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. 
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
New Apple TV: More $$, Not Content – Report
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/31/2015
Ex-AlcaLu Boss Tasked With Bolstering Altice
Iain Morris, News Editor, 9/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
Wi-Fi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.