By Steve Jones
The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
Maggie Wilderotter, chairwoman and CEO of Frontier Communications, was on the Grand Strand Friday, where she presented a $300,000 check to North Myrtle Beach for its new Park and Sports Complex and spoke at the inaugural event for the Grand Strand Women in Technology.
The Sun News sat down with her for a brief question-and-answer session.
Q. What’s the next big consumer electronic technology capability that we’re likely to see coming down the road?
A. There’s a renaissance going on in the Internet today, and I think we’ve all seen the amazing explosion of devices and capabilities. What we’re seeing on the horizon is what we call the Internet of things which is appliances or devices in your home or business that become smart and allow you to set your thermostat, review security cameras and turn lights on and off from remote devices.
I don’t know where the end will be. We do see more machines talking to each other. Your refrigerator could tell you when your milk’s going to expire. We know there’s a lot of things in the capability of technology, but it has to pass the test that it’s going to make life better and easier and it’s got to be simple to do.
Q. Does Frontier have any plans for growth or expansion in the Myrtle Beach area?
A. We have plans for growth and expansion of our network. We’re continuing to upgrade that network and to make it more robust. And we will continue to expand as the population expands. We’re not looking to go outside the bounds of what we have already. But as the area that we serve continues to grow, we have a commitment to grow our networks to make sure it’s there for new businesses and residents.
Q. What about growth at Frontier’s call center in Myrtle Beach?
A. Yes. We’ve just closed on a $2 billion acquisition today. We bought the state of Connecticut from AT&T. So we took on another 1.5 million customers and another 2,600 employees. I was at the call center here in Myrtle Beach earlier today [Friday] and we have a group of about 50 who are supporting Connecticut through this whole transition and will continue to provide support for Connecticut. We have a number of corporate functions in Myrtle Beach that we do to support many of our states around the country.