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Frontier to Double in Size With Pending Close of Verizon Acquisition

Merger

CHANNEL PARTNERS — As of April 1, Frontier Communications will have doubled in size as the nation’s largest rural phone company, thanks to its latest Verizon acquisition.

Frontier is acquiring Verizon’s wireline operations that provide services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in California, Florida and Texas.

Frontier's Chris GellosChris Gellos, Frontier’s vice president of alternate channels, spoke with Channel Partners about the impact of the acquisition and how it will benefit partners. Frontier is an exhibitor at this week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

This is Frontier’s fourth major acquisition since 2008, including a previous network deal with Verizon.

“We’re buying those assets, we’re bringing them in and actually cutting them into our network so they’ll be ready to go day one, April 1,” Gellos said. “We’re getting some pretty metropolitan dense areas in these properties that we’re acquiring … so it’s expanding our footprint dramatically.”

Frontier is expanding its agent base as it takes over properties in the Verizon acquisition, he said.

“For a lot of our partners, they sell all over the United States,” Gellos said. “Some are regionally based, but there’s opportunity for those that have been with us and who know us to be able to sell into what was historically Verizon area … but for them to have it as part of our agent program. We have a very strong agent program; all of our commissions are evergreen and all of our commissions are on the higher end for all of the agent programs out there.”{ad}

Frontier partners with master agents for co-marketing opportunities, including promotions and events, he said. And with each of them representing thousands of agents, “we’re upwards of 6,000 agents,” he said.

In 2014, Frontier launched a new channel program that integrated the direct sales team with partners and allowed agents to work directly with more than 400 commercial salespeople and Frontier’s support resources throughout its operating regions.

Frontier has been in “agent-acquisition mode and servicing those agents” since it started its partner program,” Gellos said.

“It’s always surprising to me how many partners, when they take a look at our portfolio and what we have, they didn’t realize that we are the size that we are,” he said. “And yet, when you talk about local phone services, over 60 percent of what we sell through the agent channel is Ethernet services. So we have the enterprise base covered, and we also go down to the small business and residential business as well. We’re educating agents on the opportunities that we have.”


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