While Altice USA expressed plans to compete head-on with Verizon with fiber-to-the-home services in the footprint it acquired from Cablevison, the telco giant doesn’t outwardly appear to be shaking in its boots.
“A fiber-to-the-home network? What a novel idea. I guess that’s why we started building ours back in 2003 and it’s now available to nearly 14 million homes and businesses,” an unnamed Verizon representative told the Wall Street Journal.
Earlier this week, Altice USA surprised the telecom industry, announcing plans to bypass the cable industry’s technology standard for delivering gigabit-speed broadband services, DOCSIS 3.1, and building out its already robust fiber infrastructure directly to homes. The plan, Altice said, would take around five years to complete. When it’s done, the European-based cable operator hopes to deliver internet download speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
Speaking to Multichannel News, SNL Kagan cable networking analyst Jeff Heynen said Altice is in a “unique” position to launch such an FTTH service, given the copious fiber underpinning the legacy Cablevision asset.
Such a deployment could cause problems for Verizon, which steadily sucked market share away from Cablevision over the last decade with its FiOS FTTH service.
Verizon’s focus remains on its video advertising business and its developing 5G wireless network.
But Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei said he believes FTTH is capable of heading off a broadband future dominated by 5G wireless networks.
“We know that there will be applications and demand for further bandwidth going forward, whether that is in two, three, four or five years,” Goei told WSJ.