A Frontier Communications truck in downtown Gales Creek. Photo: Chas Hundley
OREGON - Frontier Communications officially completed the sale of their operations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana on Friday to the company now known as Ziply Fiber.
The deal closed at $1.35 billion, according to Ziply, which is headquartered in Kirkland, Wash. with offices in Beaverton, Everett, Wash., and Hayden, Idaho.
While the future may be bright for Ziply, the same is not the case for Frontier Communications, which filed for bankruptcy protection on April 14. The company has struggled financially for years amid a steady decline in their landline phone business, according to the Oregonian.
The company’s executive team draws former AT&T, CenturyLink and Wave Broadband executives together to run the new company, most of whom either grew up in the Northwest region or have spent decades living here, the company said.
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The sale could mean that former Frontier customers in rural areas such as Banks and the more rural surrounding communities could see improvements to their internet and landline services.
Frontier’s internet and phone lines have been a constant source of frustration for Washington County’s rural residents.
Log into any of the Gales Creek, Banks, Timber and other rural community groups on various social media platforms and type ‘Frontier’ into the group search function.
Few have good things to say.
A common refrain on the Gales Creek Community Group on Facebook is posts reading some variation of “anyone else having issues with your Frontier today?”
The question is sometimes asked in a similar vein as “how’s the weather?”
Timber residents, many of whom do not have cellular service due to the remote location of the community, have noted days of service outages on their Frontier landlines.
“We see significant opportunity to improve the quality of the networks for our Northwest communities,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “At Ziply Fiber, we are engineering a state-of-the-art, modern network that is purpose-built for the internet, meaning our customers will have a better online experience than is possible with any other technology.”
Ziply claims that they won’t overlook rural areas in their service territory.
“While national providers have largely ignored this region and many of the smaller and rural towns here, Ziply Fiber is going all-in on the Northwest,” the company said in a press release.
The company says that they will hit the ground running, improving their network and service using $500 million for a number of projects in the four states from $2.004 billion the company raised to purchase Frontier’s Northwest operations.
The company acknowledges that the current COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges to the timeline of some of their projects.
Those with existing contracts with Frontier will not see a change in their bill, according to Ziply.
Those who wish to access their account information online will need to use a new website instead of using Frontier’s online system. To see your old Frontier information on Ziply’s website, sign it at ziplyfiber.com/login using your Frontier online account information.
All of your information should be there, looking just as it did on your old Frontier account. To contact customer service at Ziply, residential customers should call 866-699-4759.while business customers should call 866-947-5988.