Frontier extends metro Ethernet footprint into 55 markets

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Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) is responding to its mid-sized and large business customers' "bandwidth heavy needs" by expanding its metro Ethernet service to over 55 markets stretched across 10 states.

The ILEC is currently delivering Ethernet service at bandwidth rates that scale as low as 5-40 Mbps over its existing copper and growing fiber networks.  

While much of Frontier's focus since purchasing the Verizon (NYSE: VZ) properties in 14 states has been on expanding broadband, the service provider has been aggressively building out its network and a sales force to support its ongoing Ethernet rollout to serve both businesses and even wireless operators.  

On the network side, Frontier has built an underlying fiber ring network that incorporates Tellabs' packet optical transport to support residential and business services, including Ethernet, Session Internet Protocol (SIP) trunking, and MPLS. On the last mile connections to its business sites and as the mechanism to backhaul consumer DSL traffic, Frontier has been leveraging a mix of copper and fiber-based Ethernet equipment from both ADTRAN (Nasdaq: ADTN) and Actelis Networks.

All of these network efforts were complemented by the expansion of its existing commercial sales force after it completed its acquisition of the Verizon lines.

During the recent Goldman Sachs 20th Annual Communicopia Conference, Maggie Wilderotter, chairman and CEO of Frontier said that they are seeing a number of new business service opportunities.

"We have hired over 120 new commercial salespeople since we have closed on the acquisition of Verizon's lines, and over the last three or four months, we're starting to see a lot of traction and have a very good pipeline this quarter and for fourth quarter," she said. "It is 51 percent of our revenue and a big upside for revenue is in commercial services."

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