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Faster Frontier DSL Arrives in Ohio… If You Qualify

Phillip Dampier September 6, 2012 Broadband Speed, Consumer News, Frontier, Rural Broadband 7 Comments

Frontier’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y.

Frontier Communications has boosted speeds for some customers in 28 communities in Appalachian Ohio, but Stop the Cap! readers report actually qualifying to get faster broadband can be hit or miss.

Frontier has deployed ADSL2+ bonding technology in several exchanges throughout the region, which means customers can potentially double their current broadband speeds. The company says it will now sell residential customers up to 12/2Mbps and business customers up to 15/2Mbps DSL.

“With Frontier’s recent deployment of the latest broadband technology, residential customers can get the speeds they need to stream high-definition videos, run multiple devices, do online gaming and surf the net without lag,” said Dave Davidson, senior vice president and general manager for Frontier’s Ohio operations. “The ADSL 2+ Bonding technology also allows us to offer business customers super-fast speed that’s perfect for sending large files and for videoconferencing.”

The communities where Frontier recently deployed technology for increased broadband speeds in Appalachian Ohio include:

  • Central Ohio — Logan
  • Eastern Ohio — Bowerston, Byesville, Cambridge, Cooperdale, Flushing, Freeport, Knoxville, Lowell, Lower Salem, North Georgetown, New Philadelphia
  • Southern Ohio — Albany, Athens, Portsmouth, Guysville, Wellston, Idaho, Jackson, Lucasville, New Marshfield, Otway, Pomeroy, Shade, Piketon, Wellston
  • Southwest Ohio — Felicity, Manchester

But several Stop the Cap! readers in Ohio told us even though their communities are on Frontier’s upgrade list, they still don’t qualify for anything above 3-5Mbps service.

“Frontier’s online qualification tool rarely works, and is generally useless for predicting your likely speed, so I called Frontier this morning to inquire about 12Mbps service and was told my exchange does not yet qualify for the new speeds,” writes Dana B. from Jackson. “It would have been nice because I currently consider it a good day when a speed test shows I reach 3Mbps on my Frontier DSL.”

Ken, who lives near Manchester, found out he could not get the faster speed either.

“Frontier’s national customer service really was not much help as they simply processed my order,” says Ken. “Several hours after I was confirmed for the new speeds, I got a call back saying my line could not handle anything faster than around 5Mbps, which is about what I have now thanks to the hard work of a local lineman who tuned up my DSL service during an earlier service call.”

“It’s a real bummer because Frontier is charging me some very high prices for what I can manage to get, but unless and until a cable company wires my street, I do not have any other option.”

If anyone is able to get 12/2Mbps service from Frontier in Ohio, share your thoughts in our comment section.

For more information on Frontier’s Internet services, residential and business consumers may call 1-800-921-8101.

Currently there are 7 comments on this Article:

  1. txpatriot says:

    All flavors of DSL are distance-sensitive, so the further away from the CO you happen to be, the slower your connection will be.

    The problem with pre-qualification is that most electronic systems base their answer on airline miles between your home address and the central office. But of course, the relevant distance is CABLE-miles, not airline miles. And almost none of the online pre-qualifiying systems (including those typically used by service representatives) use cable miles — virtually ALL of them use the easier-to-calculate-but-obviously-less-accurate airline mileage qualifier.

    It’s only after they take your order and have someone in provisioning look at the ACTUAL cable-footage that they can tell whether or not you will qualify for the higher speeds. You would think things would be more electronic by now; sadly, outside plant records are usually the LAST records a telco mechanizes, and even then, the records are not always kept current, leading to inaccuracies over time (e.g., availability of valid copper pairs has long been the bane of provisioning based on unreliable manual records).

    If telcos would clean up their systems and records, they might make money in the long run on the deal — but the bean-counters in charge rarely see the payoff in spending those short-term expense dollars.

  2. Ian L says:

    Pretty sure a number of telcos do use line-length on their qualification tools. Verizon, CenturyLink and AT&T for example. Frontier may not, but it’s not as widespread of an issue as you make it out to be.

    Also, the fact that only 12/2 service is available on line-bonded ADSL2+ is kind of pathetic. That basically means that DSL lines are running at 6 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up each. The pro here is that you can push those speeds out to two miles from the CO without a problem. However you can also do those same speeds over one line (Annex M) at a mile from the CO.

    • Smith6612 says:

      I was about to say. Perhaps with their roll-outs they are looking to try to offer a fair spread of speed to everyone as possible before bringing out the higher speed, but theoretically if they were to roll out Annex. M, on a perfect copper pair you’d see 24Mbps/3Mbps. Bonding two of those would be a good chunk of bandwidth to play around.

      I myself am still sitting here wondering why they’re using two lines instead of one for delivery of say, 15Mbps/2Mbps service which isn’t out of the ballpark of ADSL 2+ Annex. M. I mean, making 3Mbps/768kbps standard throughout their entire area for the 3M profile and then making use of each piece of equipment by opening the pipe as far as possible without ruining stability would make more sense to me than using up a second pair just to get something already obtainable.

      • txpatriot says:

        I don’t know if you’ve ever seen actual outside plant “in the wild” but I have and it doesn’t surprise me that the actual pairs in the ground and on the poles may not support the theoretical maximum speeds that these standards imply.

        When the signal has to deal with corroded splices, loose grounds, missing cable sheath bonds, etc. it’s a wonder to me that ANY digital signals get through. Analog POTS is much more forgiving of plant imperfections than super high speed digital signals are.

        • Smith6612 says:

          I’ve seen the plant (Both Frontier’s and Verizon’s in this area) and fully understand what the deal is with ADSL tech not being able to reach the max speed of the specification. Frontier’s network is in much better shape in this area. I’m two miles out and I’m looking good for 7Mbps/1Mbps service without issue if I get put onto an ADSL2+ card. I’m running 3Mbps with an SNR of 27dB at the moment, and my upstream is at 892kbps with 10dB SNR. Many of the lines in my area share such characteristics, minus those west of the CO not on remotes which are on 26aWg plant (newer, though).

          I wonder if Frontier’s main concern is with noise caused by other higher speed lines. As Transmit power increases, it does cause other lines to suffer, especially at the higher frequencies. Either way though, I suppose they have their reasons, but I’m still wondering here if bonded connections will cause more noise compared to a single connection that is just as fast.

    • txpatriot says:

      Maybe but I’d bet they are using some sort of conversion factor like 150% of airline miles to be safe. Still, that’s just an average and not really accurate. I’d be very surprised if any of the DSL order takers at AT&T, VZ or CenturyLink had access to actual cable miles. If they do that’s great as it would save useless truck rolls on non-qualified pairs.

  3. Jamie says:

    I live in blue creek ohio and would love just to be able to get dsl I’d be happy just to get two or three mb I have sat Internet and its terrible so those speeds sounds great anyone have any idea if blue creek will ever get it?

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