The basic Optimum Online service offering provides 15 Mbit/s downstream and 2 Mbit/s upstream (as of June 2006, previously 10/1) Internet connection speed. Subscription costs $44–49 monthly. The service is provisioned with a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem.
Optimum Online Boost service increases the allowed bandwidth usage to 30 Mbit/s downstream and 5 Mbit/s upstream (increased from 30/2) phased in Fall 2006. Cost is an additional $14.95/month, or $9.95/month for Optimum Voice subscribers. (Currently there are reports of upwards of 30Mbit/s. Reports up to 33Mbit/s are becoming widespread.)
Optimum Online Ultra was introduced in May 2009, boasting bandwidth limits of up to 101 Mbit/s downstream and 15 Mbit/s upstream for $99.95/month.($50/month more for current Optimum Boost members with Optimum Voice) At launch time, it is the highest bandwidth Internet access service for the residential and small business market in the US. Ultra utilizes the new DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem standard.
Optimum Online Static IP service adds dedicated IP addresses to an Internet access plan. It consists of a routed /29 CIDR IP subnet (8 IP addresses) providing 5 available IP addresses for host computers or customer premise routers. The subnet is provisioned with Cisco 800 series routers which are locked by the service and cannot be customized. Static IP service includes configuration options via Optimum Online's account web interface for reverse Domain Name System (DNS) resolution of the IP addresses to customer provided domain names. The customer's domain names must resolve to the corresponding IP addresses when configured via the web interface. A set of port numbers for SMTP (25), HTTP (80 and 8080), and common proxy ports (1080, 3128, 6588) is automatically blocked from external access to the subnet, but may be individually enabled in the web interface. The cost for this service is $24.95/month.
Optimum Online provides free wireless Internet access to its subscribers through a network of WiFi access points located in public areas, such as train stations, shopping centers, school neighborhoods, sports fields, parks, business districts, and other areas.
Cablevision also owns Lightpath, a company with an optical fiber network providing service to the New York metro area. It competes and presents itself as being an equal but cheaper alternative to T1, T3, Frame Relay, dedicated fiber, and leased line products based on time-division multiplexing, governed by service level agreement and offered by incumbent phone companies. Lightpath sells Metro Ethernet based dedicated Internet access, multi/single point to multi/single point Layer 2 metropolitan LAN connections, and voice services. Cablevision Lightpath has an extensive peering network with Points of Presence in Newark, New Jersey; New York City; Ashburn, Virginia; Los Angeles, California; and Chicago, Illinois, although the service is only available in the NYC metropolitan area (NY, NJ, and CT). Lightpath is a carrier grade service with a 99.99% uptime service level agreement, and dedicated/guaranteed bandwidth, it should not be confused with the HFC-based Optimum Online service which is best effort and has no guarantees about its performance or reliability or uptime.
In the past, Optimum Online imposed bandwidth caps on its users. Users reported that after an undefined period of continuous upload usage, they have been capped from 2 megabits upstream to 150 kilobits upstream, a 92.5% decrease in upstream bandwidth. There is no information available to the consumer about OOL's capping policy. Getting uncapped is an often lengthy process, requiring OOL representatives to call a customer back at their house. The criteria for getting capped seems to differ from customer to customer. Cablevision claims that the decision is based on the CPU *utilization* of their gateway servers, and they cannot give a customer any parameters with which they can avoid capping. They claim to offer only "burst upload service". Discussions by capped OOL customers have concluded that any sustained usage of upload bandwidth (between 5 to 24 hours) will eventually result in a bandwidth cap. Users would not be able to use BitTorrent, FTP, or any server application without eventually getting capped. This can be avoided by setting a max upload speed of 10-15kB/s, for BitTorrent users this effectively means you can seed, but only by a very limited amount (and stopping the torrent after finishing). You could indefinitely seed a torrent at 10kB/s and never get capped. This would essentially exclude an Optimum Online customer from utilizing video conferencing or anything else that would be sending large amounts of data over a "high speed" connection that the customer is already paying for. Cablevision states that this is in accordance to a clause in their user agreement, where they may "use whatever means necessary to ensure the security and stability of their network". The upload capping seems to affect nodes that are crowded, as some users have never experienced an upload cap despite the fact they upload at max constantly.
