By Anne Morris UBB2020
Altice USA seems to have decided that DOCSIS 3.1 is not the preferred technology next step for its recently acquired US cable networks, and has announced plans to deploy a full-scale fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network from 2017-2022 instead.
On Wednesday, the fourth-largest US cable company unveiled an FTTH network investment plan called “Generation Gigaspeed” with the goal of delivering broadband speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s across its footprint, staking its claim as “the first major US cable provider to announce a large-scale fiber deployment plan for its footprint.”
Altice USA acquired Cablevision Systems and Suddenlink Communications over the past year and now has a footprint of 7.985 million premises on the basis of homes passed. The company said it expects to cover the entire Cablevision Optimum footprint and most of the Suddenlink footprint during the five-year deployment schedule, and will announce initial rollout markets in the coming months.
The big questions, however, are what kind of fiber deployment is Altice planning, and what would the level of investment be? Altice has just invested billions in accumulating these cable assets and is already having to actively manage debt on its balance sheet.
As things stand, Altice is staying quiet on capex needs and said it is not “breaking out” the level of investment required. The company added that it expects “to reinvest efficiency savings to support the buildout without a material change in our overall capital budget.”