Frontier's Partridge: growing interest in wholesale Ethernet from regional ISPs, content providers

Frontier is seeing growing demand for wholesale Ethernet services, particularly from regional ISPs that need off-net access for their business customers in the secondary and tertiary markets the telco serves.

Lisa Partridge, Frontier


Lisa Partridge, senior manager of data market management for Frontier, told FierceTelecom that while it has strong relationships with large Tier 1 providers like AT&T (NYSE: T), Frontier is trying to design services that can resonate with Tier 3 and 4 providers.

"We've paid a lot of attention to our Tier 1 and Tier 2 providers, but we're really starting to focus on our Tier 3 and Tier 4 providers, who are in some dire straits when it comes into some of the geography we're in," Partridge said. "Being able to partner with them and provide access and give them that public access is becoming quite prevalent."

Another potential target for Frontier's wholesale Ethernet offering could be the growing group of content providers like Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and other over the top players that need access into the rural areas it serves.

Partridge said that while the company sees the potential to serve content providers, it's still early in the game.

"We've seen a bit of that, but I wouldn't say it's been an enclave because we're just now demonstrating how we are putting our carrier customers up front and center and I expect that will drive activity from content providers," Partridge said. 

The telco recently introduced its Ethernet Internet Access (EIA) service as part of its wholesale product line.

By offering wholesale EIA service, Frontier's carrier customers can enhance their ability to offer Internet access to their business customers inside Frontier's service footprint. Sold through its carrier channel, the service will be equivalent to its retail EIA offering by including a package of the Ethernet access circuit and Internet port and bandwidth tiers ranging from 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

One of the next steps for Frontier will be to introduce a regional Ethernet network-to-network interconnection (E-NNI) offering and 10 Gbps interfaces.

"This builds on the preferred partnerships that we've gleaned on in expanding our own footprint," Partridge said. "We haven't taken the step to carrier piece out of our franchise yet, but that would be an enhancement we'd look to do as we continue to move and expand into that out of franchise activity we're involved in right now."

With the E-NNI offering, Frontier would allow other carriers to reverse the interconnect to come into its footprint to extend its metro footprint into its own.

Partridge said the E-NNI offering would allow "us to stave off some of that cable competition that carriers like ourselves are feeling."

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