Frontier reported quarterly results today and no surprise, all the focus is on fiber. The legacy telecom carrier is attempting a fiber first transformation after emerging from bankruptcy last year.
The company now touts a Building Gigabit America strategy and it’s seeing positive momentum in the turn around. The company added 50K residential fiber broadband subscribers in 2Q22, which is 4x better than a year ago.
Even with continuing DSL losses, the company still managed to add 9K residential broadband subscribers in the quarter. In a weird sign of the times, that 9K net add number is more than Comcast, Charter, and Altice USA combined added for new broadband subscribers in 2Q22. Who saw that coming?
Frontier added 281K new fiber locations and raised its total 2022 fiber location build guidance to 1.1 – 1.2 million locations by the end of 2022. That would take its total fiber passings to 5.2 million, on the way to a projected 10M by 2025
Frontier now claims 1.4 million residential fiber customers and 1.1 million residential DSL customers. Close to 50% of new fiber customers are opting for gigabit speeds, the company reports.
Competing with Cable
On the subject of competing with cable, which has the attention of much of the industry these days, Frontier CEO Nick Jeffery doesn’t mince words.
“I think it’s clear to see from recent results that as we’ve always said fiber is a superior product to cable,” he said on today’s conference call. “In this quarter we gained share against every competitor in every geography we operate in.”
Jeffery does expect to see a competitive response from cable and he suggested the cable industry would continue its historical approach of aggressive promotional pricing to gain (or regain) market share. But that approach has problems, he suggested. Problems that Frontier can capitalize on.
“Cable has a long history of pricing practices that customers really don’t like, you know, promo prices that then get jacked up later on in the customer journey,” he said. “We won’t do that: To be very clear, we will remain a rational pricing player and focus all our energies on providing the best value and the best product.”