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Ziply Fiber Takes Over Frontier Communications’ Northwest Operations

Broadband

Frontier Communications‘ Northwest operations and assets are now Ziply Fiber. Ziply is a new company that is investing $500 million to improve its network and service.

Frontier sold the assets to WaveDivision Capital in partnership with Searchlight Capital Partners for $1.35 billion. The operations and assets are in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Ziply Fiber is inheriting the network, which it is improving as part of its $500 million investment. It also has 500,000 customers across the four states and a workforce of nearly 1,000 employees.

Be sure to read our look back at the Frontier chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, how it unfolded and where the company goes from here.

Frontier filed chapter 11 bankruptcy last month as part of a restructuring agreement. As part of the agreement, the company promises to cut its debt by more than $10 million. With the sale complete, Frontier operates in 25 states.

Ziply Fiber is kicking off a number of projects to improve capacity and performance for its customers.

Ziply Fiber's Harold Zeitz

Ziply Fiber’s Harold Zeitz

“We see significant opportunity to improve the quality of the networks for our Northwest communities. At Ziply Fiber, we are engineering a state-of-the-art, modern network that is purpose-built for the internet,” said Harold Zeitz, Ziply Fiber’s CEO. “[This] means our customers will have a better online experience than is possible with any other technology.”

Ziply Fiber is “actively working through a partner program, and considering how best to do that” for its customers.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

Broadband Question Marks

In other news, Frontier is under fire from small internet providers who question the accuracy of the provider’s broadband reporting. Frontier claims it deployed broadband to nearly 17,000 census blocks.

In a Federal Communications Commission filing, Frontier said it deployed 25/3Mbps broadband in these census blocks. Therefore, these blocks should be removed from the list of blocks where ISPs can get money for future deployment.

The FCC plans to distribute up to $16 billion to ISPs that commit to deploying broadband in census blocks without internet service of at least 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream. The funding is part of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

In a separate FCC filing, NTCA – the Rural Broadband Association – said many members “frequently field pleas” from consumers living in Frontier’s service area in need of access to “robust broadband service.” The NTCA represents about 850 small ISPs.

“This experience – and their decades of experience in serving sparsely populated rural areas of the nation more generally – have caused NTCA members to question whether the filing accurately reflects conditions on the ground changing so quickly in so many places in such a short time,” it said.

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association are also skeptical. They said it is hard to believe Frontier was able to provide voice and 25/3 Mbps service in each of these census blocks in just eight months.

Frontier faced a looming bankruptcy during this period, making it hard to believe such a large deployment, NTCA said.

Ken Mason is Frontier’s senior vice president of federal regulatory affairs. He said Frontier’s updated broadband filing and challenge to the list of initial eligible census blocks are accurate.

“This reflects broadband coverage resulting from more than five years of Connect America Fund II (CAF II) deployments to more than 600,000 residential and business locations,” he said. “Frontier filed these census block data updates to its Form 477 before the FCC released the initial list of RDOF eligible areas. But due to the timing, Frontier’s updates were not incorporated.”

Frontier reports broadband availability if those speeds serve any portion of a census block, Mason said.

“By making this filing, Frontier will not be able to bid on these locations under RDOF and is actually guaranteed in 2022 to lose the support that we are currently receiving under CAF II to offer broadband service to these high-cost-to-serve locations,” he said.


19 comments

  1. Avatar Tina M Kertis May 5, 2020 @ 1:44 pm

    Frontier over billed me and transfers me to Ziply Fiber, whom transfers me to Frontier, whom transfers me back Ziply. I am angry. I refuse a $40.00 + increase on Dish TV, that is ridiculous. I am told I have a credit of $20.00 but that does not solve the problem. My bill is $179.12 this month, when the last bill was $137.03. I understand the increase but $40.00+ ? I want to pay my bill but I refuse this amount, how can this be solved?

  2. Avatar Susan Tow May 5, 2020 @ 8:13 pm

    Ziply requires users to set up bill pay on their website, giving them your bank account information. They don’t provide their billing zip code so you can set them up as a payee in your bank bill pay account. As a former banker, this leaves me wondering what their practice has been in taking money from customer accounts in the past. I don’t EVER allow a company to debit my account at their convenience. If they won’t trust me to make my payments as agreed, I choose not to do business with them.

    For now, I will wait to see if I get a paper bill with the information needed to set up an outgoing payment from my bill pay. If not, I’ll be shopping for a new internet provider. Or maybe I’ll just cut the cord.

  3. Avatar Terri Daniels May 6, 2020 @ 4:36 pm

    Have been trying to get service with Frontier but have been Ignored, They say they will call me back but never have. Live in West Virginia

  4. Avatar Robert Gandy May 7, 2020 @ 12:25 pm

    Absolutely terrible company cut off my internet status with no warning!!!! Cant communicate at all lies and deceit from their personnel Where i live they already call them zippo because thats what you get from them. Hope they fail as soon as possible , all of us should be contacting the FCC asap to get them removed. I live in Montana. FIND ANOTHER COMPANY AS SOON AS YOU CAN RUN

  5. Avatar Mubashir Cheema May 7, 2020 @ 9:59 pm

    I am a current customer of Frontier in Beaverton, OR area. I was previously a Verizon FIOS customer, and got transitioned to Frontier when Verizon sold their Northwest business. I am not the least bit surprised that Frontier could not make a go of it. As a customer, it was painfully clear to me that Frontier was not a technology company, but was run by bean counters. No vision, no execution. Their policy seemed to be to milk the existing customers they acquired from Verizon fiber, for all they are worth, and try to ride it out.

