Frontier Communications plans to announce on Oct. 23 details about its own gigabit Internet service in Durham County. The announcement sets the stage for head-to-head competition with AT&T, which is bringing its U-verse with GigaPower to the Triangle.

Dennis Bloss, vice president and general manager for Frontier Communications in North Carolina, told the WRAL TechWire “Fiber Transforms the Triangle” conference at SAS that the telecommunications firm will protect its own turf.

“This is our home,” Bloss said.


WRAL TechWire team coverage of Fiber Transforms the Triangle:

  • Fiber changes face and place of Triangle work force
  • Execs: Fiber is the new highway
  • Execs: Hanging up on traditional phone service
  • Speed means opportunity for education, innovation, consumers
  • Blair Levin: Triangle well on its way to next-gen Internet
  • MCNC CEO: Fiber means exciting times – and challenges
  • AT&T exec: Fiber will transform the Triangle
  • AT&T ramps up speed, Wi-Fi in Austin – a precursor to Triangle

AT&T (NYSE: T) has provided only limited services in Durham County in the past but is expanding into the former Verizon territory as it begins to build the North Carolina Next Generation Network.

“As a relatively new entrant into North Carolina, we’re rapidly investing in fiber to the neighborhood,” Bloss explained. “This is positioning us to take the next step and up the speeds to Durham. We’re proud of the work we’ve done with Connect America funds, installing broadband for tens of thousands of households in rural neighborhoods, and soon we will be helping to drive entrepreneurship in Durham and the Triangle when we offer fiber there in the very near future.”

While AT&T has yet to announce deployment dates and specific offerings, it is required by the agreement signed with the NCNGN consortium to make specific commitments in coming weeks.

In her own remarks earlier at the conference, AT&T’s top executive in North Carolina, Venessa Harrison, also used the “home” reference as she described AT&T’s decision to pursue the NCNGN request for proposal. AT&T was one of eight respondents. The only other company identified as a bidder for the RFP is Time Warner Cable.

Frontier’s decision sets up a head-to-head competition for gigabit Internet services to businesses and homes across Durham County.

Frontier services 16 counties in North Carolina, including several in the western part of the state. The company acquired the coverage area from Verizon in 2010.

“We will announce additional plans on Oct. 23,” Bloss said. “Look for exciting things.

“This is our home. We are vigorously ready to compete.”

The event will take place at the American Tobacco Historic District.

Frontier is already in the process of upgrading its network to support up to 60 megabits per second of data and is moving to an all-digital Internet Protocol network.

Frontier (Nasdaq: FTR) is based in Stamford, Conn.