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Altice USA cuts some jobs, adds others, preps new products

Going Sign Company's Galo Sierra places the lettering

Going Sign Company's Galo Sierra places the lettering of the new Altice name in the executive area at the former Cablevision Headquarters in Bethpage, Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Altice USA has cut jobs in some departments and is adding them in others as it prepares to offer new products in the coming months, including faster internet speeds and Wi-Fi improvements, the company confirmed.

Altice USA has been integrating the operations of Cablevision Systems Corp. and Suddenlink Communications since its parent, Altice N.V. of the Netherlands, completed a $17.7 billion purchase of Bethpage-based Cablevision on June 21. Altice USA was formed as a result of the deal, and it owns 25 percent of Newsday Media Group.

Altice USA confirmed this week that it had laid off about 100 workers, primarily at the Bethpage headquarters in information technology, human resources, accounting and other corporate departments.

The company has promised not to lay off customer service representatives and service technicians for four years as part of an agreement with New York State regulators.

Altice USA spokeswoman Lisa Anselmo said this week that recent job cuts represent “less than 1 percent” of the company’s workforce in the metropolitan area.

Altice USA has 17,000 workers across the country including 13,000 from the acquisition of Cablevision. The company said the size of the Cablevision workforce hadn’t changed significantly.

Altice USA said the laid-off employees will receive severance payments and outplacement services.

The company also is hiring. It said it added 49 workers to its nationwide payroll last week.

An Altice USA website this week listed 100 job openings in the metropolitan area in sales, construction, operations, television journalism and other departments. Forty of the openings are on Long Island.

Anselmo said, “We understand that in order to deliver exceptional service, we need to have strong, talented employees, and we’re focused on creating a culture where our employees are inspired to serve our customers.”

She also said Altice USA customers would see “in coming months … changes in our service offerings, including speed increases, new products and a superior service experience.”

A month ago, Altice USA executives said they wanted to introduce an “all-in-one home center” that integrates set-top boxes, routers and Wi-Fi modems into one device.

They also said they would roll out an internet service for low-income customers and a customer interface that eases use of video on demand, online content and advanced navigation.

Separately this week, Altice USA confirmed plans to shut down Freewheel, a Wi-Fi-only phone service begun by Cablevision in February 2015.

“As we look to strengthen our operations in the nation’s most competitive market, Altice USA is committed to building a customer-centric organization focused on the evolving needs and demands of our Optimum … customers,” Anselmo said, referring to the New York area.

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