Maggie Wilderotter, CEO and Chairman of Frontier Communications, may have pulled off one of the largest acquisitions in recent telecom history when she brokered a deal to acquire Verizon's largely rural properties in 14 states this past July, but in doing so her company does faces a dual challenge.
This dual challenge not only includes having to integrate the operations of these diverse assets into its own fold, but in particular deal with upgrading network facilities in its West Virginia market that Verizon largely ignored for years.
Under Verizon's leadership, West Virginia was a market that unfortunately for consumers and businesses was left largely neglected. In many cases, this neglect caused service issues for telephony users and kept broadband penetration in the largely-rural state to about 60 percent.
While Frontier has pledged to up broadband speed and improving basic POTS in the state--two key requirements of its agreement to purchase Verizon's assets--they're also facing an ironic challenge directly from Verizon Wireless, which is holding a party to celebrate the West Virginia portion of the 38 markets where it will launch its LTE wireless service.
The question now is, can Frontier make the necessary changes to the West Virginia network in time to provide a DSL-based service that can surpass the speeds not only of the former owner of its new assets? That will be one of Frontier's greatest nightmares in 2010.