Attorney General William Tong
Attorney General William Tong Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

Following nearly 500 consumer complaints over a five year period, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong is opening up an investigation into Altice Optimum’s Internet service, including slow speeds and hidden fees. 

Tong said consumers who contacted his office ran home speed tests and they discovered they were not receiving the 300 Mbps and 400 Mbps speeds. Tong’s office is also investigating a $3.50 “Network Enhancement Fee.” 

“Customers have a right to expect the service and internet speed they pay for. Our office has reviewed hundreds of complaints from Optimum cable internet customers regarding slow speeds, hidden fees, and poor customer support,” Tong said. “Our investigation seeks comprehensive records dating back to January 2017 to determine exactly what Altice Optimum knew and what they were doing to deliver the internet speeds and service they promised. If our investigation finds that Optimum violated Connecticut law, we will not hesitate to hold them accountable.”

Altice says it shares the state’s goal of ensuring residents and businesses receive “high-quality service and have a positive customer experience.” 

“That is why Altice has been investing across Connecticut, building and deploying a 100% Optimum Fiber broadband network that provides reliable infrastructure and symmetrical internet services to our communities and customers. Connecticut was one of the first areas where we launched multi-gigabit speeds earlier this year to meet the ever-growing broadband needs of our customers, and we also participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides free high-speed internet service. We are proud to serve our Connecticut communities and will cooperate with state officials to provide relevant information,” a company spokesman said in an emailed statement. 

The civil investigative demand sent Monday to Altice Optimum seeks detailed records of consumer complaints dating back to January 2017. The civil investigative demand further seeks records of how Altice Optimum marketed its internet speeds, any analysis or records regarding the speed and quality of internet they ultimately delivered, records showing Altice Optimum’s knowledge of various factors impacting the speed and quality of their internet service, records showing how Altice Optimum invested revenue from their “Network Enhancement Fee,” among other demands.

“Customers deserve the services they pay for, and these allegations indicate Altice Optimum has failed to deliver on its word for half a decade,” Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, and co-chair of the Energy & Technology Committee. “As the internet has become a vital part of everyday life, households relying on these services for employment, education and entertainment can experience significant harm if they lack reliable internet service. If Altice Optimum contributed to that harm, they should face the consequences. I look forward to the findings of the Attorney General’s investigation.”