Frontier's next-gen FTTN plan will leverage AT&T's U-verse technology

Tools

Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR) may have found the answer to its next-gen last mile prayers in AT&T's (NYSE: T) U-verse Fiber to the Node (FTTN) technology.

As reported in Stop The Cap!, which obtained documents about its potential plans, the telco has intimated that it working out a deal with AT&T to license its U-verse technology to deliver the service.

This news comes on the heels of a three-year agreement Frontier established to resell AT&T's suite of smartphones and network access to its customer base.

Although Frontier has made it clear that it does not want to expand FiOS outside of the areas that it already delivers, for the remaining part of its customer base it might leverage "less-expensive alternatives" that use a mix of existing copper and new fiber to deliver higher speed data services.  

In the areas that are just too difficult to justify an upgrade to support higher wireline DSL speeds, the report said that Frontier might establish a partnership with HughesNet to resell a satellite broadband service.

As it has done since purchasing Verizon's former rural lines, Frontier plans to continue to invest in installing new DSLAMs and remote terminal equipment gear to deliver traditional 1-3 Mbps ADSL service in West Virginia, Idaho, Nevada and South Carolina. In addition, it has plans to upgrade some "selected cities" to VDSL2.

One market where VDSL2 could come in handy is in its Rochester, N.Y. market where it competes with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

Of course, Frontier still has a number of challenges here. To deploy VDSL2 and U-verse to support higher speeds means that it has to shorten the copper loops between the customer and the RT. What's more, since U-verse's top speed of 24 Mbps still pales in comparison to cable's ability to deliver 50 and even 100 Mbps services over their HFC infrastructure.

For more:
- Stop the Cap! has this report

Q4 roundup: ILECs bulked up on video, business and broadband

Related articles:
Frontier completes 14-state conversion of Verizon's rural lines
Frontier improves its local video delivery strategy with BTI
Frontier invested over $74M to improve Ohio consumer, business services in 2011
Frontier's declining service revenues eat into Q4 results