Been there, done that.
Frontier Communications already knows how to upgrade Verizon’s ageing copper telephone networks and make them broadband capable, according to Melinda White, president of Frontier’s western region, which includes California.
“We’ve done this before with Verizon so we’re very familiar with the products, and attributes of this deal”, White said. Frontier bought ten small copper-line phone systems in California from Verizon a few years ago, she said. Eight of those were telephone only, with no broadband service offered. Since then, Frontier has upgraded 82% of the customers on those eight systems to DSL capability and overall, she said, the company offers broadband service to 96% of the company’s Californian customers.
She was speaking at a workshop organised by the California Public Utilities Commission and chaired by commissioner Catherine Sandoval in Santa Clara yesterday. The CPUC is holding a series of meetings around the state to get public comment on Frontier’s purchase of the rest of Verizon’s wireline systems in California – copper and fiber to the home – and to talk with company representatives about various issues involved with the transaction.
One of those concerns is whether problems Frontier had when it took over east coast systems owned by Verizon and AT&T would be repeated in California. White said that the bulk of the complaints related to problems transferring AT&T’s video on demand business and its Internet protocol based Uverse system, and that cutovers of customers on conventional phone systems were relatively flawless and quick. White said the plan is to do the same in California. “We will be doing a flash cutover, so on Day One a Verizon customer will wake up and be a Frontier customer”, she said.