Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

September 11, 2013

Antrim gets faster Internet

TRAVERSE CITY — Frontier Communications Corp. announced upgrades to its broadband network that will give its existing customers in Antrim County higher Internet speeds and expand Internet access for 1,500 households.

Frontier’s enhanced network now offers residential Internet download speeds up to 30 megabits per second, equal to what most television cable companies offer their residential customers. The expanded service also will be available to households and businesses in the communities of Alden, Bellaire, Central Lake, Clam River, Eastport, Ellsworth and Torch River.

“We will be adding broadband either to where there wasn’t any option before or we are adding competition and choice for consumers where there wasn’t any before,” said Frontier spokeswoman Dana Berkes. “Either way it’s good.”

Antrim County is part of Connect Michigan, a program in partnership with the Michigan Public Services Commission aimed at expanding broadband opportunities for residents, schools, businesses and local government.

The expansion was not a direct result of Connect Michigan, Berkes said, but all of those people being at the table does make broadband expansion more possible in those communities.

Antrim County Administrator Peter Garwood called the expansion a “great thing” for consumers currently limited to dial-up telephone connections and “really good” for residents who now have expanded competition among Internet service providers.

“That is going to bring a lot better options for a lot of customers in Antrim County,” Garwood said. “It’s a great thing and we’re supportive of any business that is going to improve Internet speeds for our residents.”

Connecticut-based Frontier Communications started as a phone company primarily serving rural areas. The company today operates in 27 states and offers broadband, phone, satellite video, wireless Internet, data security and advanced business communications.

Nationally, Frontier invested more than $1.5 billion over the last few years to support communication infrastructure needs, including $147 million in Michigan.

“We remain committed to expanding and strengthening our network in communities across northern Michigan, providing residents with access to new opportunities in distance learning, telemedicine, telecommuting, and new employment,” said Lisa Mecheau, area general manager, in a prepared release.

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