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News tagged: Frontier Communications


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by Karl Bode 10:34AM Tuesday Oct 21 2014
Already under investigation in West Virginia for possible mishandling of government subsidy money, Frontier Communications is now facing a new class action in the state for failing to offer the services they advertised. According to the Charleston Gazette, the suit complains of frequent outages and accuses Frontier of failing to deliver speeds paid for. Of specific note is Frontier's 12 Mbps "High Speed Internet Max," which often struggles to deliver users 1 Mbps downstream:
quote:
Frontier advertised a service called “High-speed Internet Max,” which provides speeds up to 12 megabits per second. But the company “throttled” back Internet speeds, particularly in rural areas, without properly notifying customers, according to the lawsuit. Some customers were receiving speeds below 1 megabit per second, but paying for the faster service, the suit alleges. Frontier’s “false advertising” violates the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act, according to the complaint.
Frontier claims they tested all of the plaintiffs' lines and insists those users are getting the speeds they pay for. Plaintiffs disagree, insisting Frontier has "a monopoly on Internet services in most of West Virginia," while also noting Frontier received $42 million in federal stimulus funds that didn't appear to improve service for users.

32 comments


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by Karl Bode 10:06AM Tuesday Oct 07 2014
We've explored just how corrupt and dysfunctional West Virginia has been when it came to spending their $126.3 million in broadband stimulus funds. Local Charleston Gazette reporter Eric Eyre has been doing an absolutely fantastic job the last few years, highlighting how Verizon, Frontier and Cisco convinced the state to buy ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and ridiculously overpaid, redundant consultants who haven't actually accomplished anything.
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20 comments


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by Karl Bode 10:43AM Monday Sep 29 2014
The cable companies that pioneered cable television continue to flounder in JD Power and Associates' latest TV customer satisfaction survey. According to the latest results from the firm, DIRECTV and Verizon FiOS (738) tied for top honors in TV customer satisfaction in the East region; AT&T U-verse (750) ranks highest in the North Central region; Verizon FiOS (751) ranks highest in the South region; and DISH Network (739) ranks highest in the West region.
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33 comments


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by Karl Bode 12:29PM Tuesday Sep 02 2014
Frontier's $2 billion attempt to acquire AT&T’s local wireline, broadband and video operations in Connecticut (originally announced last December) seemed to have been going swimmingly, recently gaining approval by the FCC and even union leaders that had originally opposed the deal. But the deal appears to have hit a snag in the form of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), which has denied a deal settlement the companies reached with state officials.

PURA argues that the deal's conditions don't mean much, and the deal doesn't do enough to benefit Connecticut consumers:
quote:
But the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said in a filing Thursday that the settlement, as drafted by Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz, does not do enough for state residents. Instead, regulators sent the parties back to the drawing board, saying the settlement's provisions contained "merit for further discussion in an effort to rehabilitate them wherever possible."...Proposed broadband internet investments lack specifics, they said...
The deal is still expected to ultimately move forward; meetings on hammering out updated technical specifics of the deal are expected this month.

34 comments


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by Karl Bode 08:11AM Wednesday Aug 13 2014
If a position flip flop by a Connecticut CWA union boss is any indication, Frontier's takeover of AT&T's landline operations in Connecticut just got quite a bit easier. CWA Local 1298 President William Henderson now says he supports the deal after opposing it previously, complaining the two companies didn't offer much information.
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7 comments


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by Bill Neilson 04:09PM Tuesday Aug 05 2014
We've consistently discussed the sorry state of broadband service in West Virginia, whether it was back when Verizon couldn't be bothered to make repairs, or after Frontier purchased Verizon territories they couldn't afford to fully upgrade. To summarize for those not up-to-date with Frontier:

• Frontier has been outraged at being forced to provide basic broadband speeds after receiving millions from the state of West Virginia and the federal government.
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25 comments


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by Karl Bode 09:04AM Thursday Jul 31 2014
Last year Comcast started experimenting with a prepaid broadband service that, for $70, provided users with an Internet startup kit and thirty days of 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream cable broadband service. After that, users have the option of paying either $15 for seven days of access or $45 for another 30 days. Not to be outdone, Frontier says they're now experimenting with a "seasonal" prepaid option of their own. In Ohio, users can pre-purchase DSL service in increments of one, seven or 30 days, something Frontier insists is perfect for customers "who desire financial flexibility,...students, travelers, (and) low-income and credit-challenged customers."

7 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:56PM Wednesday Jul 23 2014
While Verizon's legal victory over the FCC did gut the agency's net neutrality rules, it kept some of the FCC's authority over ISPs intact -- specifically the agency's transparency rules -- which require that ISPs be straightforward about the "network management practices, performance, and commercial terms" of their broadband services.

In a statement issued today, the FCC "reminded" wireline and wireless ISPs alike that those rules are still intact and need to be adhered to, lest the agency lightly slap a wrist or two -- maybe.
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by Karl Bode 12:07PM Thursday Jun 19 2014
Last June Comcast announced that the company's new customer gateways would be configured to start sharing user Wi-Fi with local passers by, noting that the service could be disabled and that other peoples' usage wouldn't count against your usage cap. Still, as Comcast launches this service in a market-by-market basis consumers in each market have responded with more than a little trepidation at the concept of their router having a public component.
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by Karl Bode 11:02AM Tuesday May 27 2014
Frontier Communications wants to keep selling you landlines, but many users no longer have an interest in them. Frontier's solution? The company is introducing a new $5 (plus fees) a month landline option that will give consumers the reliability of a landline during power outages, but will only be able to dial 411, 911 or the operator. "Our [service areas] are very prone to severe weather, lots of hurricanes, tornadoes and the mud slides in Washington State," Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter stated at a recent investor conference. "We have markets that are very plagued by bad weather and having a landline phone that works when your power goes out where we have a density of 34 homes a mile is important."

