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Frontier's Fight With Comcast Continues
ISP Continues To Pretend They're Not Backing Away From FiOS TV
by Karl Bode 02:27PM Thursday Jun 30 2011
After acquiring some Verizon FiOS customers in a massive 14-state deal to obtain millions of rural DSL and phone users, Frontier has been trying to exit the TV business -- first with a huge 50% price hike and botched DirecTV offer, and then with a massive $500 installation fee for FiOSTV to frighten off new customers. Earlier this month we noted how Comcast was taking advantage of this move by running ads stating Frontier was "pulling the plug" on FiOS, and that users should switch to Comcast.

Comcast's ad attempts to make it seem that Frontier's backing away from FiOS entirely (not just FiOS TV), something that resulted in Frontier sending a cease and desist to Comcast. Frontier's now running new ads directing users to a "Frontier Facts" website (via Stop The Cap) insisting that FiOS broadband is going nowhere:
quote:
My name is Roscoe Spencer and I'm the general manager for Frontier Communications in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For the record, I just want to say that Frontier is more "plugged in" than ever. Recently, one of our competitors put up billboards, placed inserts in the newspapers and sent mailings to customers indicating we had pulled the plug on FiOS. This statement is simply not true, and we have taken legal action to insist that these false claims be stopped immediately.
Frontier's not being entirely honest of course, telling readers of the website there's no plan to pull the plug "on any of our services." While they're busy claiming this, again they're shuttering video franchise agreements and jacking up prices so high on FiOS TV service and installs nobody wants to use it. After they've gotten most users on DirecTV they'll likely shutter FiOS TV. So why not be honest about the fact you don't want to directly be in the TV business? Frontier's pretending they still want to offer FiOS TV in order to avoid regulatory scrutiny, since the company insisted to multiple state regulators and the FCC that absolutely nothing was going to change for these FiOS users post acquisition.

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hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

DSL/Telco vs Cable

has been doing this for YEARS! hell one Frontier Reseller (TC3Net) even uses an MSO (Charter) for their bandwidth! But runs ads against Comcast and Charter both, stating their horrible, outsource jobs and everything else!
Cobra11M

join:2010-12-23
Mineral Wells, TX

ha

frontier is a little baby, now i really hate all cable companys to a extent but frontier is prob the worst, haha frontier needs to grow up and be competitive, they brought it on them selves so comcast started takin customers just like any other cable company
gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME

Re: ha

frontier is here in maine and they sure do suck

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: ha

said by gorehound:

frontier is here in maine and they sure do suck

Frontier? Or Fairpoint? I was unaware that Frontier had any operations in Maine.
rifleman69

join:2006-04-12
Beaverton, OR

1 recommendation

irony

Anyone catch the irony in the Ft Wayne spokesman's comments? "Recently, one of our competitors put up billboards, placed inserts in the newspapers and sent mailings to customers indicating we had pulled the plug on FiOS."

HAD, not have, not going to, but HAD. Frontier is basically agreeing with Comcast that they're not going to be there in the future, all they're arguing is that they haven't ALREADY pulled the plug on FiOS.
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL
Reviews:
·MTCO Communicati..
·DIRECTV
·Frontier Communi..

Re: irony

For a good perspective(from the DSLReports Memory Division), review what various Frontier execs have said about FiOS TV for the last year.

said by Christy Reap, Frontier Media Relations :

Verizon has been able to compete effectively for subscription television customers in Fort Wayne because “FiOS is a tremendous product, and our sales in Fort Wayne continue to be strong,” said Christy Reap, who handled media relations for Verizon’s North Central region and now works for Frontier.

Frontier has all of the agreements with programming providers needed to deliver FiOS TV to the Fort Wayne area without scaling the service back, and Reap said “the facilities, equipment and employees doing FiOS work today will transfer to Frontier. Frontier will not be losing their local expertise.”

July 9, 2010 "Region Represents a New Frontier" by Doug LeDuc in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.
»www.fwbusiness.com/index.php?opt···emid=262

said by Don Banowetz, then Senior VP and GM for Frontier's Midwest region :


From Frontier’s perspective, FiOS TV “will continue to be the premier product in the marketplace and we’ll continue to offer it as such,” Banowetz said. “We will aggressively market that product and … will continue to expand our customer base and will let competition run its course.”


July 9, 2010 "Region Represents a New Frontier" by Doug LeDuc in the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.
»www.fwbusiness.com/index.php?opt···emid=262

said by Don Banowetz, President for Frontier's Midwest region :


Starting February 18th, customers who subscribe to a FiOS TV basic package will see their rates go by up $12 per month. Customers who subscribe to other FiOS TV packages will see a $30 increase. The increase does not affect customers under a price protection plan.

