The demand is exceedingly coming from regional ISPs wanting to provide off-net access to businesses in smaller markets the telecommunications company serves. Partridge said Frontier is trying to devise services that can accommodate Tier 3 and 4 providers, while maintaining a solid relationship with Tier 1 providers like AT&T.
“We’ve paid a lot of attention to our Tier 1 and Tier 2 providers,” said Partridge. “But we’re really starting to focus on our Tier 3 and Tier 4 provider, who are in some dire straits when comes into some of the geography we’re in.”
Ethernet Internet Access (EIA) is the new wholesale service Frontier has recently started offering to serve wholesale carrier customers, wireless or traditional providers seeking to expand their off-net Ethernet service. The service enhances the ability of carrier customers to offer internet access to business customers through Frontier’s service footprint. The service will be equivalent to its retail EIA offering by including a package of the Ethernet access circuit and Internet port, and bandwidth tiers ranging from 1 Mbps to 1 Gbps.
“Over the last few years, we have made substantial investments to enhance our Ethernet capabilities for both our wholesale and Ethernet markets,” said Dan McCarthy, CEO of Frontier. “These investments have produced strong year-over-year, double digit growth in our Ethernet service revenue.”
Soon Frontier will be introducing its newest offering, a regional Ethernet network-to-network interconnection (E-NNI) and 10 Gbps interfaces.
“This builds on the preferred partnership that we’ve gained on in expanding our own footprint,” Partridge said. “We haven’t taken the step to carrier piece out of our franchise yet, but that would be an enhancement we’d look to do as we continue to move and expand into that out of franchise activity we’ve involved in right now.”
The wholesale Ethernet service is also being touted for the content providers it can potentially deliver in the future, such as Netflix or Hulu, which need access to the rural areas Frontier serves. Partridge sees the potential, but says it’s still early in the game.
“We’ve see a bit of that, but I wouldn’t say it’s been an enclave because we’re just now demonstrating how we are putting our carrier customers up front and center and I expect that will drive activity from content providers.”