Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR) is taking sides on a fiber-to-the-farm initiative in Sibley County, Minn., and it isn't the side of the consumer. Frontier doesn't see a fiber buildout to rural communities as feasible, arguing in a letter to county commissioners that they can provide the same level of service as fiber via their DSL service.
The dustup comes in the wake of a feasibility study conducted by the Sibley Renville Fiber Project which waxed fairly optimistic about the long-term benefits of making an investment in municipal FTTH. Frontier, the incumbent provider to the area, pointed out in a Dec. 14 letter examples of muni fiber projects that weren't doing so well.
Sibley County's Board of Commissioners was not so thrilled with Frontier's observations, shooting back in a letter of their own in which they stated, "There are approximately 75 municipally based fiber projects currently operating in the country. A case can be made that perhaps three or four of those projects have under performed. Four out of 75 projects is a far cry from "most of these projects."
DSL Reports provided a telling observation of its own, noting "It's important to remember that these local communities wouldn't be engaging in this project if the local incumbent had met their bandwidth needs."
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