Consolidated Communications launched a fresh “Fidium Fiber” brand for consumers in its New England footprint, pairing its residential connectivity with a new app which offers users more control over their in-home broadband experience.
Currently available to customers in parts of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Fidium Fiber offers symmetrical 50 Mbps, 250 Mbps and 1-gig service tiers. The latter runs $70 per month, with Wi-Fi equipment and installation costs included and no contract required.
But Erik Garr, Consolidated’s President of Consumer and Small Business Services, told Fierce what makes the brand special is its companion app, Attune WiFi. Built on smart home company Plume’s platform, the app provides customers a “360-degree view of their home’s Wi-Fi network,” Garr said. Among other things, consumers can use it to set content and access restrictions, conduct speed tests and troubleshoot connectivity issues.
“We think Wi-Fi is the thing that consumers really use, that’s really their experience with the network,” Garr explained. “And so we got a lot of feedback that they wanted really good Wi-Fi that’s high quality and easy to use. We think the best-in-class experience for that is an app that you can put on your phone and basically manage your home network, so that’s what we’ve provided with Fidium.”
Consolidated teased the launch of Fidium on its Q3 2021 earnings call. While Garr said he had “no additional news” about whether the company planned to expand Fidium across the rest of its footprint, he noted “we’re super excited about this and expect this to become a big part of our company.”
The new brand launch comes as Consolidated presses full steam ahead with an effort to upgrade 1.6 million passings within its footprint to fiber by 2025, with approximately 1 million of these set to be in northern New England. CEO Bob Udell said on the operator’s Q3 earnings call it is on track to push fiber to more than 300,000 locations in 2021.
Udell noted earlier in the year 81% of Consolidated’s addressable market overlaps with one cable competitor but said it was aiming to achieve 42% penetration with its fiber nonetheless.
Garr told Fierce Fidium could help give it a competitive edge: “We face competition like all other providers do. We believe that symmetric gigabit networks are the best networks to deliver bits to consumers and this experience really makes the most of that for our end consumers. We think it will compete very well against cable.”
“We think our customers love the internet and the thing that they value and use the most is high quality Wi-Fi int their homes,” he continued. “I think that the operators that pay close attention to that customer experience, customers will reward.”