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West Virginia's Broadband Woes Continue Courtesy of Frontier
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.

•When asked about possibly upgrading their 1 mbps upload speed at a city meeting, a Frontier executive answered the question by storming out.

•Frontier has received rather absurd favoritism from West Virginia, which has now spent $126.3 million on ridiculously overpriced, overpowered and unused routers, and ridiculously overpaid, redundant Frontier consultants who haven't actually accomplished anything (the state then tried to cover up the mess by hiding the results of internal audits).

Now, a new report has come out that shows only 12 percent of Frontier customers have Internet speeds that meet federal and state minimum standards for broadband service: 4 mbps download and 1 mbps upload. Even though Frontier is West Virginia’s largest Internet provider, Frontier customers have the slowest Internet speeds in the state.

“The data set tells us that Frontier has the lowest speeds,” said Tony Simental, who helped compile the state statistics for the Broadband Strategic Plan.

The 69-page report was based on more than 200,000 online “speed tests” submitted by customers at homes and businesses in West Virginia. Of course, Frontier criticized the report by saying the survey method skewed the numbers. Frontier also blamed customers by saying that they often wanted slower speeds and those unhappy would be more likely to take speed tests. Oh dare they complain about their speeds!

As the report notes, both residential and business customers said they were dissatisfied with the lack of competition due to having just one or two, saying they had only one or two Internet companies to choose from.

Meanwhile, Frontier continues to cry about competitors wanting to enter their areas in West Virginia. Frontier seems to believe that since they have laid down fiber lines that no one else can use, that the city/state should not be able to lay down any more lines that could compete against them.

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Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

Frontier inherited a POS

Well, I cant speak highly of Frontier's networks in W.VA. The areas they acquired from Verizon were trashed - they still have not managed to totally repair the damage neglect had done over 10 years. Trash bags as permanent repairs, leaking cable, lightning damaged cable, missing records, the works! Many of the remote terminals look rusted and crusty...unless they were put in within the last 10 years.

The GTE areas Frontier bought in 1993 are in a little better shape. The eastern panhandle near VA seems to have copper plant that is in OK condition, at least around Harper's Ferry and Charles Town. Nothing obvious like the trash bags/open peds in VZ or Ex-VZ areas.

Still, on a drive through the vast rural areas of the state that were GTE, you would swear GTE was still in business. All the signs on the equipment say GTE. The doors on CO's say GTE (with an additional Frontier sticker on the building). Its like Frontier was never even there!

I did see a rather funny invention - a "West Virginian Central Office". It was a Gazebo over 3 GTE Automatic Electric remote terminals, a DSLAM, a T-1 repeater can, and 2 cross-boxes.

I wish I could have gotten a picture, it was sort of funny in a sad way (why not build a proper mini-CO?) The RT's had GTE stickers on them, as well as the T-1 can. The DSLAM had a nice big FRONTIER sign on it - they are so proud of this monstrosity!

I will admit it did not look too bad. Nothing was falling apart and it looked maintained.

Still, its sort of obvious that the infrastructure in W.VA is suffering from age, combined with a non-favorable socioeconomic situation for build out in a majority of the state.

It seems to me that the areas served by Comcast are lucky. I hope Comcast wont bail out of W.VA as they are the only major provider that has not given up totally on the state. (Not that Frontier has given up, but they have not shown any real effort besides trying to clean up VZ's mess and extending DSL availability at the pace of a turtle)
MikePWV

join:2010-09-08
Martinsburg, WV

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

Comcast provides great service out here in Martinsburg, WV. We just got upgraded to 105/10 blast speeds a few weeks ago. They have done a good job keeping us up to date unlike Frontier in this area which is a joke and everyone knows it. Pretty sure Comcast has no plans on leaving.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

This is why cable will be ahead of any telco not doing ftth. Telcos need ftth or an HFC network to come close.
--
Filan - Aurin Spellslinger - Pago - Team Legacy

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Picture please

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

I don't know when will be the next time I drive by. It was on the way to Western Maryland to spend a day white-water rafting. Yes, routing through W.VA was quicker.

I wish I got a pic, trust me. I was not the one in the drivers seat that day and the iPhone 4 is kind of slow at starting up, so....

Tell you what, I will try to find it on Google Earth. Wont be the same, but why not.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL
Click for full size
A
I found it! It has since had 1 more box added to it since 2009.

Cant see all the detail as the Google Street view quality is potato. But it was a gem to see it.

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

Haha, that is just great.

Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

Interesting, the majority of the comments here are not from West Virginia customers.

The picture that Zenit posted is not uncommon; there is a similar structure outside Romney, WV.

Yesterday, 7 August 2014, those of us served by the Martinsburg regional office experienced an area wide outage for several hours. Then late in the evening there was another outage, reported by the CSR to be a statewide outage. Frontier advised in a public meeting 2 years ago that they had installed an alternate routing system that would prevent a region wide outage. Yet there have been numerous times during the last few months were those of us served by the Romney CO cannot get past their gateway routers because there is no connectivity between Romney and Paw Paw. I cannot say for certain that last evenings outage was statewide because again one could not get past the gateway routers in Romney. So does that alternate path work or not?

