Frontier to serve up higher broadband speeds in West Va.

Frontier Communications (Nasdaq: FTR) on Monday said it plans to start delivering up to 25 Mbps DSL services to 405,000 West Virginia residential and business customers.

Dana Waldo, senior VP and general manager for Frontier West Virginia, said in a Charleston Daily Mail article that the new 25 Mbps services will be offered under the "Broadband Ultra" and "Ultimate" brands. Waldo added that eligible business customers will be able to get up to 40 Mbps.

The "Broadband Ultra" and "Ultimate" services are currently available in segments of Kanawha and Putnam counties with plans to extend the service to other parts of each county at the end of year.

Dan Page, a Frontier spokesman, said that the residential 25 Mbps service, which includes a WiFi modem, will be priced at $54.99 month. Of course, the service provider will offer discounts to those customers who bundle their DSL service with voice and TV.

Current residential subscribers can get up to 6 Mbps, a speed that is far lower than what a cable operator can deliver over their DOCSIS 2.0 or 3.0 networks.

While 40 Mbps of DSL capacity will certainly be enticing to some business customers, the service provider is being just as aggressive with its copper and fiber-based Ethernet service sets.

In West Virginia's business market, Frontier offers up to 10G Metro Ethernet services over its 2,600-route mile "Fiber 7.0" network. Like other service providers, the telco is using the fiber network to deliver wholesale services, including wireless backhaul, to area wireless operators.

West Virginia is a key state for Frontier, being one of its largest states it entered when it acquired Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) rural lines. Part of the new speed drive is likely being fueled by the $71.9 million Connect America Fund (CAF) grant it got from the FCC.

For more:
- Charleston Daily Mail has this article

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