Hidden Costs of Optimum

We’ve done the research into the charges, hidden fees, and monthly costs that go into your Optimum internet or TV bill.

Optimum has its share of deals to attract customers, but you might be shocked when your bill is more than your plan’s sticker price. Optimum isn’t among the worst service providers when it comes to hidden fees, but it’s not afraid to slip in charges that our top TV and internet providers generally avoid.

Let’s break down hidden fees that are behind your Optimum TV or internet service, so you’ll know what exactly you’re paying for on every bill.

Optimum TV hidden costs

Fee Amount
Broadcast fees $20.46/mo.
Cloud DVR $9.99–$21.99/mo.
Altice One $20.00/mo.
Altice One Mini $10.00/mo.
Standard cable TV box $11.00/mo.
Standard DVR $12.95/mo.
HBO® MAX $14.99/mo.
Other premium cable/on-demand services $4.95–$29.99/mo.

Optimum TV broadcast fees: $20.46/mo.

As with nearly every TV provider, Optimum has to pay fees to TV networks. Unfortunately, they offload some of those costs onto you.

For TV subscribers, Optimum has two mandatory charges: a $9.99 TV broadcast fee and a $10.47 regional sports network fee. The only way you can avoid these fees is by downgrading to the Optimum 300 and Basic TV bundle, which has a limited lineup of 50 local channels. Most of Basic TV’s channels are available for free with an antenna or public access networks.

Optimum TV Cloud DVR fees: $9.99–$21.99/mo.

If you want to rewatch shows or rewind live TV, you can spring for Optimum’s Cloud DVR service.

Optimum’s Cloud DVR comes in three storage tiers:

  • $9.99/mo. for 25 hours of cloud storage
  • $17.99/mo. for 75 hours of storage
  • $21.99/mo. for 150 hours of storage

Optimum Altice One fees: $10.00–$20.00/mo.

Depending on your exact TV package and location, you’ll have several Optimum TV hardware options. The Altice One is a combo DVR, Wi-Fi router, and internet modem that costs $20.00 per month, while the Altice One Mini is a standalone TV and streaming device that costs $10.00 per month.

Optimum TV equipment fees: $11.00–$12.95/mo.

If you’re just getting TV service from Optimum, your only hardware option will be a standard TV receiver that doesn’t have the Altice One’s bells and whistles. If the Altice One isn’t available in your area, you can get a cable TV box with a built-in DVR for $12.95 per month.

Optimum TV premium cable fees: $4.95–$29.99/mo.

HBO MAX costs $14.99 per month, while SHOWTIME and CINEMAX cost $11.95 per month. You can also add on-demand subscriptions from other anime and specialty networks for between $4.95 and $29.99 per month.

Best Optimum TV bundle

Optimum 1 Gig and Premier TV ($194.99 a month) has a massive 420-channel lineup that includes premium cable channels like HBO MAX and SHOWTIME, plus up to 940 Mbps download speeds. If that’s more than you need, you can read about other options in our Optimum bundles review.

View Optimum Bundles

Optimum internet hidden costs

Fee Amount
Optimum Wi-Fi router/modem rental $10.00/mo.
Network Enhancement Fee $3.50/mo.

Optimum equipment fee: $10.00/mo.

With Optimum internet plans, you can rent a combo modem/Wi-Fi router for $10.00 per month from the internet provider. We normally recommend purchasing your own cable modem and Wi-Fi router to save on rental fees, but Optimum’s internet gateway can be useful if you don’t want to handle your own internet troubleshooting.

Looking for your own router or modem?

Check out our Wi-Fi router and cable modem guides to see our hardware picks.

Optimum Network Enhancement Fee: $3.50/mo.

According to Optimum, the Network Enhancement Fee helps the ISP invest in its network infrastructure. In practice? The mandatory fee is basically a hidden price hike that’s an inconvenient (but small) eyesore on your monthly bill.

Best Optimum internet package

The Optimum 300 plan offers excellent maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps and maximum upload speed of 35 Mbps at just $40.00 per month for the first year.

View Optimum internet plans

Optimum general fees

Fee Amount
Late payment $10.00
Installation $99.00–$149.99
Restore service $10.00 for up to two devices, $15.00 for three devices
End of promotion period increase Varies

Optimum late payment fee: $10.00

If you miss a bill, you’ll be hit with a one-time $10.00 fee. Check out our Optimum customer service guide to learn more ways to pay your Optimum bill.

Optimum installation fee: $99.00–$149.99

On a standard Optimum installation, you’ll just be paying $99.00 for a technician to set up your TV or internet service. But if you upgrade to a premium installation for $149.99, your technician will install outlets, take care of your Wi-Fi setup, and hard-wire devices for you.

If you don’t feel like paying these fees, you can get a free self-installation kit by calling Optimum customer service. Depending on your location and TV or internet package, Optimum may also offer deals that waive your standard professional installation fee.

Optimum restore service fee: $10.00–$15.00

If you miss a bill and Optimum flips your service off, it’ll cost extra to switch it back on once you pay off your balance.

The exact fee amount depends on if you have Optimum TV, internet, or phone services. If you’re reconnecting one to two services, you’ll pay a $10.00 fee. If you’re reconnecting all three services, Optimum increases the fee to $15.00.

Optimum post-promotional price increase: varies

Optimum doesn’t have headaches like contracts or early termination fees, but the provider’s TV and internet plans still have scheduled price increases that drive us crazy.

After one year, your Optimum internet or TV price will increase to the plan’s new price. But what’s the new price? Well, these updated prices aren’t publicly available, since they depend on your Optimum package and Optimum’s future price plans. In early 2020, Optimum raised its prices between $14.50 and $30 per month.

Optimum will confirm your new regular price on your 12th monthly bill, so we’d recommend setting a reminder for when your Optimum service hits the 12-month mark. That way, you can make sure you’re okay with your new monthly price (or you can start searching for a new provider).

Final take

Optimum has its share of hidden fees, but you can dodge some of the biggest ones if you’re willing to do the legwork.

As a rule of thumb, we’d recommend buying your own equipment whenever you can to avoid rental fees. You can also avoid Optimum’s broadcast fees if you downgrade to the Basic TV local channel lineup, which is available only in an internet bundle.

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Optimum hidden costs FAQ

What is the cheapest Optimum package?

The cheapest Optimum TV package is Core TV, which includes 210 channels for $75.00 per month. The cheapest Optimum internet package is Optimum 300, which costs $40.00 per month for 300 Mbps maximum download speeds.

Can you negotiate with Optimum?

You can call Optimum at +1-866-218-3259 to try and lower your bill by saying you’ll hop to competitors like Verizon Fios, but your odds of success depend on everything from your neighborhood to the agent you’re talking with.

Check out our customer service negotiation guide for tips when you’re haggling with Optimum.

How do I get Optimum to lower my bill?

The best way to lower your Optimum bill is by calling Optimum customer service at +1-866-218-3259 and negotiate with the retention department.

You can also downgrade your internet or TV service package to lower your monthly bill.

What is Optimum Online’s fee?

Optimum’s main internet fee is the Network Enhancement Fee, which adds $3.50 to your monthly bill.

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