Frontier: 40% of Homes Have a Wi-Fi Problem, Not a Broadband Problem

– Increasing Deployments of VDSL Vectoring & FTTH

For about a year The Online Reporter has been warning that what many consumers report as problems with their broadband are in fact a problem with their home’s Wi-Fi network.

A major telco has now confirmed that.


Remote parts of the home are most affected by Wi-Fi problems

US-based Frontier Communications, which committed to increasing the speeds of its all-fiber and copperwire to 25 Gbps to 1 Gbps, says that the actual speed barrier in many homes is the Wi-Fi network.

Frontier CEO Dan McCarthy told an audience at the JP Morgan Global High Yield & Leveraged Finance Conference that fixing the Wi-Fi problems in the home can help many consumers see that broadband is not the speed barrier. He said that solving the Wi-Fi connectivity issue in the home can help a user overcome the perception that the last mile connection is the culprit.

McCarthy said, “I think the biggest issue that we face in having those kind of increments of capacity is the experience in the home can be substandard not only for us and they perceive it as a speed issue, but it’s really a Wi-Fi issue. If you look at that many of the perceived speed issues in a home are purely due to a neighbor on the same Wi-Fi channel, which can cut your throughput by 50%.”

Frontier is talking with several of its home gateway suppliers about how the Wi-Fi barrier can be resolved. “We are working with a number of manufacturers to improve the Wi-Fi experience and we think once you do that it really solves 40% of the speed issues that we see out there today,” he said.

Frontier’s immediate goal, he said, is to provide 25-50 Mbps to more customers that are connected to its copperwire networks and 100 Mbps and faster in the future. It currently offers a 100 Mbps service in some of its Connecticut footprint.  McCarthy said, “At the 25 Mbps level, customers generally unless they have many devices in the home, are very satisfied,” McCarthy said. “Our 50 Mbps product solves the device issues, including simultaneous streaming.”

Its plans include both its own copperwire subscribers and the ones it will get when it acquires some footprint from Verizon in April. He said, “We’re investing in the copper facilities as we go into these three states. We’ll be putting in the latest generation of bonded VDSL with vectoring capabilities at the DSLAM and that gives us the ability to have those 80-100 Mbps speeds.” He also said that Frontier will increase the number of homes it passes with FTTH.

McCarthy said, “Before we do the three-state acquisition, about 10 percent of …

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