Altice USA sets Suddenlink rebrand in motion

Altice USA has been talking about rebranding its Suddenlink footprint for a while now, but it seems the company is finally putting its plan to transition to the Optimum name in motion. The operator announced the change in an open letter to customers this week, in which it said it was seeking to reconnect and form a better relationship with its users.

Rather than flipping the switch overnight, it seems Altice USA is taking a gradual approach to the rebrand. An FAQ page on the Suddenlink website indicates the new Optimum branding will be introduced “bit by bit” in Altice’s advertising, retail stores and other materials. The transformation is expected to be complete by the end of the year, when the Suddenlink name will be retired.

“Though keeping you connected to what you love has always been our number one goal, we understand that at Suddenlink, we haven’t always gotten it right,” the FAQ page states. “In taking important steps to do better by you, we’re excited to announce that Suddenlink is becoming Optimum.”

During a recent earnings call, Altice USA CFO Mike Grau said it expected to incur around $30 million in one-off expenses in 2022 related to the rebranding.

Altice USA originally laid plans to eliminate the Suddenlink brand back in May 2017, but that move was put on hold when the company was subsequently spun off from its European parent Altice NV in January 2018.

Recently, though, the operator has reignited efforts to unite its different products and footprints under the Optimum moniker. It rebranded its Altice Mobile wireless MVNO service as Optimum Mobile in July of last year ahead of an expected ramp in marketing activity later this year.

The Suddenlink transition comes as Altice USA gets to work on a plan to overbuild much of its existing cable footprint with fiber, including 2.5 million locations in its Suddenlink territory. The operator is aiming to upgrade around 200,000 Suddenlink locations in 2022 with an initial focus on the cities of Abilene, Tyler, Amarillo, Bryan, College Station, Lubbock and San Angelo, Texas. According to the FAQ page, Optimum-branded fiber service is expected to become available to the first upgrade customers “starting in late 2022.”

By the end of 2025, Altice USA expects to pass around 1 million homes in Texas with fiber and another 1.5 million Suddenlink locations across Arizona, California, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma and West Virginia.