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Frontier Internet Review

Posted by: Trevor Wheelwright      Updated: 1/16/2017

The Bottom Line

Frontier provides satellite, DSL, and fiber to the home (FTTH) internet; it covers areas neglected by the competition. The more Frontier grows, the more rural and remote customers have access to higher speeds. While they focus on these sort of areas, they also provide fast internet (up to 1 Gig) to suburban and urban areas as well. Fortunately, most plans don’t require a contract, and even better, Frontier has no data caps! All things considered, they may very well be one of the best internet providers out there.

Is it Right for Me?

  • YES
  • If you need unlimited internet access (no data caps)
  • If you want no-contract internet
  • If you want fiber internet speeds
  • If you live in a rural or remote area

PRICE & PLANS 9/10

High, low, and everything in between.

Frontier internet only plans

PlanAdvertised priceDownload speedUpload SpeedContract
FiOS 50/50$4499/mo50 Mbps50 MbpsNone
FiOS 75/75 $5499/mo75 Mbps75 MbpsNone
FiOS 100/100$5499/mo100 Mbps100 MbpsNone
FiOS 150/150$6499/mo150 Mbps150 MbpsNone
FiOS 300/300$16499/mo300 Mbps300 MbpsNone
FiOS 500/500$26499/mo500 Mbps500 MbpsNone

Updated 9/20/16. Pricing and availability may change depending on location. 

Frontier provides satellite, DSL, cable, and fiber services; although you may not have access to every one of them, most locations at least offer three or more plans. Typically, you’ll find cable and fiber internet in higher-population areas like cities because it must run underground, whereas DSL is usually available in both cities and rural areas because it easily runs along phone lines.

Getting the Gig

Only three cities currently have access to Frontier’s 1 Gig download speeds (Durham, NC; Beverton, OR; and New Haven, CT). Depending on your location and other variables, this plan may go for as low as $219.99 per month. It’s cheaper in more competitive markets (say if Comcast XFINITY Gigabit or AT&T GigaPower is in the area).

FiOS internet plans

Many plans have a 2-year price lock, making it easy to budget your expenses without worrying about potential price increases. Some companies have huge rate increases after a year, like Comcast’s Extreme 250 plan, which goes from $50 to $149.99 after the promo pricing ends. Frontier spares you this drastic change and keeps consistent pricing WITHOUT early termination fees.

Broadband internet plans

PlanAdvertised priceRegular PriceDownload speedContract
Simply High-Speed Internet$3599/mo$3599/mo0.5–7 Mbps* None
Simply High-Speed Internet Enhanced$5399/mo$5399/mo3–15 Mbps*None
Simply High-Speed Internet
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised price
$35.99/mo.
Regular Price
$35.99/mo
Download speed
0.5–7 Mbps*
Contract
None
Simply High-Speed Internet Enhanced
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised price
$53.99/mo.
Regular Price
$53.99/mo.
Download speed
3–15 Mbps*
Contract
None

Updated 1/16/17. Pricing and availability may change depending on location. *Actual speed determined by availability.

People looking for cheap internet have options with Frontier; the lowest plan we saw went for $34.99 per month.

Bundles:

Frontier offers bundles with both TV and phone. The following tables show samples of bundles available with internet, but not every option may be available to you.

Double Play plans: Internet + Video

Vantage TV | InternetAdvertised Price
250+ Channels | 18 Mbps$7999/mo
250+ Channels | 24 Mbps$9499/mo
390+ Channels | 18 Mbps$11499/mo
250+ Channels | 18 Mbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$79.99/mo.
250+ Channels | 24 Mbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$94.99/mo.
390+ Channels | 18 Mbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised Price
$114.99/mo.

Triple Play plans: Internet + Video + Phone

All plans include unlimited Vantage Voice phone service.

Vantage TV | Internet | PhoneAdvertised price
250+ Channels | 18 Mbps$9999/mo
250+ Channels | 24 Mbps$10499/mo
390+ Channels | 18 Mbps$11499/mo
250+ Channels | 18 Mbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised price
$99.99/mo.
250+ Channels | 24 Mbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised price
$104.99/mo.
390+ Channels | 18 Mbps
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Advertised price
$114.99/mo.

What’s the real price?

Frontier offers straightforward pricing: No “regular” rate—your plan costs the advertised price. It still has things like “taxes, governmental, and other Frontier-imposed surcharges” but doesn’t spell those fees out because they vary for each person.

Hidden fees

Be aware of the following fees:

  •  Shipping and Handling charge

– Varies by location.

  • Early termination fee (ETF)

– When it comes to early termination fees, it’s dependent on which services you choose. Internet-only plans have no early termination fees. Bundled packages have ETFs ranging from $200 to $400.

  • Broadband processing fee

– If you disconnect one of your bundled services, you’ll pay $9.99.

  • Installation

– Internet installation fees are currently waived on new internet service (9/1—9/30).

