Frontier plans to introduce wholesale Ethernet private line, expand off-net capabilities

Frontier Communications is looking to enhance its wholesale Ethernet portfolio further with an Ethernet Private Line (EPL) and new off-net offerings in the next phase of its service expansion effort.

Set to go live sometime in 2016, the EPL service would give customers another option besides the VLAN architecture it currently offers for carriers looking to get off-net access for their business customers.

EPL provides a point-to-point Ethernet virtual connection (EVC) between a pair of dedicated user-network interfaces (UNIs).

"We're looking to add an Ethernet Private Line offering into our portfolio," said Lisa Partridge, senior manager of data market management for Frontier, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Currently, we are pretty structured around a VLAN environment and we're going down the road of making sure we have a port based offering as well in our bag of tricks."

In addition to EPL, the service provider plans to begin offering off-net wholesale services outside of its own wireline territory in the first quarter of 2016. Today, all of Frontier's wholesale Ethernet services are all on their on-net wireline facilities.

Offering off-net wholesale Ethernet services outside of its territory is part of the second phase of enhancing its wholesale service division.

"The next stage of the evolution is we have done on-net and what's near-net and what's completely off-net," Partrdige said. "That's what we look to do in phase 2, targeting for first quarter of 2016 and that's in the Washington/Oregon territory where we have some large local area markets in Seattle and Portland and further down into Northern California."

Partridge said the service provider will also leverage the assets it is purchasing from Verizon in California, Florida and Texas to enhance its wholesale offerings.

"We'll continue to evaluate how that expansion goes once we bring on California, Texas and Florida and how we leverage those assets," Partridge said.

These plans emerge as Frontier launched its E-PATH E-NNI service for wholesale Ethernet customers, a new regional external network-to-network interconnection option to connect their off-net business customer locations.

Partridge said that Frontier envisions E-PATH will eventually take the place of its current EVPL service.

"E-PATH will provide us a transitional offering across our domestic jurisdictions that we're in and eventually replace our EVPL offering," Partridge said. "Clearly, that won't happen right away, but ultimately we want to make that migration as seamless as possible for them."

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