Frontier invests $3M in communication upgrades
Muskegon businesses will be the beneficiaries of the new technology.
Frontier Communications Corp., a Connecticut-based company providing communication services to residential and business customers in rural areas, recently invested $3 million in the Muskegon area, bringing the overall capital investment in Michigan to more than $216 million since 2010.
Robert Pero, Frontier’s senior vice president and general manager of Michigan operations, said the investment provides an opportunity for companies in the Muskegon area to capitalize on high-speed products and services to further their business growth.
“We really made an investment into the market to help us with the large businesses that we have. We have the ability to provide the whole Muskegon market with very fast speeds that they want,” said Pero. “This investment is really to help businesses not only survive but also to thrive, to grow, to stay modernized and to stay up-to-date with their communications products.”
With a purpose of upgrading existing systems in the lakeshore community, Frontier Communications invested nearly $1.5 million alone in a VDSL product — a very high-speed digital subscriber line with speeds of up to 40Mbps. Additional products and services included in the total $3 million investment comprise: a bonded ADSL, or asymmetric digital subscriber line, delivering more bandwidth; Metro Ethernet, delivering direct Internet connection with scalable bandwidth up to 10Gbps; and a texting capability for business landlines.
With health care, manufacturing, educational and financial institutions as well as public agencies as customers, Pero said the investment made in the Muskegon area was also based on the future potential of the growing community.
“Muskegon has a lot of opportunity. Not only are existing businesses doing a fantastic job in growing, but also Muskegon offers a real good way of life that is attracting more and more businesses to settle here and look at living on this beautiful lakeshore,” said Pero. “With that attraction comes the need for the businesses here to be able to provide the same type of products, if not better, than what the larger cities like a Grand Rapids or a Detroit offers.”
The high-speed products allow Muskegon businesses to compete in a communication-oriented world by meeting the demands of businesses settling in the area with both local and international needs, according to Pero.
Frontier Communications originally entered the Michigan market with the acquisition of Verizon’s wireline services in July 2010, bringing its national reach to a total of 27 states. The $216 million invested in Michigan began with expanding broadband services in the state, and has added Internet access to approximately 186,800 households, according to Pero.
“When we did the acquisition, only 33 percent of the customers within the acquired territory had access to broadband at all, so 67 percent of customers we acquired couldn’t get Internet from us if they wanted to,” he said. “We spent $216 million over the last nearly four years, and the whole intention of that was to get us where we now have nearly 80 percent availability within our footprint.”
As a result of the investment into the state, Pero said Frontier Communications has grown tremendously in the last couple of years as commercial business customers have increased, and specifically within the last year with the introduction of the Metro Ethernet network service.
Frontier is anticipated to continue investing in the state of Michigan at a similar rate of more than $50 million per year as the company works to build the accessibility of the high-speed business products to its residential customers, and continue providing innovative products for companies.
“While we had a recent big investment in Muskegon, there are still more planned. We have to continue to meet the customers’ needs, and as we increase to the Ethernet product, we will build that product availability out further,” said Pero. “Now that we are in the heart of the city, we are in the heart of businesses; we will continue to build those high-speed products throughout the rest of Michigan, not only expanding the availability of Internet, but also now focusing on expanding the speed where we already have availability.”
Originally established in 1935, Frontier Communications provides a variety of residential, commercial, and enterprise customer products and services, such as: broadband, wireless Internet, voice, satellite video, data security solutions, and data management solutions. In 2013, Frontier reported yearly revenues of $4.76 billion and a total net income, excluding continued operations, of $112.8 million.
The organization employs approximately 13,650 individuals based entirely in the United States and services 27 states and was recognized as a “Top 100” Military Friendly Employer in 2013. Frontier is currently in an acquisition transaction with AT&T to purchase wireline services in Connecticut as its 28th state.