Equipment

With most plans, Frontier throws in a free Wi-Fi router for life as part of your service, which saves you money on leasing or buying your own. This piece of equipment gives you wireless internet service to all of your devices. Of course, you can always use your own equipment if you prefer.

SPEED 10/10

The lowest lows and highest highs.

Frontier plans start around 1 Mbps and go up to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps). Frontier tries to cover every base, especially for the customers other companies overlook. With that in mind, it makes sense that Frontier has such a wide range with differing prices, but remember that the available speeds depend on your location.

One of Frontier internet’s best features is symmetrical speeds: Your upload speeds and download speeds are (mostly) equal with Frontier. Other companies will advertise a very high download speed, but then pair it with a weak upload. For example, Time Warner internet’s Ultimate 200 plan has 200 Mbps download speeds but only 30 Mbps upload speeds; or Suddenlinks Internet 75 which has 75 Mbps download speeds and 7.5 Mbps upload speeds. Upload speeds are a key factor for anyone who has to upload high-quality media often.

What speed is right for me?

When it comes to picking a plan, consider how many users you have and what type of internet use you’ll need. The more HD videos you watch and games you play, the more speed you need to prevent lag/freezing/delay.

Internet speeds are not guaranteed.The factors you should consider are:

  • Multiple users

  • Computer hardware and software

  • Modem

Below are the FCC’s minimum broadband speed requirements for a single user.

Activity (single user)Minimum Download Speed
Web browsing1 Mbps
Watching video4 Mbps
Video conferencing4 Mbps
Online gaming5 Mbps
Web browsing
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Minimum Download Speed
1 Mbps
Watching video
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Minimum Download Speed
4 Mbps
Video conferencing
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Minimum Download Speed
4 Mbps
Online gaming
EXPAND FOR DETAILS
Minimum Download Speed
5 Mbps

According to the FCC, in 2015 Frontier had 98.10% delivery on advertised speeds. That’s pretty reliable, and when it comes down to it,  the average user won’t notice much difference between speeds of 23.7 Mbps and 25 Mbps. The table below illustrates some of the FCC’s findings.

DATA 10/10

Don’t worry about it; Frontier has unlimited data.

How much data do I really get?

It’s great having high-speed internet without data caps. Anyone who has ever received additional charges for overages knows how quickly those expenses add up. With Frontier’s free-range approach to the internet, users can explore the web, watch HD videos, and play tons of games without worrying about tacking on up to $200 in overage charges in a single month (like you could with Comcast or AT&T internet).

Frontier’s lack of data caps stems from their desire to make sure their customers get what they need without restriction. In the words of Daniel McCarthy, CEO of Frontier Communications: “We want to make sure our product meets the needs of customers for what they want to do, and it doesn’t inhibit them or force them to make different decisions about how they’re going to use the product.” Or in other words, they don’t want you to quit watching HD videos or playing online games just because you’re worried about getting an overage charge. He went on to explain that the current technology far outweighs the current demand for it. In other words,the big companies aren’t hurting for data bandwidth, just charging for it.

What if I hit the limit?

The Frontier is the limit, if I may be so cheesey. With Frontier internet, the lack of data caps or limitations means you’re free to access the internet at full speed for as long as you’re a subscriber.

SUPPORT 7/10

Free support 24/7/365 for all of Frontier’s services.

ASCI 2016 Rating JD Power
64/100 4.72/5

Frontier sits slightly above average in the customer service department. For 2015, Frontier ended with a score of 64 from the Amercian Customer Satisfaction Index, comparatively the average rating for telecom companies was 63.30. Its JD Power & Associates score of 4.72 is much higher than the 3.14 nationwide average for telecom companies.

Frontier customer service

In our experience, Frontier’s sales agents were friendly and to the point. Although their chat feature didn’t work for us several times, the phone agents handled our questions promptly without too much pressure to upgrade or add on buying options.

THE TAKEAWAY

Frontier internet covers all bases

We’ve got to hand it to Frontier: It has something for everyone. With reasonable prices, a wide range of high speed internet, and no data caps, we bet just about anyone can find a plan that fits their needs.

Our Recommendation: Frontier FiOS 100/100 or 150/150 plans

Frontier 100/100 and 150/150 plans are a great bang for the buck, so if you don’t need that extra 50 Mbps, you can save yourself $10 a month. At the same time, it’s only another $10 for that extra download AND upload speed boost.

Other Options:

  • If you’re in one of the Frontier Gig areas, it’s not a bad deal, but most users would be quite content with plans above 25 Mbps.

  • If you want to bundle your internet, phone, and TV, we recommend the Triple Play Bundle with 250+ channels and 24 Mbps download speeds.

  • If you want a budget-friendly option, the FiOS 50/50 plan will suit most users just fine.

 

What experience do you have with Frontier? Consider switching internet providers, but have questions? Leave a comment below to let us know what you’re thinking!