Frontier Communications Corp. will offer 405,000 West Virginia households and businesses faster broadband speeds by the end of the year, said Dana Waldo, the company's senior vice president and general manager for West Virginia.
The households and businesses that will be offered the faster speeds can have up to 25-megabits-per-second service with Frontier's new "Broadband Ultra" and "Ultimate" services, and business customers can have up to 40-megabits-per-second service, Waldo said.
The services already are available in parts of Kanawha and Putnam counties and will be expanded to more areas within both counties by the end of the year, said Frontier spokesman Dan Page.
Residential 25-megabits-per-second service will be priced as low as $54.99 a month before discounts for bundling with other services, Page said. Frontier's price includes the cost of a wireless modem.
Asked about the price of 40-megabits-per-second service, Page said, "We encourage customers to call us so they can realize the best available pricing for the specific services they need."
Frontier currently offers up to 6-megabits-per-second residential service.
"Through Metro E services, we have offered speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second," Page said.
A one-gigabyte file like a high-quality movie would take about 45 minutes to download at 6 megabits per second but would take about 7 minutes with a 25-megabits-per-second connection, Page said.
Waldo said, "Families are using more and more Internet-driven services and applications in their homes, often operating several devices simultaneously to learn from educational sites, manage their finances and enjoy entertainment and games. Our higher speeds will support those applications to West Virginians."
As for businesses, Waldo said Frontier's 2,600-mile "Fiber 7.0" network, installed last year, "is engineered to serve West Virginia employers today and in the future."Frontier became the largest telecommunications provider in the state in July 2010 when it bought Verizon's landline business in West Virginia. Frontier provides telephone and related services to more than 90 percent of the state's population.