Consolidated promises to raise broadband speeds for 500K New England customers

Consolidated Communications is promising its New England residential and small business customers a new present—greater broadband speeds and more services—but the proof for users will be in the new owner’s ability to execute.

Now that it has completed the rebranding of FairPoint, Consolidated pledged to increase broadband speeds to over 500,000 residents and small businesses across its new Northern New England territory by the end of the year.

The service provider said more than 500,000 residents and small businesses will be able to get speeds two to three times faster than what is currently available in the region today. Nearly 100,000 homes will be able to reach speeds of 1 Gbps via its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network.

RELATED: Consolidated officially drops the FairPoint name

FairPoint had started to offer 1 Gbps over the FTTP network it gained from the Verizon acquisition. In late 2015, FairPoint Communications announced it would deliver 1 Gbps FTTP services in Portsmouth, N.H., and several other nearby communities. Other than saying take rates have been only minimal, FairPoint had been largely quiet about the progress it had made with its FTTP network.

Bob Udell, president and CEO of Consolidated Communications, said in a release that this “announcement is a result of our commitment to improve broadband speeds after we closed on the FairPoint acquisition. We are excited about new tools and service enhancements to come.”

Besides enabling faster broadband speeds and overall investment in the network, residents and businesses will be able to take advantage of several new services, including premise hardware virtualization and DDOS mitigation services that solve data security and business continuity challenges. New residential and small business services will be announced in the coming months, including IP-based voice services and streaming video offerings. 

While all of this sounds like a good game plan, the proof for users in the Northern New England area will be if Consolidated will deliver what FairPoint could not deliver.

After FairPoint purchased Verizon’s wireline assets in New England in 2007, the service provider struggled with service issues and filed for bankruptcy protection. During the time before it filed for bankruptcy, FairPoint’s customers suffered through challenging service issues. At one point, Vermont threatened to revoke the service provider’s license to operate in their state.