Frontier Communications CEO Nick Jeffery said today that he sees the company playing an “important role” in fiber broadband consolidation. He made the comment on the company’s second quarter earnings call today.
He said he believes U.S. fiber broadband consolidation is “inevitable” in view of what occurred previously in the U.S. cable and mobile markets.
Noting that Frontier is “the largest pure play” fiber network operator in the U.S. and the country’s second-largest fiber builder, Jeffery said “we know we’ve got a scarce and valuable asset.”
Jeffery made a point of saying that the company’s main focus remains on achieving its plan to have fiber available to 10 million homes but noted that there may be opportunities to expand beyond those 10 million as BEAD funding becomes available.
The company previously said that it aims to achieve that goal by 2025 and that it has no immediate plans to upgrade about 5 million of the 15 million locations in its local service footprint to fiber but that it would explore options that would enable it to do – an assertion that Jeffery repeated today.
Frontier Chief Financial Officer Scott Beasley said the company had not yet determined how many locations in its footprint would be eligible for funding in the BEAD rural broadband deployment program.
He added, though, that “We think of the five million [locations] outside of our committed build, several million would likely be attractive to go after – some with BEAD money and some as we fine-tune our machine.”
The executives also said Frontier would consider deploying fiber out of their local service footprint but declined to provide additional information about how that might occur.
They also noted that more than half of new customers are now opting to purchase gigabit-speed service. A replay of the earnings call where Jeffery made his fiber broadband consolidation comments is available here.
Updated to state that the company previously said that it plans to upgrade 10 million locations by 2025