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Altice USA shed 31K broadband subs, fiber base reaches 295,000


Altice USA continued to lose broadband customers in the third quarter, though executives noted the losses improved from the year-ago quarter. It also touted a record quarter for fiber net additions and an increase in multi-gig availability.


Broadband net losses were 31,000, compared to 43,000 in Q3 2022. CEO Dennis Mathew said Q3 marked the second quarter in a row with “improved” year on year broadband net adds.


“The progress demonstrates that we are competing better in our markets,” he said on the earnings call. “And we are particularly pleased that we are seeing our win share improve against many competitors across our footprint.”


Total broadband subscribers – including both residential and business customers – reached 4.7 million.


Altice added 45,000 fiber customers in the quarter, increasing from 31,000 net fiber adds in the year-ago period. Its overall fiber subscriber count is now 295,000.


On the expansion front, Altice added 61,000 fiber passings, bringing its total to 2.7 million. It’s reached 561,000 fiber passings year to date, as it aims to hit 600,000 new locations by the end of 2023.


The company last quarter reduced its year-end passings target from 900,000 to 600,000, announcing it will temporarily slow down fiber construction as it conducts an internal investigation related to a corruption probe in Altice Portugal.


That investigation is “substantially complete,” said CFO Marc Sirota.


“The investigation and its results are not expected to have a material financial impact on our business,” he said, adding Altice is “redesigning many of [its] processes and procedures relating to vendor onboarding performance and monitor.”


Altice in the quarter progressed in its 8-gig rollout, as the tier is now available to all fiber passings in the Optimum East footprint, which encompasses the New York tri-state area. Nearly half (47%) of the Optimum East territory had access to multi-gig speeds at the end of Q3, the company noted.


Altice also touted multi-gig growth within its broadband base. Around 23% of residential customers currently take 1-gig or higher speeds. The sell-in rate for new customers taking those higher speed plans was 46% in Q3.


Starting next year, Altice plans to introduce new rate cards for both fiber and HFC customers – a move Mathew said is “a more transparent approach to promo roll-off and a speed gifting program that will bring faster speeds to customers.”


With the new rate cards, Altice will “simplify [its] speed tier structure.” To that end, Mathew said the company will begin to “retire low-end speed tiers in various communities across our network,” though he didn’t elaborate on the details.

Metrics

Consolidated revenue of $2.32 billion was down 3% year on year, with residential revenue dipping 3.4% due to a loss of higher ARPU video customers. Business Services revenue growth was flat (0.1%) YoY, while the News and Advertising unit posted a revenue decline of 11%, when including political revenue.


Net income attributable to Altice shareholders was $67 million, down from $85 million in Q3 2022.

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