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Suddenlink Unveiling New Unlimited Data Plan for Premium Customers April 1

Phillip Dampier March 31, 2016 Broadband "Shortage", Consumer News, Data Caps, Suddenlink 8 Comments

SuddenlinkLogo1-630x140Stop the Cap! has learned customer complaints about Suddenlink Communications’ data caps have made an impact, and the company is planning to rollout a new campaign starting April 1 allowing premium customers to get their unlimited data back, eventually at a price.

A source tells us residential customers will now qualify for unlimited if they subscribe to either of Suddenlink’s two fastest Internet plans in any respective market. In most areas, that means signing up for 100/10 or 200/20Mbps service. Where gigabit plans exist, customers will need to subscribe to either 200/20 or 1,000/50Mbps service.

DSL Comparison Chart 10.22.15_2Customers will need to call Suddenlink to sign up for the offer (we’ve reached out to the company to learn the details we will share if we receive them), which provides unlimited service free for the first year. In year two, unlimited will cost $5 extra a month and after the second year Suddenlink will charge customers $10 extra.

Suddenlink claims its Internet plans already come with “generous” allowances, but fails to disclose them upfront to customers. In fact, there is no apparent way for a prospective customer to learn what their usage cap is without calling in or waiting until after they sign up for service:

Quoted from Suddenlink's customer FAQ

Quoted from Suddenlink’s customer FAQ

Kent

Kent

As with every other Internet Service Provider implementing data caps, Suddenlink claims practically nobody is affected by them.

“The residential data we offer should be more than sufficient for the vast majority of our customers,” the company says. “The relatively few customers who desire more may wish to consider upgrading to a faster speed with a larger data plan, where available, or purchasing one or more supplemental data packages.”

But in November 2015, the outgoing CEO of Suddenlink Jerry Kent told Wall Street an entirely different story.

“Overage charges have become a significant revenue stream for us,” Kent said, noting usage cap overlimit fees were a major factor for the company’s 3.6% year over year growth in revenue, which reached $605.1 million.

Customers were given this explanation for Suddenlink’s decision to implement data caps:

“Data plans are one step among several that help us continue delivering a quality Internet experience for our customers. Other steps include the sizable investments we’ve made and continue making to provide greater downstream and upstream system capacity and more bandwidth per home. Even with those investments, a relatively few customers use a disproportionate amount of data, which can negatively affect the Internet experience of those who use far less. That’s why, as a complement to our network investments, we’ve established data plans.”

But Kent explained things back in 2010 somewhat differently to Wall Street and his investors:

“I think one of the things people don’t realize [relates to] the question of capital intensity and having to keep spending to keep up with capacity,” Kent said. “Those days are basically over, and you are seeing significant free cash flow generated from the cable operators as our capital expenditures continue to come down.”

Currently there are 8 comments on this Article:

  1. Chad says:

    I called into Suddenlink and they confirmed unlimited data for 100, 150, 200 and 1G starting April 1st. Unfortunately I live in an area that only offers 50Mbps and unlimited data would not be available. If you are going to offer unlimited data offer it for everyone don’t discriminate against your customer base.

  2. SL Tech says:

    You are still able to get unlimited data with 50 meg if it’s in the top two tiers of their speed available in your area according to SL management

    • Chad says:

      Customer Service said no when I called it was only available for 100, 150, 200, and 1G. We only have 50Mb as the top tier service and I told them that. They said it was not available here.

      • Chad says:

        Called Suddenlink this morning and the customer service rep said they spoke with their management and this service is only available in markets that offer 100Mbps or greater service.

        • Here is the formal press release. I’d try calling the number associated with it and see if there is a different answer from them:

          Suddenlink Introduces Unlimited Data Plans
          Reflecting Altice commitment to make new technologies accessible

          ST. LOUIS (April 1, 2016) — Suddenlink is introducing unlimited data plans for customers using its fastest high-speed Internet services. The new plans are available beginning April 1.

          The unlimited data plans are available to customers who subscribe to Internet services that, generally, are the two fastest services Suddenlink offers in any given community.

          While we continue to aggressively invest in our network to make 1 Gigabit (Gpbs) service available to the vast majority of our customers, in most cities we serve the top speeds currently offered are 100 and 150 Megabits per second (Mbps); 200 and 400 Mbps; or 200 Mbps and 1Gbps.

          New customers subscribing to these services and existing customers who elect to get an upgrade will automatically be enrolled in an unlimited plan at no extra charge the first year, an added $5 a month after 12 months, and an added $10 a month after 24 months. Customers currently subscribing to Suddenlink’s fastest local services may choose to retain their existing usage-based plans or upgrade to an unlimited plan.

          “The unlimited data plans are one new step toward making our high-speed broadband services widely available to customers while making a quality Internet experience possible over the many devices they use to consume the incredible variety of media now offered over the Internet,” said Co-President and Chief Operating Officer Hakim Boubazine. “As noted before, we are fully committed to moving full-speed ahead with our network investments for our Operation GigaSpeed project and to bring innovations, new technologies and faster Internet speeds to the U.S. market, and making them widely available and accessible to our customers.”

          Following its recent acquisition of Suddenlink, Altice USA reconfirmed its commitment to Operation GigaSpeed and earlier this year confirmed plans to have an up to 1 Gigabit service available by the end of 2016 in a total of more than 250 Suddenlink-served communities representing more than 60 percent of the company’s high-speed Internet customers. By year’s end, more than 70 percent of Internet customers should have access to speeds of 400 Mbps or greater.

          Existing customers can go online to suddenlink.com and click on “My Account” to order or upgrade service. Help also is available by calling Suddenlink toll-free at 888-822-5151.

          .# # #







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