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Frontier: Forget About DSL Upgrades in 2019; Live With What You’ve Got

Phillip Dampier May 1, 2019 Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Frontier, Rural Broadband 2 Comments

Frontier Communications has no plans to upgrade most of their legacy copper DSL internet customers this year, leaving customers in many markets stuck at speeds as low as 1-3 Mbps.

Frontier CEO Dan McCarthy told analysts in a late afternoon conference call Tuesday that around one million homes have access to Frontier’s 100 Mbps DSL service, and six million can sign up for DSL at or above 25 Mbps. McCarthy considers those customers valuable targets for marketing campaigns because most are not Frontier customers. For the rest of Frontier’s legacy copper areas that cannot access those speeds, Frontier will have little to offer in 2019.

“I don’t think you’re going to see us do a lot of significant copper upgrades this year,” McCarthy admitted. “Our big focus is really future proofing kind of the [California, Texas, and Florida] fiber markets. So, we’re spending the money to upgrade th[ose markets] to 10 Gbps capability.”

Frontier reported another quarter of poor results late yesterday, widely missing analyst expectations. Frontier’s share price lost 26.8% of its value overnight in heavy trading. Over the last 12 months, Frontier’s share price has dropped by 77%.

Analysts remain deeply concerned about Frontier’s customer defections, which have persisted for several years and show no signs of ending. Even more daunting, Frontier’s high debt levels are still a problem. A major tranche of Frontier’s debt comes due for repayment in 2022, and there are concerns Frontier may not be able to cover it, which could force the company into bankruptcy. In February, Bloomberg News ranked Frontier No. 1 on the list of deeply distressed debt issuers in North America.

While cable companies can count on quarterly boosts in the number of customers signing up for broadband, Frontier shareholders have become accustomed to reading about subscriber losses. The company lost 38,000 broadband subscribers in the last quarter, including in its fiber to the home markets. Most of Frontier’s losses are Charter Spectrum and Comcast’s gains. Frontier also reported landline and video customer losses.

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Will Rietveld
1 year ago

Here is what I have for all of you. Where I live we have no other option then Frontier, nobody else is servicing this area which in my opinion creates an monopoly and can just charge there customer anything they want. I have a 1 mps download speed!!!!! and realistically get around 785 kb per second. And guess what I pay the highway robbery amount of $ 69.95 per month!!!!!!!! if that is not highway robbery then I do not what is. I have tried to upgrade but they keep telling me there are no special offers in my area… Read more »

Michael Gibbons
Michael Gibbons
1 year ago
Reply to  Will Rietveld

dont feel bad I finally got rid of my FRONTIER DSL/telephone service… $120 a month for the TRASH SERVICE.i live in the copper area.. where the limit is 1MBPS for the last 20 years or when FRONTIER bought out VERIZON…. They refused to upgrade this area in the past 20 years and they say this is all available 1mbps down and 384k up… I am so fed up i finally cancelled them.. THANK GOODNESS now 4g lte came out. and i live in a area where i am able to get WIRELESS 4G LTE and is 20 times faster at… Read more »

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