Read the Frontier forum here on DSLReports and review the post from folks served by the region I am in. You will see several complaints about poor service.

sparky007 here in WV it has been several years not since Frontier has taken over GTE, or Verizon so they have long ago worn out using the excuse about the how bad things were when they took over. They have had more than sufficient time to correct that situation. How long are they going to try to get blood from that dead horse.

asdjf you are correct and several of us in the neighboring counties would love to see Hardy Communications move into our area. You know they are a cooperative, but the state prevents other cooperative from being formed in WV because it is unfair competition.

It's just not Frontier that discourages competition in West Virginia, the state also does a pretty good job at discouraging competition.
rebus9

join:2002-03-26
Tampa Bay
Oh dear God!!!

(thanks for sharing; definitely worth a few giggles)
sparky007

join:2011-08-25
Avondale, AZ
Reviews:
·Vonage
The damn thing looks like a mini shooting range.
sparky007

join:2011-08-25
Avondale, AZ
Reviews:
·Vonage
You had me at "GTE"..

It's nice to see Frontier enjoys collecting "antiques".

I remember back in the 80's a family friend live out in the sticks.. Their phone office still had old breakers..

You might get a hold of them or you might be talking to someone in a foreign country.

Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

I think there was a reason Bell people called GTE "Geeheehee". :P

Verizon collects antiques too - Western Electric stuff still in use allover the copper plant. They still have some 1ESS switches from the 60s/70s humming along sucking up money in support contracts.

I love WECO stuff don't get me wrong, its just that a lot of it is well past its expiration date.

asdjf

join:2005-01-01
The municipal broadband in Moorefield, WV is great despite deep economic problems. Reliable and cheap compared to Frontier's offerings, and they're even building out FTTH across the whole town.

Given that this poor backwoods town can do it I'm sure Frontier could offer good service as well if they wanted to. The way I see it, they just find it more profitable to not give the customer what they want, keep everything poor quality, and there's nothing customers can do about it.
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Zenit

join:2012-05-07
Purcellville, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon Online DSL

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

Whats their name? I would like to see the offerings...muni broadband is probably a way out from underneath Frontiers antique collection.

And as you say, if a poor town can do it there is no reason a rich town could not - but certain actors here and in the government really want the population to believe otherwise.

tim_k
Buttons, Bows, Beamer, Shadow, Kasey
Premium,VIP
join:2002-02-02
Stewartstown, PA
kudos:40

Re: Frontier inherited a POS

but too often the town gets sued to prevent muni broadband deployment

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1

Beautiful

The wonders of private industry. No different than government run. There all just greedy humans.
rebus9

join:2002-03-26
Tampa Bay
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
·Bright House

Re: Beautiful

said by dnoyeB:

The wonders of private industry. No different than government run. There all just greedy humans.

Sort of.

Corporate is greedy while government is merely incompetent.

CaptainRR
Premium
join:2006-04-21
Blue Rock, OH
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

Frontier's fiber

Frontier won't share what ever fiber that they have out there either. Citynet is still fighting with them on that front.
»www.wvgazette.com/article/201407···40729777

Citynet

@98.157.84.x

Re: Frontier's fiber

Citynet is fighting with them because they want the money that frontier is getting, they dont care if the state has broadband unless that means more money in their pocket.

That being said, frontier are garbage everywhere in the state and I really dont think they, or the state cares.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Hope it's better in CT

I hope they do better here. Although we have 100% cable coverage, so we have something if they completely **** up U-Verse...

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Re: Hope it's better in CT

I would sign up for cable ASAP....

CaptainRR
Premium
join:2006-04-21
Blue Rock, OH

Re: Hope it's better in CT

Frontier won't get the kind of trash they got from Verizon. I am in a very rural area on at&t and they do take care of the copper plant even though the only thing I get from them is a dial tone and nothing else.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
I already have it. This place and the last place I lived were textbook perfect candidates for U-Verse, but didn't have it (not that I would have gotten it anyways). Before that was in a location that isn't a good candidate for U-Verse, but has a crossbox with no VRAD installed at 4200' anyways, which would get U-Verse with pair bonding (wouldn't have gotten it there either).

F0rdFX432

@50.45.116.x

Frontier in IL

I feel WV pain. I am with Frontier because they are the only game in town where I live in IL. Best speeds we can get on out lines are 1100 down and 384 down. If you have an outage you can expect it to take 1 month before service is restored. My longest outage 3 months. I called every other day just to remind them I was alive and made sure I got credit. These guys are a joke. The only way to get better internet for myself is to move. Pretty sad....

Sarick
It's Only Logical
Premium
join:2003-06-03
USA

My speed test frontier WV.

Mine..


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Sarick's Dungeon Clipart