Frontier enhances broadband, Ethernet reach in New York

Frontier Communications has invested more than $326 million, including $80 million in 2013, upgrading its network facilities New York over the past three years to improve consumer broadband and enhance the availability of Ethernet to more businesses.

During this period, the telco upgraded 13 of its central New York Central Offices and 97 remote terminal (RT) locations with next-gen DSLAM and broadband loop carrier (BLC) equipment. These moves allowed it to extend faster broadband speeds to 493,000 New York households.  

By upgrading the data transport backbone between Gloversville and Eagle Bay thanks to a New York State Broadband grant, Frontier can now offer up to 40 Mbps speeds to both residential and business customers. It completed Phase 1 of the transport and equipment upgrades last year. Phase 2, which will expand coverage to 17 additional remote switches within the county, is expected to be complete by mid-2015.

The service provider has complemented its own capital spending with $8.1 million in FCC Connect America Funding-I (CAF-I) grants. It will use the CAF funding to bring broadband and increase speeds in a number of its rural New York markets.

Frontier was no less aggressive on the business services side, expanding its Ethernet network inside its rural territories with speeds of up to 1 Gbps. Set to be completed by the middle of this year, customers located in Fulton, Montgomery, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Chenango, Madison, Delaware and Clinton counties will be able to get Ethernet services.

Meanwhile in Rochester, Frontier completed what it said was a major upgrade to its Layer 2 Metro Ethernet network, which will enable it to support speeds between 5 to 100 Mbps.  

Phil Yawman, vice president and general manager of Frontier's greater Rochester operations, said that the expansion of its network in Rochester was in response to customers asking for more advanced services.

"We are continuing an aggressive schedule of state-of-the-art enhancements to our network to ensure our residential and commercial customers benefit from the latest technology and services," Yawman said in a statement.

Besides the network upgrades, the Rochester network expansion included a number of IT software upgrades and engineering projects that Frontier said will benefit the entire company and 27-state customer base.

New York may only be one state, but these broadband and business service expansion efforts reflect the broader efforts by the company to enhance two key revenue sources that are offsetting ongoing voice service declines.

While Frontier won't announce its first-quarter 2014 earnings until May 6, in the fourth quarter of 2013 the telco reported that it added 28,000 new broadband subscribers, reaching a total of total of 1.9 million.

Recent additions of a 10G optical transport service, QoS that enables traffic prioritization capability based on user-defined applications, and two new Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) service tiers will also appeal to businesses that had little, if any, higher speed options.

For more:
- see the release

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