Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania


January 3, 2014

Frontier Communications' $2 billion deal to acquire AT&T's wireline business could be bad news for cable incumbents such as Cablevision as the telco has been one of the most aggressive providers when it comes to targeting cable broadband subscribers to grow its customer base.

CEO Maggie Wilderotter recently criticized Time Warner Cable for failing to match a $19.99 offer that Frontier has been marketing for its DSL service. "Time Warner has increased their modem fees. In some cases it's between $6 and $9 [monthly]... That's huge price increase for a lot of customers. You compare those to Frontier that has no modem cost, and the customers do understand where price value lies," Wilderotter said. The former Wink Communications CEO, who worked at Microsoft before taking over Frontier, boasted in August that Frontier is growing its market share in 75 percent of the markets where it competes with Comcast, TWC, Charter Communications and other operators.

In addition to aggressive pricing for DSL service, Frontier has previously offered new subscribers $500 Apple gift cards in exchange for switching from cable to one of its double-play or triple-play packages. Frontier also resells Dish Network programming. The telco spent $8.6 billion to acquire some of Verizon's wireline systems in the Northwest in 2008, but discouraged customers from ordering FiOS by hitting them with $500 installation fees. "Our focus is not on FiOS video deployment. The costs to install, set up and market new FiOS video customers are very expensive and, in our view, uneconomical," Wilderotter said in on an earnings call in May 2011. Frontier said in Tuesday's announcement that it will continue to offer U-verse. But it'll be interesting to see if the company will attempt to push AT&T customers to satellite TV subscriptions, as it did following the Verizon deal. Fierce Cable

According to a Harper Polling survey, Senator Pat Toomey would win reelection against either Attorney General Kathleen Kane or his 2010 opponent and former Congressman Joe Sestak. In a hypothetical race against Toomey, Kane performs better than Sestak but still loses, 49% to 44%. Sestak loses 49% to 42%. Party affiliation in this poll broke down to 43% Republican, 44% Democrat and 13% Independent or Other. Among independents, Toomey leads Kane by 8% and Sestak by 18%.

Toomey performs better than his Pennsylvanian colleague, Senator Bob Casey, when asked whether each senator is part of problem or solution to the political problems of Washington, although both are given negative results. After less than one term, 41% percent of voters perceive Toomey as "part of the problem" in Washington, 38% view him as "part of the solution" and 21% are unsure. For Casey, 44% of voters perceive him as part of the problem while 35% believe he is part of solution.

When analyzing these results, it's important to note that Harper Polling is itself a Republican firm and is affiliated with Long Nyquist and Associates, a GOP consulting firm. The sample size for the survey is 604 likely voters and the margin of error is +/-4%. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) automated telephone survey was conducted December 21-22, 2013 by Harper Polling. The total percentages for responses may not equal 100% due to rounding. PoliticsPA