If you live in a small town or rural region, then you must already know the frustrations and hustle that comes with slow internet connections. People in such areas don’t easily access fast speed internet and often have to contend with satellite or dial-up. When frontier shows up in your rural area, it may literally be your knight in shining armor.
The thing about this internet company is that it tends to focus on providing high-speed internet in the often ignored rural parts of the US. In fact, this internet provider even has fiber coverage in some of the remote regions. That said, the suburbans and metropolitans are not left behind either. So have you recently discovered frontier is in the area or you want to switch providers? Are you wondering whether the frontier services are worth your money? Well, this review will take you through everything concerning the frontier services. Without wasting any more time, let’s get started.
Frontier internet overview
Frontier internet is a subsidiary of frontier communications and it’s committed to providing fast speed internet to the remote regions, suburbans and metropolitans. While the company has been around much longer, its breakthrough was in 2016 when it acquired Verizon’s broadband and landline services in California, Texas and Florida. This smart move increased frontier’s broadband coverage and customer footprint. Frontier communications actually owns a huge share of the phone lines available in the rural parts of the country.
Frontier offers DSL, cable and fiber optic service. The company earns a place on the list of the largest DSL providers in the whole of the US. Compared to dial-up, people in the rural areas are better off with the DSL internet service because it’s much faster and a bit more reliable. A few remote regions are lucky enough to have access to the frontier fiber optic service.
At the moment, frontier has its presence in a total of 38 states across the United States. Out of those, only five states have accession to the fiber internet service namely Idaho, Washington, Texas, California and Oregon. These are basically areas that usually don’t have lots of options when it comes to the fiber optic providers.
Other states where the service is available include Minnesota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Michigan, Lowa, Georgia, Alabama, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana and so on. If you’re not sure about the frontier coverage in your area, simply go to their website for more information on the coverage map and zip codes.
The internet plans and prices
The frontier internet plans availability mainly depends on the location. For instance, not all areas will have access to the fiber plans. Also, the prices tend to vary with each of the locations. From frontier, you will get three solid DSL plans and about six fiber optic plans. Though, almost all household needs are covered and you will not miss a package suitable for your kind of internet usage.
DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) makes use of the already existing telephone lines to transmit data between your devices such as PCs and the internet. This is the reason why there is extensive DSL coverage in many parts of the country. With that said, DSL may be better than dial-up but its connections are still slow. The frontier DSL plans range from as low as 6 Mbps all the way to 45 Mbps for a price of about $28 to $45 monthly. These prices are way better than what the satellite providers have to offer.
If the fiber network happens to be in your area, you might as well go for it. We are taking about incredibly fast internet connections which are typically unheard of in the remote regions. The fiber optic plans start at 50 Mbps to a whopping 940 Mbps. keep in mind; this is the most reliable connection you will ever find. In most instances, you won’t even have to deal with issues like lost connections. Depending on your specific region, you can get the frontier FiOS 50 Mbps plan at only $30.
Here is an overview of the frontier internet plans and prices;
|Internet plans||price||The connection type||Download speeds|
|Frontier internet||Starts at $27.99||DSL||6 Mbps|
|Frontier preferred internet||Starts at $34.99||DSL||25 Mbps|
|Frontier premium internet||Starts at $44.99||DSL||45 Mbps|
|FiOS 50/50||Starts at $29.99||Fiber||50 Mbps|
|FiOS 500/500||Starts at $39.99||Fiber||500 Mbps|
|FiOS Gig Service||Starts at $74.99||fiber||940 Mbps|
One thing you might want to note about the frontier internet plans is that they contain symmetrical download and upload speeds. Therefore, if the download speeds are 45 Mbps, you receive the same speeds for uploads which is a pretty good thing. We pay more attention to the download speeds because they affect most activities including streaming but upload speeds are also equally important. There will be that one time when you want to upload a photo gallery on your Facebook page and it takes forever because of super slow upload speeds. Thus, frontier is doing so many a huge favor.
Internet speeds and data caps
The FiOS Gig service plan offers the fastest internet speeds from frontier. If you have been looking for the fastest internet speeds, then there you have it. The download speeds go up to 940 Mbps while the upload speeds fall short at just 880 Mbps. This particular plan does not have symmetrical speeds but upload speeds of 880 Mbps are quite enough for a majority of tasks including uploading large sized files.
