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Attorney General says Frontier making progress increasing internet speeds


The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials with Frontier Communications have told West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey they have increased internet speeds for almost 10,000 customers in the wake of a $160 million court settlement.

Frontier entered into an agreement with the Attorney General’s Office in December 2015 following two years of complaints from customers who were paying extra for high speed internet services that they were not getting. Frontier advertised download speeds of up to 6 Mbps, but customers were frequently obtaining speeds of 1.4 Mbps or lower.

The settlement required Frontier to invest $150 million in upgrades on top of the $180 million the company had already planned to spend on upgrades through federal programs.

The settlement also required Frontier to reduce the bills to $9.99 a month for more than 27,700 customers who had paid for premium service and not received it. The discounts are to remain in place until download speeds improve.

Frontier officials told Morrisey they have made about $72.6 million so far in capital expenditures related to the settlement and have now improved download speeds for more than 9,900 customers.

“My office continues to closely monitor Frontier’s compliance with our settlement,” Morrisey said. “This agreement improves connectivity for thousands in West Virginia. It’s also crucial to helping the state compete in this ever evolving world of digital technology.”

The West Virginia Legislature passed a broadband expansion bill during the regular legislative session to allow communities to form internet co-ops to access federal grant money and set up their own internet service providers and to give the state Broadband Council the authority to develop policy and monitor broadband expansion in the state. The bill also provides loan guarantees to service providers who want to extend coverage.

Part of the bill also would have prevented Frontier and other companies from advertising unrealistic internet download speeds of “up to” a certain rate and would have required providers to advertise actual download speeds. That provision was removed from the legislation in the West Virginia Senate.

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