Frontier invests $75 million in Washington's broadband, business networks

Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FTR) spent over $75 million to improve its wireline capabilities in Washington state, including the service areas it entered through its acquisition of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) rural lines in 2010.

As it has done in other markets, the network upgrades in the state have focused on two areas: consumer broadband and business services.

Rich Klena, Frontier senior vice president and general manager for Oregon and Washington, said that Frontier has made "broadband available to more than 37,533 additional homes and businesses, expanding availability in our service territory from 85 percent to 92 percent."

Although it reported ongoing declines in traditional landline voice services in Q4 2012, it made various strides on the broadband side. During the quarter, Frontier increased the coverage of its 20 Mbps service, increasing coverage by 18 percent to reach 40 percent of its footprint.

To maintain its customer base in Washington, the telco employed a work force of 1,200 in six districts that are led by a general manager.

On the business front, Frontier has expanded its suite of Metro Ethernet and Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) services.

Having extended Ethernet to 55 markets in late 2011 across 10 states, it offers the service in Everett and Kennewick, Wash.  

Despite being a bit later to the game than other providers, retail and wholesale Ethernet has been a major focus for Frontier's business services unit. It has been delivering Ethernet service at bandwidth rates that scale from 5 Mbps to 40 Mbps over its existing copper and growing fiber networks.

In addition to retail Ethernet, Frontier recently introduced its Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) Silver service to address the needs of service providers targeting multisite businesses.

This year, Frontier plans to push fiber deeper into its network to expand its growing retail and wholesale Ethernet services portfolio to serve Washington and other states in its territory.

Regardless of its progress on the consumer and business side, the telco faces the challenges of expanding its consumer subscriber base that has dwindled through FiOS losses and attracting new and existing business accounts to the next-gen services that were previously not available in their markets.  

For more:
- see the release

Earnings roundup: Wireline telecom earnings in the fourth quarter of 2012

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