Frontier bought the area's FiOS Internet and television infrastructure from Verizon last July. It made that purchase knowing then, increasing rates was an option in the future.

"Look, we bought the whole company, right? All the assets. The FiOS part was part of that, so it was part of the deal," said Don Banowetz.

He says Frontier doesn't have the buying power Verizon had, so when programming prices went up, Frontier made a choice.

"We couldn't ride the previous arrangement. So in essence, it was what it was," he explained. "So, over the last seven months, we've looked at how we might take other costs out of the business to maintain the pricing structure and we found that to be very difficult, so hence this increase."


Besides higher rates, the company is also giving customers incentives to switch to Direct TV. Current customers can get one year free Direct TV service if they sign a two year agreement and a three year price protection plan.

Lots of customers and NewsChannel 15 viewers have asked us if Frontier is trying to dump its TV service? Banowetz simply said raising rates was a decision that just made business sense.

"The FiOS TV part of our business is actually a very small part of our business. It's about three percent of our revenues," said Banowetz.

Jan 18, 2011 "Frontier Leader Explains FiOS Rate Hike" on WANE-TV, Fort Wayne, Indiana
»www.wane.com/dpp/news/Frontier-l···ate-hike

said by Don Banowetz, President for Frontier's Midwest region, answering questions from Paul Wyche, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette :


Q. Frontier has admitted it’s not a big player in the cable industry, which is one reason for the price increases.

Since Internet and phone constitute 97 percent of the company’s services, is it realistic to assume Frontier will one day abandon cable, particularly as prices climb for customers?

Would such a move result in a financial loss since cable services were part of Frontier’s $5.3 billion purchase from Verizon?

A. Frontier’s senior leadership continues to review the company’s cost structure of its FiOS TV service and no decision has been made.

A. Frontier is currently analyzing a number of future television content delivery products.

Today we offer three options for our customers in Fort Wayne – DirecTV, FiOS TV and our web-based MyFiTV.com, which is free for anyone with an Internet connection.

Q. As cable costs rise, will Frontier begin to tout MyfiTV.com as an alternative to cable?

A. Frontier sees MyFiTV.com as a viable product offering today and into the future.


Feb 6, 2011 "Executive Foresees No Customer Backlash" by Paul Wyche in Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette.
»www.jg.net/article/20110206/BIZ/302069948

said by Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier's CEO :

Frontier Communications Corp. CEO Maggie Wilderotter told financial analysts today what the company's Oregon customers already know: She wants no part of the FiOS TV business that her company purchased from Verizon last year.

"Our focus is not on new FiOS video deployment," Wilderotter said. "The costs to install, set up and market new FiOS video customers are very expensive and, in our view, uneconomical."

This is the opposite of what Wilderotter told The Oregonian last summer, when she pledged that the company would hold down cable TV rates as part of its commitment to competing with Comcast in Washington County and east Multnomah County.

Early this year, the company announced a 46 percent rate hike (which it has delayed implementing indefinitely.) It subsequently raised installation costs and started pulling out of its cable TV franchise agreements.

Today, Wilderotter said the price hikes are part of a deliberate effort to drive off FiOS TV customers. The company is offering free DirecTV service as a substitute.


May 5, 2011 "Frontier CEO Confirms: We Want Out of Cable TV" by Mike Rogoway in Portland Oregonian
»blog.oregonlive.com/siliconfores···ant.html

said by Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier's CEO :

Until now, Frontier Communications upper management has remained aloof from ongoing disputes about video price hikes in three states—Indiana, Oregon and Washington–where the carrier acquired FiOS lines from Verizon. But that changed this week, as Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter addressed the issue on the company’s first quarter earnings call.

In a supreme understatement, Wilderotter said, “Our focus is not on new FiOS video deployment.”


Pointing to high installation, set-up and marketing costs, as well as increasing content costs, Wilderotter noted that Frontier had increased FiOS video installation prices in all three states. She also said the company had implemented a monthly price hike in Indiana and has “positioned to raise prices in Washington and Oregon as well” but has not yet done so.

What she didn't’t say was how high prices have been raised. Video installation prices went from $79 to $500 in Oregon, where a state consumer protection agency has accused Frontier of reneging on promises made during the approval process for its acquisition of the Verizon lines.

The local response in Oregon is likely what drove Frontier to postpone its planned monthly Verizon FiOS price increase, intended to be as high as 46%, in that state and its Washington neighbor. Apparently consumers and governing bodies in Indiana did not raise such a fuss, as Frontier went ahead with price increases there, which were on par with what caused all the controversy in Oregon.

