Frontier eyes 100-300 Mbps broadband over newly acquired copper networks

Frontier Communications is keen on making the most out of the broadband markets it acquired from Verizon (NYSE: VZ) by offering higher speeds, particularly in areas where copper networks -- and slow 7 Mbps speeds -- currently dominate.

Dan McCarthy, CEO of Frontier, told investors during the 44th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference it will upgrade existing remote terminal (RT) and central office (CO) sites with new generation DSLAMS and bonding technologies to deliver 100 to 300 Mbps broadband speeds.

Because these are a copper-based technologies, the actual throughput in the newly acquired California, Texas and Florida (CTF) markets will depend on the condition of the copper plant and how far customers are from the nearest RT or CO location.

"Today, in a copper market within the CTF markets, the max speed may be 7 Mbps and that (is) in an area that's closed for sale because you have exceeded the capability of the technology," McCarthy said. "As we put in a next-gen technology solution, we go from 7 Mbps to 100 or 300 Mbps depending on the bonding and the different frequency of the DSLAM equipment we would use."

McCarthy said that these moves will enable Frontier to create more value for its copper-based broadband customer base, which was largely ignored by Verizon in these markets.

"That is a quantum change from a product set perspective both on a commercial side, small business and consumer side," McCarthy said. "We think we can change the trend in the business by introducing a much better product."

Frontier is making similar technology moves in its other markets, too. The service provider will enhance its legacy copper networks by driving fiber deeper to RTs that house remote DSLAM equipment.

This process gives Frontier a larger backhaul pipe for broadband data, while enabling it to shorten the copper loop connection to each home or business location.

"On the legacy side of the house, we have 85 percent of our DSLAMs fed by fiber today and that number will go up higher as we complete CAF II funding over the next 6 years," McCarthy said. "Our plan right now is to improve the optical packet switching technology, which allows us to offer higher and higher speeds and using the provisioning platforms for the CTF integration to offer a differentiated product as far as incremental speed control by customers."

For more:
- listen to the webcast (reg. req.)

Related articles:
Frontier blames Verizon's bad data, call center miscommunication for California's outages
Frontier redirects attention to Verizon cutover's bright spot, San Antonio
Frontier issues mea culpa to Dallas-Fort Worth customers, outlines improvement plan
Frontier lays out action plan to alleviate Florida customer pains
Frontier defends Florida performance to AG, says it is resolving remaining issues

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