Frontier continues expansion plans
It has been a year since Frontier Communications took over Verizon’s landline telephone and internet services in West Virginia as part of an $8 billion multi-state deal completed last July 1.
The Morgan Messenger talked to Frontier General Manager Paul Espinosa last week about progress made extending services within the county over the past year.
Since taking over for Verizon, Espinosa said Frontier has extended high speed internet services to 72,000 households in West Virginia. Of those, 2,977 households are in Morgan County.
“One of our goals was to expand broadband as quickly as we could to the most customers,” Espinosa said.
He credited the Morgan County Economic Develop-ment Authority led by Bill Clark and its Telecommunica-tions Task-force chaired by Jerry Berman for helping accelerate the process.
More service coming
By year’s end, Espinosa said three more remote terminals are scheduled to be installed to reach additional households in the county. A remote terminal allows customers within 18,000 feet, approximately 3 1/2 miles, to be connected to Frontier’s internet service.
One remote terminal is nearly ready to be turned up in the extreme southern part of the county on Winchester Grade Road in the Unger Store area, Espinosa said.
Two other remote terminals are being installed along Johnsons Mill Road between Highland Ridge Road and Berkeley Springs to fill in coverage gaps, he said.
Central office upgrades
Espinosa explained the equipment Frontier inherited from Verizon in the Berkeley Springs central office on Washington Street was near capacity and the network was experiencing congestion during peak usage periods.
Upgrades to the electronic equipment in the central office to add capacity will be completed by the end of September, he said.
Future proof network
Frontier is installing a high capacity fiber optic ring between four main aggregation points in the state. The four points connected to the ring are located in Charleston, Bluefield, Clarksburg and Martinsburg.
Once installed the ring, know as a ROADM ring for Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer, referring to the electronic equipment at the termination point in each of the four cities, will provide redundancy and increased capacity on the network.
If the ring is broken at any point, data and voice traffic is rerouted to bypass the problem, Espinosa said.
Espinosa called the fiber ring a future proof network. He said the ring will start out as a 10 gigabit network that can be expanded as the need arises.
Goals nearly met
Espinosa said one of Frontier’s goals upon taking over from Verizon was to extend high speed internet service to 100,000 households in West Virginia.
“We have plans for deployment of 17,000 additional households in the third quarter and a little more than 17,000 in the fourth quarter,” Espinosa said. That will make internet services available to approximately 106,000 households in the state by the end of the year.
Another goal Frontier promised was to reach 85 percent of households in West Virginia with high speed internet by the end of 2012.
“We might reach that goal in 2011,” Espinosa said.