Frontier is the bottom-rung of the top-tier of US ISPs, serving customers in 29 states. Despite enjoying monopoly control over its customers' online lives, and despite massive government handouts and a lackadaisical approach to maintenance, and despite out-and-out theft from customers, the company is filing for bankruptcy, having accumulated $16.3b in debt through mismanagement.
Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin plausible blames this situation on the increasing irrelevance of Frontier's copper-line infrastructure, massive underinvestment in fiber, and bottom-of-the-barrel customer service.
Ideally, the cities whom Frontier will leave in the lurch will replace the company with municipal broadband, the best broadband in America.
Frontier Communications failed to properly maintain its telecom network in Minnesota, leading to "frequent and lengthy" phone and Internet outages, an investigation by the state Commerce Department found in January 2019. The investigation led to a settlement. New York state officials are also investigating Frontier over its repeated outages and long repair times.
Many Frontier customers in different states have been hit with giant overcharges and cancellation fees, or draconian policies like one requiring customers to pay for router rentals even when they have purchased their own router. (A new US law scheduled to take effect in June 2020 would ban that practice.)
Windstream, a telco that offers service in 18 states, filed for bankruptcy in February 2019. Windstream in November 2019 said its latest quarterly revenue was "$1.27 billion compared to $1.38 billion in the same period a year ago."
Frontier, an ISP in 29 states, plans to file for bankruptcy [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]
(Image: Evelyn Simak, CC BY-SA, modified)
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