Frontier applies for Middletown, New York video franchise, sets stage to compete with Charter

Frontier Communications has applied for a cable franchise to offer IPTV service in Middletown, New York, posing a new challenge to Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR), which entered the market via its acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Since the service will leverage its existing copper network via VDSL2 and other technologies like vectoring and bonding, Frontier will not need to dig trenches to lay fiber in the city.

The telco said that in addition to offering a library of traditional programming, it would provide public access channels and other products.

Joseph DeStefano, Middletown's mayor, said that if Frontier is permitted to enter the market it would give consumers another choice of programming that they otherwise could only get from Charter.

"If they are not going to provide all those services, they are not going to get many customers," DeStefano said, according to a Mid-HudsonNews.com article. "They are not replacing Time Warner; they are going to be competing with Time Warner. I think the competition will be great for city residents and will have a choice in not only cable, but you also have the satellite option too. We are also going to be getting revenue from Frontier similar to what we get from Time Warner."

Frontier said that if it is able to get necessary state and local approvals, the telco could provide video service to 75 percent of the city by 2017.

Patricia Amendola, communications manager for Frontier's East Region, told Multichannel News that the telco is "installing some of the equipment in our central offices so that we are ready once the regulatory process concludes."

While Frontier does provide video over FTTH in select markets, the service provider told investors in February it has a broader plan to deliver IPTV service to 7 million customers in 40 markets using its existing fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) network. This plan also includes its assets in California, Florida, and Texas, three territories it scaled via its acquisition of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) wireline assets in April.

Upon completion of its build, Frontier said the video service will be available to about 50 percent of the 8.5 million households in its existing footprint.

For more:
- Multichannel News has this article
- Mid-HudsonNews.com has this article

Related articles:
Frontier to deliver IPTV to 7M customers across 40 of its markets
Frontier revenue dips to $1.41B, but hopes are high for acquired Verizon territories
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