Altice USA is moving forward with plans to push its fiber network to the edges of its traditional footprint, adding at an industry conference that it is on target to add about 150,000 homes this year and expects more to come.
Altice USA chief financial officer Michael Grau said at the virtual Credit Suisse Communication Conference Tuesday that most of the company’s edge-out program is concentrated in Texas, but other markets are expected to follow.
Other cable operators have been expanding their fiber footprint for years, with Comcast and Charter adding about 1 million homes passed to its territory each year over the past few years.
At the Credit Suisse conference, Grau said that Altice hasn’t done its budgeting for next year yet, but that a target of 175,000 to 200,000 additional homes via edge-out “probably makes sense in 2022.”
Currently, he said the edge-out efforts are heavily concentrated in Texas, particularly in the Dallas, North Austin and west Texas markets. Grau added Altice USA has systems in three of the top five markets for new household formation in the country, and that future edge-out efforts will focus on those areas, as well as in North Carolina, where in April it purchased Morris Broadband for about $310 million.
“There’s really ample opportunity between our different footprints to really accelerate new builds at very very attractive economics,” Grau said.
Altice USA also is working hard to upgrade its Suddenlink network. Grau said there are between 600,000 and 700,000 homes within its Suddenlink footprint that still offer speeds under 100 Megabits per second, some as low as 25 Mbps to 30 Mbps.
“Not coincidentally, customer penetration is significantly lower than what we’re seeing in the remainder of the western footprint,” Grau said, adding that the plan is to bring those areas back up to speed, estimating that Altice USA could upgrade about 300,000 of those homes this year.
Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.
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