There seems to be no end to the fallout from Frontier’s efforts to phase out FiOS video service in three markets the carrier acquired from Verizon. The latest development comes from Indiana, where Frontier competitor Comcast has purchased billboard advertising saying “Frontier is pulling the plug on FiOS—Switch to Xfinity.”
According to a report published on the StopTheCap website Frontier has denied it plans to pull the plug on FiOS and has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Comcast officials demanding the billboards come down but Comcast has not done so.
Frontier’s FiOS troubles started back in January when the company announced plans for huge rate increases on FiOS video—a move the company said it was forced to make as a result of high programming costs.
Since then Frontier has been involved in an ongoing battle with a consumer agency in Oregon over price hikes, over the carrier’s promotions aimed at encouraging FiOS video customers to switch to satellite service, and over the carrier’s request to cease providing video services in several Oregon markets. Public outcry caused Frontier to delay monthly FiOS video price hikes in Oregon and Washington but increases in Indiana went through.
Whenever the topic of FiOS video price hikes and de-emphasizing FiOS video service has come up, Frontier has made a point of saying that only video services were involved—not FiOS voice and data. And the Comcast billboards are misleading in that they do not reference FiOS video but instead could be interpreted to mean that Frontier is phasing out FiOS entirely.
Nevertheless it is largely true that Frontier is pulling the plug on FiOS video. When asked about FiOS video on a recent conference call, Frontier CEO Maggie Wilderotter said “Our focus is not on new FiOS video deployment.” Where Frontier was focusing, she said, was “on deploying more high-speed broadband bundled with satellite TV offers.”