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Cablevision Raises 'Flagship' Internet Tier Speed

Cablevision Systems said it has increased the max downstream speed of its “core” Optimum Online high-speed Internet tier from 15 Mbps to 25 Mbps, a move that also happens to puts it in line with the FCC’s new definition of broadband.

The downstream speed boost for the flagship tier, which starts at $39.99 per month as a standalone offering, is being provided to new and existing residential and business customers at no incremental cost, said Cablevision, an MSO that has been styling itself as a “connectivity” company. 

Of recent note, Cablevision CEO James Dolan told an investor conference that the MSO’s data service outperforms video by a 7-to-1 margin, and that operators much be ready to shift their business approach as high-speed Internet customers surpass video subs. Cablevision has been backing that up by introducing new packages tailored for cord-cutters, becoming the first MVPD distribution partner for the new HBO Now standalone OTT service, agreeing to offer Hulu, expanding its WiFi network to 1.1 million hotspots (via a mix of access points in public locations and in home-side routers), and launching Freewheel, a WiFi-only phone service.

Cablevision is also a member of Open Connect, Netflix’s private CDN, and ranks near the top of the OTT provider’s monthly ISP Speed Index.

“We are taking the next step as New York’s premier connectivity company to provide a better, faster data experience both inside and outside the home at no additional cost,” Kristin Dolan, chief operating officer of Cablevision, said in a statement about the speed bump. “This speed increase, along with Optimum WiFi, provides a superior broadband experience to meet and exceed the needs of our customers.”

Cablevision, which tangles with Verizon FiOS, also offers cable modem tiers that provide downstream speeds of up to 50 Mbps, 75 Mbps, and 101 Mbps.

In January, the FCC raised the definition of broadband to 4 Mbps downstream/1Mbps  up, to 25/3.