Frontier: ‘No Market Demand’ for Gigabit Service

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It has been several months since Frontier Communications utterly flubbed its acquisition of ex-Verizon customers in California, Texas and Florida, and the company continues to try and restore its reputation among customers that didn’t get a very good first impression. Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Frontier’s Bob Elek notes that things have improved dramatically, while also claiming that outsourced support representatives were a big reason for the company’s face plant earlier this year.

“Largely, that was due to an offshore call center in the Philippines, which we have acknowledged was not the right decision,” said Elek. “That offshore center caused a great deal of trouble. About a month or so ago, we on-shored all of that service. Frontier’s goal was to have a 100 percent U.S. work force, and that’s exactly what we have now.”

According to Frontier, they’re now fulfilling 97% of new customer orders, a dramatic improvement from the 60% or so fulfilment rate customers were experiencing during the transition. Frontier’s now focused on improving customer service and deploying selective broadband speed upgrades, though Elek was quick to indicate that gigabit speeds likely won’t be among them (for the majority of customers) anytime soon.

“Is there market demand for it? I don’t think there has been thus far,” said the spokesman.

Granted like so many telcos, Frontier customers are often lucky if they can get the FCC’s new standard broadband definition of 25 Mbps. Given the debt incurred by acquiring AT&T and Verizon’s unwanted DSL and phone customers, it’s unlikely Frontier could deploy gigabit speeds at any real scale even if it wanted to. There’s also simply no incentive to deliver gigabit speeds when you’re the only option in town for a huge swath of your subscriber base.


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