Frontier... Time to bail out?
As a carrier consultant, I'm a value-added reseller/partner for over 100 Best of Class IT companies and internet carriers. As an independent IT carrier consultant, I understand all of the complexities of doing business with each. When selecting an internet provider, PBX Cloud business phone system, or even SmartPhone carrier, you are not buying a sweater at Nordstrom. You are sharing valuable personal credit information. and forging a relationship. It's your choice of the quality of that relationship. Savvy wireless want their relationship with a human being they can contact for support when needed, not just a faceless (800) number or FAQ Help link. I read an interesting article from David Lazarus of the LA Times questioning Frontier's financial resolve. I've been wondering the same thing.
When Verizon started selling off their landline phone interests nationally, I thought that was a very logical thing to do for several reasons. First, with four major wireless carriers and dozens of Mobile Virtual Network operators (MVNOs), landlines are only good these days for electronic door entry and security systems. Even these applications are being replaced with wireless phones because that is where the competition is. The reason for this is there has been a mass migration of home phone users to cellular technology going on for over a decade. It's no wonder that all of the remaining wireline carriers keep raising prices. They would prefer you to switch to their more profitable voIP and wireless technologies. The other reason is state and federal regulations. The kiss of death may be getting defined as a "Carrier of Last Resort". That means that the state requires a minimum standard of reliable connectivity and 911 access, or else.
North Carolina's FairPoint Communications, a provider of local, and long distance services among others in 17 states eagerly bought Verizon's landline business and faced this same problem. They spent $2.7 billion for residential phone networks in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. They had difficulty dealing with Verizon's antiquated system, lost customers like crazy, and ended up filing for bankruptcy.
In California, the Public Utility Commission defines Frontier as "a carrier of last resort". What this does is saddle Frontier with the same obligations of meeting a variety of landline phone provider obligations that include the reliable connection and 911 access stipulations. The problem is this requirement is still valid, even though there are so few people using landlines these days.
I've heard from Frontier representatives (off the record) that Verizon left their FIOS network in need of major repair and that is why there are so many customer complaints. I certainly hope Frontier does not go the route that FairPoint did but am recommending all of our business customers to move their phone systems to Ring Central, Vonage for Business, or several other alternate solutions we represent. After all, if Frontier goes belly-up and your business phone system is with them, you are at their mercy. At best, your business will be sold to another company. At worst, your phone service may be interrupted and you may lose control. To avoid these potential headaches, contact Dr Wireless for a free consultation.
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Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.