Altice USA one-ups Verizon Fios with 5-gig Optimum internet offer

Altice USA took the multi-gig fight into Verizon Fios territory in New York, launching a new symmetrical 2-gig service to match its rival’s top-tier offer and going even further with a new 5-gig option. Dexter Goei, Altice USA’s CEO, said he expects the move will allow it to gain the upper hand against Verizon, at least until the latter upgrades its own network.

Speaking at a MoffettNathanson investor conference, Goei said the new service tiers will be available to Optimum fiber customers in eastern Long Island from the second half of June. Coverage in the western half of Long Island and the rest of the company’s tri-state footprint in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut is expected to follow, and by the end of the year Goei said 2.5 million to 3 million homes will be able to tap into its multi-gig speed tiers.

The 2-gig service will be priced at $120 per month while the 5-gig offer will run $180 per month.

“We think we potentially have a nice upper hand here for the next couple of years as we launch multi-gig and really start delivering a lot more homes passed on the fiber network,” Goei said. “It’s going to take them [Verizon] time to upgrade themselves to a true multi-gig experience and upgrade their network. So, I think we’re going to have a little bit of a time advantage there.”

The move comes three months after Verizon Fios launched a 2-gig service tier in the Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island areas of New York City. Like Altice’s offer, Verizon’s 2-gig plan runs $120 per month. When it rolled the service out in February, Verizon said it planned to expand the service to additional Fios markets later in 2022 and would eventually make it available to all Fios customers.

Altice has been looking to shore up its business in areas where it competes with Fios, outlining plans to prioritize fiber deployments in Verizon territories as it works to cover a total of 6.5 million locations with the technology by the end of 2025. In 2022 it is aiming to deliver 1.1 million new fiber passings in its Optimum footprint, with another 1 million set for 2023.

During the investor conference, Goei said he expects Altice to have around 200,000 subscribers on fiber by the end of 2022. That figure “meaningfully ramps in 2023” to reach somewhere around 500,000, he added. As more customers switch to fiber, the impacts of the transition will become more apparent in the operator’s operating expenditures and revenue, Goei said.