Other than the FiOS 50 and FiOS 500, the rest of the plans offer enough speeds for the average internet user. Remember the frontier internet speeds tend to vary with every one of the locations. Unless you live in California or Texas where there is the FiOS internet, you will most likely be limited to speeds of as little as 6 Mbps. For a rural setting, these speeds are quite enough and the prices super affordable (satellite is way too expensive). However, 6 Mbps will barely get anything done except for streaming a few shows and emailing. You can upgrade to the higher speeds but prepare your wallet because they cost more.
Believe it or not; frontier has absolutely zero data caps on its internet plans. This only means one thing; you can stream, game and browse the web endlessly without having to deal with data limits and surcharges. I personally congratulate frontier for this great move because we all love unlimited data anyways.
Another selling point for frontier is the fact that they don’t even think of throttling speeds. This ISP means business when it says no data caps. I found that they wouldn’t go behind your back to slow your connections once you near a certain set limit. So, a big thank you to frontier for that.
How fast is the frontier internet?
We can talk all day long but one thing remains, and that is, internet speeds are crucial to the customers. I believe nobody wants to constantly deal with sluggish internet connections. Aside from that, majority of the people also want to get the internet speeds they pay for and nothing below that. According to the federal communications commission, a recent report shows that frontier delivers about 95% of the advertised speeds. This is an indication that many of the customers actually get the speeds that are within their paid plans.
While the fiber service offers the most reliable connections, the DSL internet is quite far from being flawless. As a matter of fact, the frontier DSL customers only receive the advertised speeds 30% of the time. Other DSL providers such as CenturyLink and AT&T will offer better performing services.
Most states get download speeds of up to 115 Mbps or the much coveted high speed fiber internet with download speeds of up to 940 Mbps. On the other hand, the rural areas should expect their internet speeds to be somewhere from 6 Mbps to 25 Mbps.
Recommendations for the frontier internet plans
Frontier provides a couple of internet plans to meet the needs of various users. You can go for the fastest internet plan and not necessarily require such high speeds. What am trying to say is that you should pick a plan that will suit your internet usage. Here are some recommendations to get you started;
Best for basic internet usage
The DSL internet plans with speeds of 6 Mbps, 25 Mbps and 45 Mbps are most certainly suitable for the basic internet users. For instance, the 6 Mbps plan will work just fine for tasks such as web browsing, checking emails and SD streaming. Netflix recommends at least 5 Mbps to successfully stream shows. Though if you have a household with more than two connected devices, it’s better to upgrade to the higher plans such as the frontier preferred with download speeds of 25 Mbps or frontier premium with download speeds of 45 Mbps. These are the perfect plans For HD streaming and even gaming.
Best for a medium sized household
Most medium sized families will do just fine with the frontier premium DSL plan of the FiOS 50/50 plan. The 45 Mbps of DSL internet can support up to five connected devices. Furthermore, it offers enough speeds for seamless online gaming, HD streaming and even good web browsing. The same goes for the FiOS 50/50 plan with symmetrical upload and download speeds. The fact that it is fiber internet service means issues like delays and lagging will be a thing of the past.
Best for large households and businesses
When referring to a large household, we are basically talking about more than 4 users. In this case, faster speeds will be required depending on the number of connections. The FiOS 500/500 will do the trick for a family of people who frequently do online gaming, download multiple videos, upload files and stream in ultra HD. This plan can support up to eight connected devices.
The Gig service on the other hand is for the tech savvy. Talk about the serious multi player gamers, videographers, photographers, businesses that conduct video conferences and avid streamers. The list is endless. With 940 Mbps for downloads and 880 Mbps for uploads, you can perform a variety of tasks online without interruptions and lagging. Videographers and photographers are likely to benefit from the high upload speeds. Consequently, if you are operating a home-based business, the Gig service is for you.
The frontier fees, contracts and equipment
There used to be a time when frontier required no contracts for its internet plans. However, with the arrival of the fiber optic service, contracts were introduced. In simpler terms, frontier requires you to sign a two year contract for the fiber internet plans. Ouch! I mean a one year contract wouldn’t be that bad but two whole years?! That’s an entirely different story.
On the other hand, if you opt for the frontier DSL plans no one will ask you to sign a contract. The DSL plans are contract-free. This definitely means any time you want to cancel the service, the process will be super easy and there won’t be any huge early termination fees to pay.
We all know that ISPs are notorious for increasing their prices after a period of time. This is inconveniencing for a number of customers especially those on a budget and can’t keep up with surprise hikes. It gets worse when you are locked in a 2 year contract. Therefore, frontier went the extra mile to offer a two year price lock guarantee together with the contract plans. This is certainly a light at the end of the tunnel!