Capping reduced a user's bandwidth from 15Mbit/s–2 Mbit/s (1920 kB/s–256 kB/s) to around 4.5 Mbit/s–140 kbit/s (576 kB/s–17 kB/s). The impact of the download speed reduction is caused by there not being enough upload bandwidth to send the amount of TCP acknowledgment packets needed to sustain a 15Mbit/s download, a limitation of TCP, the reduction in download speed is not caused by a cap in the cable modem profile like the reduction in upload speed, but a side effect of TCP not having enough upload bandwidth because of the upload cap. After being throttled, there is no notification by Optimum Online other than reduced bandwidth performance. The customer must call Optimum Online to find out what has happened. Only then does Optimum Online inform the customer of the cap and tells its customers that after the fourth incident of throttling, your service will be terminated permanently. However, some users have called and Optimum Online customer service representatives have claimed that capping does not exist except for those users running servers, and when they check your account, claim that the user has in fact not been capped. OOL users can download large quantities of data without being capped.
Cablevision has also stated that Optimum Online Boost members can also be capped, which many have claimed as odd because they advertise the service as allowing members to run a server on their connection. Capping of members on Optimum Online Boost is extremely rare compared to customers on the standard plan (15Mbit/s-2Mbit/s). It is suggested by online user communities and occasionally by Cablevision service representatives, for users who are capped on the standard plan to upgrade to the more expensive Boost plan to get uncapped, and to prevent/reduce the risk of future cappings. Under-the-hood, the Boost plan uses a separate pool of bandwidth from the standard plan, which may explain why it would be treated differently.
Cablevision, which also offers Business Class connections, which have identical speed tiers, prices and nearly identical feature sets, caps them in exactly the same way as residential accounts. All of the above applies to Business Class connections. Cablevision Business Class should not be confused with the business targeted Metro Ethernet/Fiber based Cablevision Lightpath service. It is much more expensive and is a dedicated connection with a service level agreement.
"In addition to the prohibitions outlined in the Acceptable Use Policy, the following restrictions apply:
Users may not run any type of server on the system. This includes but is not limited to FTP, IRC, SMTP, POP, HTTP, SOCKS, SQUID, DNS or any multi-user forums; Users may not register or point a domain, sub-domain, or hostname to any Optimum Online IP address. Moreover, Users may not have traffic redirected to The Service; Users may not resell, share, or otherwise distribute the Service or any portion thereof to any third party without the written consent of Cablevision. For example, Subscriber may not provide Internet access to others through a dial up connection, wireless access or host shell accounts over the Internet, provide e-mail or news service, or send a news feed. Users may not copy, distribute or sublicense any software provided by Cablevision, except that Subscriber may make one copy of each software program for back up or archival purposes only;
Optimum Online Boost:
Users may not run any servers except for a webserver (HTTP) and mail (SMTP) on the system. This includes but is not limited to FTP, IRC, POP, SOCKS, SQUID, DNS or any multi-user forums. Users who opt to run a webserver must do so on port 80 only. Webservers running on any other port will be deemed a violation of these terms. Similarly, users who opt to run a mailserver (SMTP) must do so on port 25 only. Mailservers running on any other port will be deemed a violation of these terms. Users opting to run web or mail servers are expected to secure those services and maintain the security of those services on an ongoing basis. Mailservers are to be configured against open relay and third party exploitation. Users may not resell, share, or otherwise distribute the Service or any portion thereof to any third party without the written consent of Cablevision. For example, Subscriber may not provide Internet access to others through a dial up connection, wireless access or host shell accounts over the Internet, provide e-mail or news service, or send a news feed. Users may not copy, distribute or sublicense any software provided by Cablevision, except that Subscriber may make one copy of each software program for back up or archival purposes only."