Frontier Communications set 100,000 homes up with XGS-PON fiber with help from Nokia, paving the way for it to deliver multi-gigabit broadband speeds to residential customers starting early next year.
The operator said in a press release the deployment is part of an effort to future-proof its business, noting the 10-gig technology provides the necessary capacity for high-bandwidth applications such as HD interactive video, cloud computing, virtual reality and IoT.
Veronica Bloodworth, Frontier’s Chief Network Officer, stated the rollout marks “a big step forward for our fiber expansion plan” and will allow customers to “enjoy lightning-fast connectivity.”
Notably, the Nokia solution Frontier is using is based on the vendor’s Quillion chipset, which launched in 2019 and offers operators the ability to upgrade to 25G. As Nokia explained in November 2020, 25G capabilities can be added as an overlay on infrastructure shared with GPON and XGS-PON deployments.
Scott Mispagel, Frontier's SVP of National Architecture and Engineering, told Fierce “selecting Nokia’s Quillion chipset, which offers 25G capabilities as a next step beyond 10G, drove a significant part of our decision to partner with Nokia on this initiative. We prioritize platforms that have the ability to support our bandwidth needs through multiple technology generations like 10G XGS-PON to 25G PON. This is core to maintaining Frontier’s cost and speed advantage.”
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The announcement comes as Frontier works to push fiber to 600,000 new locations this year and 10 million by the end of 2025. Operator executives stated in August Frontier is aiming to launch a symmetrical 2 Gbps service in Q1 2022, with CEO Nick Jeffery adding it is also in “advanced planning” to deploy a 5 to 10 Gbps offering.
It’s not the only one pursuing multi-gig consumer offers: TDS Telecom recently said it plans to launch symmetrical 2 Gbps broadband services in all of its new markets, with the offer already live in Spokane, Washington and Meridian, Idaho. Alaskan operator GCI has also committed to deliver 2 Gbps service to a majority of residents in the state by 2022 on its way to launching a 10 Gbps offer. Meanwhile, Altice USA is aiming to jump straight to a 10 Gbps offer by the end of 2022.
There appears to be good reason for this push. A study released by the Fiber Broadband Association in June tipped a family of four to require broadband speeds of at least 2 Gbps by 2030.
This story has been updated with a comment from Frontier's Scott Mispagel.