    When Verizon FIOS started offering gigabit service in other areas for a reasonable fee a few years ago, I hoped that Frontier would as well in my area. I am already connected to their fiber network. Unfortunately Frontier had no such plans. I was still being overcharged for a slow plan when Comcast is offering much better speeds at great prices. Why would I want to pay more for slower speeds? Most customers would run away. I was going to switch to Comcast next week. But now I will wait and give the new owner Zipply a shot. They are promising giagbit speeds at reasonable prices. And with that, they have my attention.

    On a side note, if Zipply requires access to my bank account, that is a non-starter. I can give you my credit card for autopay. But if you have a hard requirement on access to bank account, then I am afraid we will have to part ways.

  6. Avatar Darrel Prose May 8, 2020 @ 12:21 pm

    I didn’t think that Frontier could get any worse, but you folks are proving me wrong. Our internet is dropping 6 to 8 times daily for various lengths of time. We are still paying the bill with very poor internet.

  7. Avatar mj May 9, 2020 @ 12:48 pm

    Ziply charges $35/$40 for the same service that Frontier charges me $68. So now ziply will be taking $68 a month for service that costs $40? No, I don’t think so.

  8. Avatar Kenny Jack May 11, 2020 @ 1:53 pm

    Is this what I is to be expected from Ziply, I went from a slow download speed of 5Mb to 3Mb. I pay for 50Mb. This is not acceptable and needs to be addressed immediately.

  9. Avatar jlguy1034 May 11, 2020 @ 10:05 pm

    Frontier Had a good protection plan but Scence Zipley took over its not worth it thinking of changing
    iinternet wiith comcast or some one else.

  10. Avatar Barry May 19, 2020 @ 3:48 pm

    Give Ziply a chance to get things corrected. It will be a big job to upgrade and improve the old Frontier network, and to regain customer confidence.

  11. Avatar Janice Parker May 20, 2020 @ 4:47 pm

    Look for another provider if you recently had Ziply Fiber take over your Frontier account. They will send you an email stating “no changes have been made to your services…”, however, that’s not true. If you had an HBO account with Frontier, you also had access to HBO GO or who knows what else. Ziply no longer carries the streaming services provided by Frontier. Looks like they want to charge you the same, but not provide you with the same services. I contacted them about the problem and got different answers from their customer service – 1) they’re currently working on a contract with HBO; 2) They no longer carry the streaming services provided by Frontier; 3) I wrote about my complaint to Chat, but they hung up on me! Bad news!!

  12. Avatar Litto Gamboa May 20, 2020 @ 6:15 pm

    My internet fell on Monday and I called and they couldn’t fix it. I have to wait until Tomorrow to have a tech come to my house to fix it. I’ve been a customer for a month. I can’t believe this .

  13. Avatar Dave May 21, 2020 @ 10:12 am

    I wondered what was going on with my WIFI, didn’t realize Frontier was out of the picture. It is dropping several times per day, which is very frustrating for my wife, who works from home and needs continuous internet access, as well as for the rest of the family when we’re trying to watch movies, etc. Frontier wasn’t great, but Ziply seems to be terrible. Considering gritting my teeth and going back to Comcast.

  14. Avatar JoeyMarie May 21, 2020 @ 10:14 am

    Frontier wasn’t too bad but since it changed to Ziply it’s been horrible. One day late with payment after being off work with this whole Covid19 thing. Seriously, one day late and they shut me off. Customer service is a joke, when you can actually get to speak to a person, they have no clue what they’re doing. I left Comcast for crappy customer service and I’m very close to going back.

  15. Avatar LAEL DUNCAN June 8, 2020 @ 4:50 pm

    Darrel Prose

    I have the same problem that you do. I think it may be time for either a class action suit or at the very least a flood of complaints to the Attorney General’s office to investigate how they can charge for service and not deliver.

  16. Avatar Jungkyu Kim June 15, 2020 @ 10:36 am

    on June 9th, our 2 lines of Telephone, TV, Internet was moved to Comcast.
    1)206-533-1207, 2)206-533-1206 2 lines binding at 1 account

    with this switching, we duly request you to disconnect all of above services.
    please be advised this request must be honored at your administration with our billing.

    in the future we might return to your service again and absolutely not awhile, we wish.

    have a good day!

  17. Avatar Brenda June 21, 2020 @ 3:30 pm

    I definitely think a class action lawsuit needs to be filed with ziply fiber. It’s been over a month and a half and we still have next to nothing as far as on-demand content goes. When I called them, they said it’s a free service they provide so if it isn’t there they don’t owe any compensation— that we should just be happy that we get it at all. Who wants to start it?!?!

  18. Avatar Mitch W. June 29, 2020 @ 11:26 am

    I’ll gladly jump on board! Frontier was horrible and Ziply is even worse.

  19. Avatar Paulette Honigbaum July 2, 2020 @ 8:33 am

    All these comments are 100% accurate! We change name on our account end of April (Frontier) and a few days later had no internet service. Called to get info as to why and found it is now Ziply and spent almost entire day to get assistance to troubleshoot. At that point I said please cancel our service we are going to Comcast. They in-turn said that they are unable to cancel service as it just started a new billing cycle so will need to pay through 5/24/2020. Now I have 2 accounts one for $24.53 and one for $129.21. I called and after 45 minutes of explaining the call was dropped! I then waited for this billing cycle to see if all changes were made. NOT !!! I still have 2 bill no adjustments were made and I now owe $24.53 for one and a whopping $213.80. Called today spent 15 minutes with a nice person in collects who couldn’t help with details so she transferred me to billing. 30+ minute hold time and return call request couldn’t be put through. What the hell….this company is unreal. I still have no answers and will need to call again and waste my time

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