Frontier drives consumers to higher broadband speeds with Nest thermostat bundle

Frontier is looking to drive more customers to higher broadband speeds by bundling the Nest Learning Thermostat with their service.

Users that upgrade their speeds can get the Nest Learning Thermostat for $99, whether they're new or existing Frontier customers.

One of the selling points Frontier is driving with this new offer is the fact that the Nest Learning Thermostat can adjust to an individual user's cooling and heating habits. The thermostat can remember what temperatures a customer likes, creates a custom schedule for a home, and turns itself down when they are away.

Once it learns a customer's schedule, Nest claims it save about 10-12 percent on heating and about 15 percent on cooling bills. Customers can also adjust the temperature from anywhere at any time using a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Driving customers to higher speeds by bundling more value added services like the Nest Learning Thermostat makes sense for Frontier.

Dan McCarthy, president and CEO of Frontier, said during the company's first quarter earnings call that it will continue encourage more of its broadband user base--the majority of which still use 6 Mbps and below--to higher speeds that it is enabling across its network footprint.

At that time, McCarthy said that 44 percent of broadband activity in the first quarter was above the basic speed tier of 6 megabits. This was up from the 40 percent of activity in Q4, and a major improvement mid-teens level it had in 2013.

Despite the allure of offering home automation services, it appears that Frontier and other telcos like AT&T (NYSE: T) that offers such services will be in for a challenge. According to a new consumer study from Argus Insights, consumer demand for these services declined an estimated 15 percent from 2014.

John Feland, Argus' CEO said in a statement that while the services have found utility with tech-savvy early adopters, the general public has found that home automation products aren't easy to install and navigate.

"It is obvious that the early adopters have bought what they want and other consumers are expressing frustration that these products are complicated and difficult to set up and use," Feland said in a statement.  

For more:
- see the release
- see Argus' report (reg req.)

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