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Links of the Day:

– Can Frontier Communications compete? An interesting blog post questions how Frontier can survive without offering higher speeds and new products.

Frontier Communications, having gobbled up a number of unwanted Verizon markets and debt back in 2009, continues to tread a precarious path where they’re supposed to be a broadband company, but can’t offer a compelling next-generation product that seriously competes with cable (or in some cases, 4G wireless).

We tend to focus on how Frontier can survive in the cell phone age, but broadband is also important. I asked Frontier in the fall of 2010 about its future plans. They did not include an upgrade to higher-speed networks. The company doesn’t believe most people need super-fast Internet.

Although cable broadband can offer higher speeds, (Ann) Burr said, “We’re constantly upgrading our local networks to make sure they can get higher and higher speeds.” Fiber lines are installed in newer developments, and neighborhoods that report problems with DSL lines get attention from technicians.

Burr said there are no plans to offer the super-high speed fiber network in Rochester, known as FiOS. She said most customers do not need speeds that fast, and Frontier’s broadband service is available in 95 percent of the market.

Frontier has 1,300 workers in Rochester.

– TV is going online. I’m convinced we’re moving to a day when everything we watch on TV will come from the web. Comcast announced it’s offering a streaming service to compete with Netflix.

– “Live from the Hollywood and Highland Theater.” A Los Angeles television station reports that’s what the former Kodak Theatre owner’s landlords want the place called during the Oscars.

– Some of the LeRoy girls are all better, because they accepted the diagnosis of conversion disorder.

– Chinese women are occupying men’s bathrooms in a fight for “potty parity.” I stand in complete solidarity.

Your clothes could be injuring you.

11 Responses to Frontier’s Future

  1. Home land-line connections are collapsing and the unwillingness of outfits like Frontier to sell a ,DSL w/o a land line is a hugh turn-off to younger customers who would rather get bundled cable/ISP and use cell-phones, skype or smart jack for phone service.

    Another problem is the reduction of corporate land-line circuits that must be going on as well as the collapse of occupied properties in the City along with general population decline or stagnation within the Frontier franchise.

    More denial, more ROC-Hex.

  2. I would point Frontier towards your posts on Cutting the Cord. Consumers in their service area won’t need faster connections, eh?

    Hope Windstream needs a second building.

  3. February 22, 2012 at 9:28 am James Simons responds:

    I had to chuckle when I visited the blog mentioned and there was a giant Time Warner banner ad at the top. How an executive in that industry can talk to people with a straight face and say they don’t need faster speeds is amazing.

    What Frontier has accomplished is giving TW a virtual monopoly in this area. These executives can’t be that clueless that they think bringing FIOS here would be just about the increased speeds. Yes the fast speeds of FIOS would be great, but it is really the competition with TW that is needed here. While Frontier’s control in rural areas might keep it in the black, how little control left does it have of our area of 1 million + ?

    • James S: most franchised utilities subsidize the rural portion of their system with more profitable concentrated urban and suburban residential or industrial centers portions of their franchise areas, assuming rates at uniform throughout.

      In fact, I always thought citizens bought Frontier to balance it’s mostly rural service areas with a lucrative urban franchise area, well at least before the Kodak demise.

  4. I have been using Frontier’s DSL for the past five years. I have generally been pleased with the service, with perhaps the exception of the time it takes me to upload my videos to YouTube. The biggest complaint I have heard about Frontier is that if you cancel their DSL service prior to the end of a two-year contract, you will need to pay a hefty fee.

    I predict that Windstream will be a major player in the high-speed internet competition locally. We need 4G capabilities that are both fast and affordable. So, it will be interesting to see how competitive prices make or break Windstream, Frontier or Time Warner.

    • Ray, it’s ROC denial syndrome. They’re not familiar with customers who need high speed cuz they’re over ast TW.

  5. Rachel, we cover Frontier Communications even more extensively than Broadband Reports, from our home base in Brighton.

    Stop the Cap! has followed Frontier into its newest territories acquired from Verizon in states like West Virginia and beyond, as well as keeping a local focus on things back here in Rochester.

    Frontier is a disaster waiting to happen. The company’s following the same bad business plan that companies like FairPoint and Hawaiian Telcom tried with their own acquisitions of legacy Verizon landlines in northern New England and Hawaii respectively.

    Loaded down with debt, unwilling to spend at levels necessary to compete with cable, and reliant on rural service areas where competition is little to none, Frontier calls the rate at which it slows down landline losses a victory.

    We’ve been challenging Frontier on broadband speeds since 2008. The company can’t do better than 3.1Mbps in our neck of Brighton — wholly inadequate to compete with Time Warner Cable.

    As we’ve written repeatedly, there is frankly no good reason to do business with them, and that will remain the case until they begin serious infrastructure investment to match and/or beat Time Warner Cable locally. Under current management, that will never happen.

    Phillip Dampier
    Editor, Stopthecap.com

    (Frontier coverage: http://stopthecap.com/category/providers/frontier-communications/)

  6. R,

    Thanks for providing us with a place to get comments like those of folks like Phillip D., above.

    Phillip D: You would think with the demise of Kodak, the struggles at B&L, Xerox, Delco, RG&E and the complete gutting of the old RocTel, complete with huge losses to widows and orphans who were told, with encouragement from local RocTel exec’s and business cheer leaders, by local stock brokers and houses to stand fast with the new aquisition, that folks would be all over this Frontier deal. I can’t tell you how many retirees I know who got stripped of their entire RocTel/Frontier stock equity listening to their local broker who had no clue of the trumped-up vision of “synergy” between Frontier and Global X-ing.

    Your blog has been the first place I’ve seen that a moderator will allow some 1st hand knowlege to be posted without the mask of business cheer-leaders who cannot call a spade-a-spade when discussing the rochester business climate.

  7. February 23, 2012 at 9:14 am Sean A. Flesch responds:

    Nice to hear from Phillip!

    I called around for internet-only pricing and Frontier’s deal really was the worst. For the same price as Time Warner and Earthlink, you get about 70% and 50% respectively MAXIMUM bandwidth. The further from the CO you are, the less likely you are to get near that speed.

  8. February 24, 2012 at 9:10 am Tim Kampas responds:

    This brings up really great questions!

    If frontier is not willing to invest in our communities future should we support them? Does their physical location/jobs demand support when they are unwilling to provide the service our community needs to be a leader in the digital future. Xerox moved to CT, whats preventing Frontier from leaving down the line. Their actions seem to indicate they are not invested in us.

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