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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.

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Optimum plans and promotional prices

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

Optimum TV price increase after 12 mos.: $10/mo.

Plan 1st year price 2nd year price Ongoing rate Channels
Basic TV $35.00/mo. $45.00/mo. $45.00/mo. 50+ View plan
Core TV $75.00/mo. $85.00/mo. $105.00/mo. 220+ View plan
Select TV $95.00/mo. $105.00/mo. $130.00/mo. 340+ View plan
Premier TV $115.00/mo. $125.00/mo. $155.00/mo. 420+ View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Optimum TV prices stay the same for one year, and then your bill will increase by $10 monthly. After two years, your service will change to Optimum’s ongoing rate.

The prices in the chart above show the current ongoing rate as of this publication, but the prices may be different when you reach your third year as an Optimum customer.

Optimum internet price increase after 24 mos.: $10/mo.

Plan 2-year price lock 3rd year price Download speeds
300 Mbps Internet $40.00/mo. $50.00/mo. 300 Mbps View plan
500 Mbps Internet $60.00/mo. $70.00/mo. 500 Mbps View plan
1 Gig Fiber Internet $70.00/mo. $80.00/mo. 940 Mbps View plan
2 Gig Fiber Internet $100.00/mo. $110.00/mo. 2,000 Mbps View plan
5 Gig Fiber Internet $165.00/mo. $175.00/mo. 5,000 Mbps View plan

Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Wired connection speeds. Wi-Fi speeds may vary.

Optimum internet prices stay the same for two years. In your third year, prices increase by $10 per month. If you stick with Optimum for four years, you’ll be moved to Optimum’s ongoing rate.

Optimum will confirm your new regular price on your 24th monthly bill, so we’d recommend setting a reminder for when your Optimum service hits the 24-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).

Optimum TV hidden costs

Fee Amount
TV broadcast fee $9.99/mo.
Regional sports network fee $10.47/mo.
Cloud DVR $9.99–$21.99/mo.
Optimum One $20.00/mo.
Optimum TV Box $10.00/mo.
Standard cable TV box $11.00/mo.
Standard DVR $12.95/mo.
MAX $15.99/mo.
Paramount+ with SHOWTIME®/CINEMAX® $11.95/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. But most of Basic TV’s channels are available for free over-the-air—if you only need local channels, just buy a digital antenna for a onetime charge of $50 instead.

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 TV equipment fees: $10.00–$20.00/mo.

You’ll have several Optimum TV hardware options depending on your exact TV package and location. Some areas offer the Optimum One—a combo DVR, Wi-Fi router, and internet modem that costs $20.00 per month.

However, the Optimum One is on its way out. More areas offer the Optimum TV Box for $10.00 per month. The Optimum TV Box doesn’t include a modem/router (you’ll get the Optimum Gateway 6 for an additional $10.00 monthly if you’re on an internet plan).

You might also get a standard TV receiver with no DVR for $11.00 or $12.95 monthly. But we’ve only seen these prices on rate cards, not for new customers at checkout. If you’re an Optimum customer with one of these pricier options, call Optimum customer service about upgrading your TV equipment to the more affordable Optimum TV Box.

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

Mas (formerly HBO Max) costs $15.99 per month, while Paramount+ with 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.

Optimum internet hidden costs

Fee Amount
Optimum Wi-Fi router/modem rental Free or $10.00/mo.
Optimum Wi-Fi extender rental Free or $3.00/mo.
Network Enhancement Fee $3.50/mo.

Optimum equipment fee: $10.00/mo.

Optimum currently offers its gateway for free for new customers. But if you don’t score this deal, you’ll pay $10.00 per month to rent a combo modem/Wi-Fi router 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.

And if your plan qualifies for it, you can also get a free Wi-Fi extender to help cover Wi-Fi dead spots in your home. If you want to rent more, they’re $3 monthly per device.

Looking for your own router or modem?

If you’re wary of Optimum’s equipment, we can help you find an alternative modem for Optimum cable internet. And check out our Wi-Fi router and cable modem guides to see more 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.

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

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

Your standard Optimum installation will cost $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.

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.

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.

Optimum hidden costs FAQ

What is the cheapest Optimum package?

The cheapest Optimum TV package is Basic TV, which includes 50 channels for $35.00 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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