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My blog post questioning Frontier’s future caused a bit of a stir at the company. Frontier is among the telcos with copper lines, which are not as fast as cable and fiber optic networks.

A Frontier spokesperson emailed:

Frontier continually upgrades it’s networks with over $75 million invested annually in Frontier’s Northeast Region alone. By integrating fiber and copper solutions with VDSL (very high bit rate DSL) and high capacity network solutions, customers can take advantage of a wide range of broadband products and services to meet their needs. Standalone high speed, high speed lite and max and wireless services, all at competitive speeds, are very popular. For families with multiple broadband users, Frontier has introduced a new service called Second Connect which doubles capacity for the home. Combining broadband products with low cost video options and highly reliable voice service provides added value for customers.

There are technologies that can increase the speed of copper lines. Developing higher-speed networks is a huge priority for companies with legacy copper networks. They face increasing competition from cable and wireless providers in the broadband arena.

News of copper’s death may be greatly exaggerated. Given the rapid pace of change and customer’s increasingly demands, it will be interesting to see how Frontier keeps up. Maximizing copper’s performance is vital, but it might also be just buying time.

8 Responses to Frontier Responds

  1. February 23, 2012 at 8:23 am Jim Webster responds:

    Being a little negative on a large area employer, aren’t you Rachel?

  2. They are dreaming. There are other reasons copper is unreliable. For instance you can’t get over the fact that copper has resistance. Resistance means the longer the distance the poorer the signal. The copper telephone cables are poorly shielded and not even twisted pair, which means that they are susceptible to all kinds of interference and noise that fiber will never have a problem with. You’ll never have a lightning strike communicated down a fiber cable and take out half the electronics in your home. The reason they spend so much on their network is that the equivalent copper cable to service what a tiny strand of fiber can service is literally a bundle thicker than your arm. Of course it costs more to maintain that amount of copper. Fiber is sand. Copper is a semi-precious metal with a lot more cost per kb of communicated bandwidth. If they’re replacing their main plant with Fiber anyway, why not take it directly into the home. The TWC Cable plant is fiber to the pole, and very well shielded copper to the home. Frontier’s antiquated network isn’t even close to mostly fiber to the pole.

    If pure copper were so great, why would the cable companies switch everything to fiber. Why doesn’t Frontier offer television services over their copper network. I’ll tell you why – because COPPER SUCKS compared to fiber.

    Believe me – I deal in all kinds of telecommunications installations. Copper < Fiber every single time. The only thing harder about fiber is creating patches and fixing breaks.

    • Lee, cell sites are selected with the assurance that fiber is at the road for a tower or already at the terminus of a building or equipment shelter at a tower site.

      When only at the road, the cell co.’s will run it to their shelter.

  3. I’m no expert in this arena (telecom infrastructure, copper vs fiber, etc), but I’m relieved to see them make a far different statement regarding high speed in these quotes than when last you spoke to them. Whether they deliver it is another matter.

    The comment in your other post from the StopTheCap.com editor seems to indicate he doesn’t believe they will.

  4. February 23, 2012 at 9:03 am frank leonard responds:

    @ Lee Drake, You don’t have all of your facts straight. First… Frontier in fact does run fiber to the side of your house in new subdivisions, 2nd… If you believe that Time warner’s “network” is all fiber to the pole you are sadly mistaken, Time warners network is built with a fiber optic backbone just like Frontiers. The difference is that time warners is then transferred to coax cables which is shared bandwith with the whole neighborhood and bogs down at peek times (after school,nights etc) Frontiers dsl runs on fiber or copper network and your connection is a secure connection to every house, which means your speeds will never change because you are not sharing bandwith with all your neighbors. and last thing I wanna comment about is your lightning strike theroy…….ALL the cables on a telephone pole are shielded with a metal armor under the cable sheath that is grounded and that is where the lightning strike travels ,it does not matter if it’s copper , fiber or coax!!

  5. They have other issues I think are greater than their infrastructure. Have you tried their customer service lately? OMG it took them TWO WEEKS to reboot our voicemail. From THEIR office!! At least with Time Warner you can reach a warm body after 5 and on the weekends. If we didn’t need that “land line” for medical reasons, it would be long gone!

  6. February 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm Brian Kane responds:

    There are other reasons why Frontier will eventually fail or be bought out. It’s not only about copper wire, but about have the number of servers it needs to deal with the volume of internet traffic. I had a disturbing problem last year that the company at first refused to acknowledge, then took 3 months to fix.

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