Frontier plots 300K more fiber passings in Connecticut

Frontier Communications unveiled a plan to expand its fiber footprint to 10 million locations by 2025 in August of last year, but since then has kept mostly quiet about where exactly it is focusing its work. Until now. The operator revealed it has already built 500,000 fiber locations in Connecticut and is aiming to add another 300,000 by the end of 2025.

All told, Frontier told Fierce by email it’s planning to invest $800 million to cover 800,000 locations in the state. That figure is consistent with previous statements from the company that its cost per passing falls between $900 and $1,000.

The operator has already covered portions of more than 70 towns across the state, including Hartford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, West Hartford, North Haven, Glastonbury, Union and Stafford Springs. It is now turning its attention to new areas, including Windsor Locks and East Windsor.

To finish the job, Frontier said it’s sending more than 1,000 workers to install fiber in its target markets.

A Frontier representative told Fierce there are a number of factors it weighs to decide what markets to prioritize, including "density, distance from the CO, topography, deployment requirements, permits, etc. As for brownfield vs. greenfield, we will be primarily focused on building on our existing footprint."

Frontier’s announcement comes a month after the operator inked a deal with the Connecticut Attorney General to settle allegations it engaged in misleading marketing practices. As part of that agreement, Frontier committed to invest more than $42 million over the next three years to run fiber to around 40,000 households. The Frontier representative told Fierce that settlement is included in its newly announced investment. It has also received some federal funding to "build out a very small number of locations" in the state, the representative added.

Veronica Bloodworth, Frontier’s Chief Network Officer, said in a statement to Fierce “Connecticut is a key part” of its overall build plan. But Connecticut aside, it is difficult – but not entirely impossible – to track down where else Frontier is working.

In June, Frontier’s VP of External Affairs Doug McAllister outlined the operator’s plan to deploy fiber to 3,400 locations in the area of Bishop, California with 75% aerial fiber and 25% buried before the end of 2022 at a city council meeting. He attended a meeting in Ripon the same month, where he detailed the operator’s plan to deploy fiber to every residential home in the city of 16,000. Frontier also began work in Santa Barbara in late 2021.

Meanwhile, the Town of Porter, Indiana, posted a notice on its website in June indicating Frontier was deploying fiber “all over Porter, Chesterton and Porter County” to the southeast of Chicago. And in July, The City of Belvidere, Illinois – which sits to the northwest of Chicago – indicated Frontier’s service was coming to town.

It also appears to be active in parts of Texas and the area around Rochester, New York.

Additionally, Frontier has received grants for fiber deployments in California, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin totaling $22.4 million thus far in 2022. But the company previously told Fierce these builds will add to its 10 million total, rather than be included in it.

This story has been updated with additional comments from Frontier.