Light Reading

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. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Then pick up your axe, put on your spandex trousers and get yourself down to Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE). Kerrang!!!
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ciena CEO: The Web-Scale Revolution

4|28|15   |   10:32   |   (3) comments


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Eurobites: Nokia Quashes Handsets Rumor
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 4/28/2015
Verizon Builds Key Vendors Into SDN Strategy
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2015
Why Is Verizon Fighting With Programmers?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 4/28/2015
Astellia Highlights Customer Care Disconnect
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/29/2015
T-Mobile Beats Sprint on Subs, Eyes Verizon on Network
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 4/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Cats with Phones
Working With What You've Got Click Here
"It's pretty hard to answer these things without thumbs!"