& cplSiteName &

Frontier Pursues Broader Business Footprint

Carol Wilson
4/7/2014
50%
50%

Frontier Communications may be best known as the independent telco which has purchased major local telco assets from both Verizon and AT&T, but the company is leveraging its new, broader footprint to roll out next-gen business services on a national basis.

Most recently, Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR) introduced a cloud-based voice solution, Frontier AnyWare, which replaces business voice systems, and soon to come is Frontier Business Edge, taking advantage of investments the company has made in its local access facilities.

And with the addition of the AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) Connecticut footprint, a deal expected to close by the fall of this year, Frontier will have a significant presence in the densely populated Northeast US corridor. (See AT&T-Frontier Deal: A Sign of Things to Come?)

The company didn't get to this point without some pain, admits CEO Dan McCarthy, especially in the aftermath of its 2010 acquisition of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) properties in 14 states for $8.6 billion in stock. While that acquisition included a smattering of FiOS fiber-to-the-home deployments in Fort Wayne, Ind., North Myrtle Beach, S.C. and in the Pacific Northwest, it also included many rural areas where broadband was barely available or non-existent. (See A Brave New Frontier – in an RV.)

Frontier embarked on a major investment in upgrading its local loop facilities, deploying IP-based DSLAMs from Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) and Calix Networks Inc. (NYSE: CALX) and pushing fiber deeper into its network to support both broadband for consumers and Ethernet services for businesses or wholesale customers, McCarthy says. (See Adtran Upgrades FTTH & VDSL Products.)

"The investment was done around creating an ecosystem for broadband customers, commercial or residential," he tells Light Reading. "We used gigabit Ethernet links and 10-gigabit links to replace old DSLAMs fed by OC-3 fiber, and put in Adtran and Calix systems that are essentially Swiss Army knives for serving a lot of different types of customers."

The replacement of the many existing access systems by newer technology and the integration of multiple back-office systems did slow things down for Frontier, McCarthy admits, for a 12- to 18-month period. The company found itself the brunt of complaints from former Verizon customers who were unhappy with what they had and impatient for improvement. (See The Brave Old Frontier, Frontier Goes All-Adtran – For Now, and Calix Pushing CE 2.0 Solutions.)

The advantage now is that Frontier has more ubiquitous reach for MPLS-based switching systems on a unified IP network that McCarthy sees as the formula for future success serving small to mid-sized businesses, and even those multi-location operations with major facilities in its footprint.

Frontier continues to invest in deploying fiber where it makes sense -- in its green-field builds and to wireless towers where the bandwidth is required, but is being judicious in that effort.

"People are looking for pure fiber, but for most services, copper is just fine -- we can get up to 50 Mbit/s and with bonding, get even higher and that works well for small to mid-sized business space," McCarthy says. "We are using a disciplined approach where mobile backhaul is concerned, we are very strategic."

That means Frontier won't spend $250,000 to run fiber to a wireless tower in the middle of a corn field that isn't showing signs of needing greater capacity than the multiple T-1s it has today.

Absorbing Connecticut won't require the same kind of investment that the Verizon properties did because AT&T has already deployed its U-verse fiber-to-the-node system in many parts of the state. Frontier will have to integrate the back office for U-verse and is already at work obtaining content rights so consumers won't notice a change in channel line-up with the sale's completion, targeted for October. The company is working with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) on the integration process, as it now owns the Media Room middleware developed by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT).

And where AT&T hasn't rolled out better broadband, Frontier will, using its substantial experience in upgrading less densely populated areas.

"One of the most attractive things to us was that Connecticut is already 96% broadband and the U-verse platform passes 50 percent of the homes," McCarthy says. "It's a very well-invested state. We will bring our focus to the rural areas, and we will be pushing pretty hard to get speeds higher in those areas using our distribution strategy."

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
4/7/2014 | 2:20:54 PM
Voice still being heard
Frontier is one of the many competitive players selling business voice as a leading service, funny how that is working out. Voice services are now a staple of CLEC offerings. 
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
Cincinnati Bell Joins Weight Watchers Club
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/5/2016
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Animals with Phones
Retro Is the Way to Be Click Here
Some animals are too cute for smartphones.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.