Frontier Communications, which has been growing as a pay-TV provider through acquisitions (including former Verizon Fios and AT&T U-verse systems) and by introducing an IPTV-based service called Vantage in other markets, has applied to provide TV service in Middletown, N.Y., where Time Warner Cable operates.
Mid-HudsonNews.com reported that Frontier officials discussed video expansion plans in the city of Middletown at a common council public meeting Tuesday night. Norwalk, Conn.-based Frontier offers the recently rebranded Vantage service throughout much of Connecticut and recently launched the service, based on the Ericsson Mediaroom platform, in Durham, N.C., as well. Officials have said the company hopes to expand video service into 40 more markets over the next three to four years. Frontier has applied for a statewide franchise in Ohio, according to officials.
The news site reported Frontier proposed paying the city a franchise fee based on revenue, as Time Warner Cable (now owned by Charter Communications) does, and would not have to rip up streets to provide TV service.
After completing a $10.5-billion buyout of former Verizon wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas, Frontier has about 1.5 million video subscribers on its networks, making it the eighth-biggest pay-TV provider in the country, according to MCN estimates. The next biggest company on that list, Mediacom Communications, is headquartered near Middletown, a community about 70 miles north of New York City in Orange County.
UPDATE: Patricia Amendola, communications manager for Frontier's East Region, told Multichannel News: "Frontier has filed a cable franchise application with the City of Middletown and other nearby communities served by Frontier. The City of Middletown held a public hearing as the first step in approval of a cable franchise where Frontier presented its plans to offer competitive cable service and choice in the City of Middletown. We are also currently installing some of the equipment in our central offices so that we are ready once the regulatory process concludes. The equipment upgrades will occur within our existing buildings and facilities without any disturbance to the public." Frontier also will seek New York State Public Service Commission approval to launch Vantage TV in Middletown and the other communitites, she said.