have entered into a multi-year agreement for key business and operational support systems. Altice says this will facilitate the migration to a single Altice USA platform.