52 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:28PM Thursday May 08 2014
Frontier will be raising the price of their standalone DSL service by $5 starting on May first, and will also soon be raising prices for the company's remaining FiOS video customers (who they already worked hard to scare away with rate hikes). "We increased the price [... because it] better reflects the value of that offering, given the robust capability of our network and comparable pricing from our competitors,” Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter told Wall Street analysts on a quarterly results conference call. Many Frontier customers, still stuck on sub 3-6 Mbps DSL lines for the foreseeable future, could take issue with Frontier's use of the phrase "robust capability."

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by Karl Bode 04:28PM Wednesday Apr 30 2014
For years the FCC has doled out money to telcos to help them expand telecom services, historically then being quite lax in accurately tracking how (or even if) that money was spent. Companies like Frontier have also taken oodles of funds on the state level for broadband deployment, and in West Virginia Frontier faced a recent scandal after the telco was accused of using taxpayer money on useless, over-priced consultants and over-priced fiber builds that didn't help anyone not named Frontier.

Now Frontier is balking at a recent FCC rule change for Connect America funding that raised the minimum acceptable deployment metric from 4 to 10 Mbps if you want taxpayer money to help fund your DSL upgrades. Frontier, however, insists offering 10 Mbps simply isn't possible:
quote:
"Any proposal to raise the CAF Phase II minimum speed obligations of broadband used for CAF Phase II from 4 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload (4/1/) to 10 Mbps download without any increase in funding or other change in terms is not economically feasible," wrote Kathleen Abernathy, executive vice president of External Affairs for Frontier, in a recent FCC filing. "The FCC's own USF budget does not provide adequate funding for a 10 Mbps ubiquitous deployment."
Perhaps if the FCC and state governments audited Frontier's history with taxpayer funds they might be able to help Frontier come up with the funding they need? Frontier faces little competition in the lion's share of their markets, allowing the company to historically overcharge for slow service and lag on needed network upgrades.

54 comments


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by Karl Bode 02:31PM Monday Mar 10 2014
Netflix has released the company's latest month rankings of ISP Netflix streaming performance. Not too surprisingly, the results show that Comcast Netflix streaming performance has improved two spots after Comcast and Netflix last month struck a new interconnection agreement that eliminated middlemen like Cogent Communications from their transit routes.
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by Bill Neilson 01:48PM Thursday Feb 20 2014
Just days ago, Frontier Communications proudly let everyone know that they had expanded broadband access to roughly 176,000 households in West Virginia and seen consumer complaints of their service drop by nearly 70 percent. That's slightly-less impressive once you realize that Verizon was doing little to nothing to support those users, so you'd expect a significant reduction in complaints even if the acquiring company was doing the absolute bare minimum.
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by Karl Bode 12:22PM Thursday Jan 30 2014
The FCC today voted unanimously to begin conducting voluntary trials to ensure a relatively smooth and reasonable transition away from the PSTN and copper networks. The push for such trials began in earnest after Verizon refused to repair the DSL and copper POTS lines of hurricane Sandy victims, instead forcing them to instead use an inferior wireless-based product known as VoiceLink, which doesn't work with alarm systems, has numerous glitches, and doesn't provide data connectivity.
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78 comments


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by Bill Neilson 08:41AM Wednesday Jan 29 2014
Frontier spent $8.5 billion in 2010 for Verizon’s DSL and landline customers, and is close to spending another $2 billion for AT&T’s Connecticut DSL and landline customers. As Karl noted several weeks ago, Frontier seems intent on growing just to grow, without much concern for customer support scaling or being able to upgrade aging DSL lines.
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by Karl Bode 10:37AM Wednesday Dec 18 2013
Wall Street isn't exactly sure that Frontier's acquisition of AT&T's Connecticut operations, announced yesterday, is a particularly good idea. One, the landline is dying.
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by Karl Bode 10:03AM Tuesday Dec 17 2013
Frontier Communications has announced that the company will be buying AT&T's fixed-line networks in Connecticut in a deal estimated to be worth around $2 billion. According to the companies' press release, the deal will involve all AT&T residential (both DSL and U-Verse), commercial and wholesale customers in Connecticut.
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by Bill Neilson 09:10AM Friday Dec 06 2013
Frontier Communications executive Dana Waldo stormed out of a public meeting at the West Virginia Capitol on Wednesday, after he was asked if Frontier's broadband technology would provide households with basic DSL speeds in Tyler County, West Virginia. Waldo got angry while Council members were reviewing grant applications from a Frontier competitor that plans to bring broadband service to Tyler County.
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by Karl Bode 08:30AM Monday Nov 25 2013
We've explored just how corrupt and dysfunctional West Virginia has been when it came to spending their $126.3 million in broadband stimulus funds. Local Charleston Gazette reporter Eric Eyre has been doing an absolutely fantastic job the last few years, highlighting how Verizon, Frontier and Cisco convinced the state to buy ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and ridiculously overpaid, redundant consultants who haven't actually accomplished anything.
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20 comments


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