May 6, 2011 "Frontier CEO Speaks, FiOS TV Is Not Our Future" by Joan Engebretson in Telecompetitor
»www.telecompetitor.com/frontier-···r-focus/


IllIlIlllIll
EliteData
Premium
join:2003-07-06
Hampton Bays, NY
kudos:7

 

they probably cant afford the fees to carry television.
--
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re:  

and that's what it is about. It's a small company and a small amount of customers. Thus their programing fees will be higher and so will customers bills.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re:  

said by hottboiinnc:

and that's what it is about. It's a small company and a small amount of customers. Thus their programing fees will be higher and so will customers bills.

But they are significantly larger than many small MSOs across the country, that somehow seem to be able to operate. Those MSOs don't seem to need to lie to customers and regulators on a regular basis in order to operate either.

Frontier has already bought all the assets needed in order to continue to run the video portion of FiOS. Abandoning it seems like a GREAT way to get a fast ROI.

herdfan
Premium
join:2003-01-25
Hurricane, WV

Re:  

said by cdru:

But they are significantly larger than many small MSOs across the country, that somehow seem to be able to operate.

Those MSO's don't have $8B in debt.

I have now removed Frontier from my house. Went with Comcast and Vonage (Comcast doesn't have phone service where I am located). Took my parent's to Suddenlink for Internet and Phone.

After no less than a half dozen outages between the two of us in the year since Frontier took over, it was time to make a change.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Fios hasn't quite reached me, but...

Verizon left it undone, frontier is (SLOWLY) getting here and having the CHOICE of CC or fios would be nice.
However Frontier should consider that I (like alot of people) would be very much less likely to switch to FIOS for internet unless I could also get a TV package that didn't require a dish (I could buy my own sat service thank-you) having a single wire/ single provider that could fix any problem with one phone call and one tech visit.
Also, my brother who got a FIOS deal during the last days of verizion says the TV portion works great but he's had 7 visits and many phone calls trying to solve a network/IP reset problem, and due to the poor quality of service will go back to all comcast service next year when his 2 years is up.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Fios hasn't quite reached me, but...

i think hes stupid for doing that personally, if I could get FiOS where I live, I would. If I had it, i would keep it. The speeds and price comparison is a no brainer to stick with fios, but hey, his loss. Also, if enough customers pull out like they want them too, they will shudder the fiber internet and force copper upon you again, likely charging an install fee as well.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Fios hasn't quite reached me, but...

said by Chubbysumo:

The speeds and price comparison is a no brainer to stick with fios, but hey, his loss...

I understand the desire, but I pushed to try FIOS in his new home and the first 2 months were awesome, the thing is frontier FIOS, isn't verizon FIOS. none of the new speeds are offer here (at least not to under contract customers) and Frontiers tech people (supposiedly the same former verizon folks, but most seem to be leftover FIOS install contractors who couldn't find a new job ) seem helpless.
My brother (not at all a troubleshooter )has me race over to reset stuff after each failure, so I have talked with the phone staff and the site techs as well as walking the initial installer throught the ALL new wiring plan.
they currently agree the site is done correctly, 3 new routers each were probably fine (as is the current one) fiber to the CO (2.6 miles, as the photon flies) shows no defect (scoped from both ends) head end is fine (according to them, I have no access) yet "unexplainable"(their words) slowdowns and intmittent IP changes (from which the network is unable to gracefully recover) leave the VoIP lines, the fios phonelines, the security systems, multiple tivos, a "cat" cam (to watch the cats/feeders while they are away) and many other functions unreliable for more than 5weeks at any time, sometimes much less.

No matter how much someone wishes to have a fast, cheap, high tech connection, if it is unreliable, inconsistant, and apparent unable to be made better (according to the techs) then it is worthless (brother is now persuing Frontier to void the contract AND pay for REWIRING the cable (which the original installer cut out where not MOCA) and previous homerun phone lines to every room. (which he cut for acces or just for fun) his work for verizon based install was excellent, just not respectful of leaving existing in place.

spewak
R.I.P Dadkins
Premium
join:2001-08-07
Elk Grove, CA
kudos:1

Frontier blows

Frontier blows big time! They blow Big "Blazing fast internet" time!
--
The weekend is here, grab a can of beer!
GraysonPeddi
Grayson Peddie

join:2010-06-28
Tallahassee, FL

I could care less about a TV service from Comcast.

If Frontier is in Tallahassee, I could switch to Frontier any day. and just use my OTA antenna to watch free TV.