Equipment and service fees
If the upfront cost of buying a modem or router is too much for you, there is the opportunity of leasing one from frontier at $10 per month. This is not such a huge amount of money to pay on a monthly basis. But when you do the math on an annual basis, it adds up to the cost of buying your own equipment. Therefore, if you intend to keep the service for a long time, you’re better off purchasing your own modem and router rather than renting.
Those who need professional installation have to pay $75 but this amount is often waived when you make the order online. There are other service fees that you may not be aware of. For instance, there is the shipping and handling charges that apply to customers depending on the location. This may cost just about $10. Also, when you terminate one of your bundle services, a fee of $9.99 applies.
As I had earlier mentioned, all of the DSL plans don’t require contracts hence there are typically no early termination fees. However, the fiber plans come with a 2 year contract that attracts an early termination fee of up to $400 when violated. The amount of money to be paid as an early termination fee depends on the number of months remaining on the contract.
All in all, the frontier service fees appear straightforward. Some ISPs can be quite sneaky with their service fees and add a couple of unexplainable charges. Thankfully, frontier doesn’t seem to follow in these footsteps. Though, we would like to see them offer all of their plans contract-free.
Most of the time, people prefer to bundle internet, phone and TV services in one package to cut down on costs. Frontier offers several bundle packages but they are not accessible in every location. Also, there are double play and triple play plan options from which you can choose according to your specific needs.
With that said, I noticed frontier doesn’t match up to other providers in the bundling category. For one thing, its bundle packages are quite expensive. Another thing is that the DSL service is mostly left out with no TV options to bundle with the internet. There are a few locations that are lucky enough to be allowed to bundle DSL internet service with DISH but all the others are left out in the dark.
There is the option for the fiber customers to bundle with the fiber-optic TV service. But keep in mind; this is limited to only a few select regions. The FiOS TV adds about $25 more per month on the bill. However, the main issue is the number of TV channels which are quite few.
Frontier customer service
One of the major areas where frontier falls short is in the customer service. As you already know, ISPs usually have the worst customer service in the world. With that said, frontier falls right at the bottom of the list. The American customer satisfaction index gave frontier customer service a score of 55/100. The average ACSI score is normally 62/100. This should give you an insight of just where frontier falls on the list.
It appears many of the users are not quite happy with the way frontier handles issues relating to its service. Among the complaints is the fact that the tech support takes too long to come around and solve issues. There is a customer who complains the service went out but the technician wasn’t available for a whole week. Additionally, many of the customers believe the frontier customer service is unreliable and the service reps unhelpful.
- Availability of high-speed fiber plans
- A variety of internet speeds
- No data caps
- Provides fast speed internet in the remote areas
- Affordable internet plans
- Inconsistent internet speeds
- Lacks enticing bundle options
- The customer service is lackluster
- Two year contracts with the fiber plans
- The fiber plans are quite limited
How to cancel the frontier internet service
Since some of the frontier plans come with a contract, you have to be sure about your decision to terminate the service.
Make the call
You must call the company and complete the cancellation process over the phone. If you have a contract-free plan, there will be no early termination fees. On the other hand, cancelling in the middle of a contract will require you to pay an early termination fee. The fee to be paid will depend on the months remaining on your contract.
Return the equipment
If you were leasing equipment from frontier, ensure you have followed the given instructions on returning equipment. Typically, equipment should be returned within 30 days after terminating the service. Taking longer than that will attract extra charges amounting to $100. Use the return slip and provided packaging to send the equipment back to their office address or drop it off at a local store.
Frequently asked questions
How fast is frontier internet?
Frontier offers internet speeds ranging from 6 Mbps all the way to 940 Mbps. You can check their website for the internet plans available in your locality and choose one which matches your internet usage.
Is 12 Mbps good for Netflix?
Yes, the 12 Mbps internet from frontier is more than capable for seamless streaming. Netflix recommends at least 5 Mbps for uninterrupted streaming of shows and movies.
Can you use your own router for frontier?
Frontier allows its customers to purchase their own equipment if there is need for that. Therefore, you can buy your own router and modem without any worries and use it with the frontier internet. Make sure the equipment you purchase is compatible with the service.
Bottom line: Is frontier internet worth the price
Well, for the country dwellers who have limited broadband access, the frontier internet service is worth the money. People in the rural areas have to pay an arm and a leg to get satellite internet (the most common but expensive internet option) or deal with the super slow dial-up internet. For this reason, the frontier high speed internet is a major upgrade. The prices are also quite competitive and affordable to many.
On the other side, the customer service is ranked as poor with people complaining about everything from slower than advertised speeds, incompetent tech support, unhelpful customer service and so on. Also, if you are looking for some great bundle options, this is not the place for you. Move along.