California upgrades Altice's fiber, but the favor isn't returned

28 August 2017 by Steve Blum
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California didn’t make the cut for Altice’s fiber to the home upgrades, but it has upgraded one town here to gigabit-level cable modem service. In a press release praising its own FTTH ambitions, Altice was careful to point out that only three contiguous northeastern states are on its fiber list. States which also happen to be where it faces competition from Verizon’s FiOS FTTH service…

Design and construction have commenced for several hundred thousand homes concurrently in areas of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


Economics of fiber favors rural cable upgrades

28 July 2017 by Steve Blum
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If your local cable system is in bad shape, you might be in luck. According to an analysis done by Daniel Frankel at FierceCable, the economics of upgrading cable systems that were last upgraded (or not) in the 1990s to the next generation of service favors replacing coaxial cable with a full fiber to the home build. That explains some or all of the reasoning behind Altice’s decision to convert some of the Suddenlink and Cablevision systems it acquired to FTTH.… More

Suddenlink FTTH push might not reach California

1 December 2016 by Steve Blum
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Most of Suddenlink is somewhere other than California.

Altice, the fourth largest cable operator in the U.S., plans to leapfrog DOCSIS 3.1 coaxial cable upgrades and go straight to fiber. At least in some of the markets it serves. Yesterday, the company announced its intention to build “a next-generation fiber-to-the-home network capable of delivering broadband speeds of up to 10 Gbps across its footprint”. Sorta. It qualified that promise by saying it “expects to reach all of its Optimum footprint and most of its Suddenlink footprint” within five years.… More

Update: FCC okays Altice takeover of Suddenlink

18 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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The Federal Communications Commission agreed with the California Public Utilities Commission today and approved Altice’s purchase of a controlling interest in Suddenlink. Altice is a major European telecoms company and Suddenlink is its first acquisition of a U.S. cable company. Except for provisions regarding law enforcement and spy agency access to Suddenlink’s network, the FCC imposed no conditions on the deal.

CPUC okays sale of Suddenlink to Altice

18 December 2015 by Steve Blum
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Not a big footprint in California.

UPDATE: the day after the CPUC approved the deal, the FCC did likewise, adding a condition requiring Altice to guarantee law enforcement and spy agency access to its network.

Altice has permission to take over control of Suddenlink’s cable systems in California. Without discussion, the California Public Utilities Commission approved the transaction at its meeting on Thursday. According to the decision

The proposed acquisition occurs entirely at the parent ownership level and the Applicants indicate that the transaction will be “seamless and transparent to consumers in terms of current services, rates, terms and conditions.”17


Suddenlink buyout could mean more fiber, less service

21 September 2015 by Steve Blum
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Would you like pommes frites with that?

Keep prices U.S. high and expenses European low. That’s the plan that Altice has for Suddenlink and Cablevision, if its allowed to buy the two broadband companies. At a New York conference last week, Altice chairman Patrick Drahi said he likes Cablevision’s average monthly revenue per subscriber – $159 – but not its cost structure, which includes hundreds of executives making more than $300,000 a year and ageing infrastructure that’s costly to maintain.… More

U.S. cable industry's rush to consolidate continues

18 September 2015 by Steve Blum
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How the game is played.

Altice SA announced an agreement to buy Cablevision for $17.7 billion and assumption of existing debt yesterday. That follows Altice’s ongoing bid to buy a controlling stake in Suddenlink. If both deals are approved and Charter is allowed to take over Time Warner and Bright House, then Altice would become the fourth largest cable company in the U.S., and the seventh largest pay TV company overall, with about 4 million subscribers.… More

Cable operators see broadband pulling away from video

5 August 2015 by Steve Blum
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Click for more.

Charter Communications is gaining broadband subscribers, while Suddenlink is losing them. Both companies are shedding television customers, although Suddenlink is dropping them at a much faster rate. That’s the top line from the companies’ financial reports for the second quarter of this year.

On the whole, Charter reported a net gain, with pickups in broadband and voice accounts more than compensating for the declining video subscription numbers. It ended the quarter with about 5 million broadband and 4.1 million televisions subs, a gain of 70,000 and a loss of 33,000 respectively.… More

Suddenlink tries to avoid going down the same regulatory review path as Comcast

26 June 2015 by Steve Blum
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Click for the full picture.

The purchase of Suddenlink Communications – the seventh largest cable operator in the U.S. and a significant video and Internet service provider in rural California – by a European company, Altice, is officially under review by the California Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

As is typical with the initial applications, the companies are claiming there’s not much to worry about and approval should be quick and simple.… More

Another day, another cable deal in California

21 May 2015 by Steve Blum
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Click for a list of communities in California and elsewhere, and a bigger map.

Altice, a European cable company with roots in France and headquarters in business-friendly Luxembourg, is buying 70% of Suddenlink for $9.1 billion. The announcement follows news that Charter is still intent on acquiring Bright House Networks.

Both Charter and Altice are considered possible candidates to buy Time-Warner, which would be a much bigger play than either Suddenlink or Bright House.… More