Frontier Internet vs. Google Fiber

Frontier has more to offer the budget-conscious customer, but Google Fiber boasts better overall service.

Best price
Monthly price:
$45.00–$155.00/mo.
Download Speeds
500-5000 Mbps
Upload Speeds
500-5000 Mbps
Data Cap
Unlimited
Best performance
Monthly price:
$70.00–$150.00/mo.
Download Speeds
1000-8000 Mbps
Upload Speeds
1000-8000 Mbps
Data Cap
Unlimited
Easton Smith
Jan 30, 2024
bullet8 min read

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Google Fiber impresses with its fast symmetrical data speeds and top-shelf customer service. But Frontier has a slight edge on pricing and provides internet in more areas nationwide. Both companies offer good terms of service, minimal fees, and truly unlimited data.

We’re about to dive deeper in this article, comparing the two internet service providers (ISPs) point by point: Pricing, plans, speeds, availability, and customer support. We’ll utilize the latest data, reviews, and more to help you make an informed decision.

Google Fiber vs. Frontier Internet plans and pricing

Frontier offers a more useful range of plans and lower promotional prices than Google Fiber, while both companies offer impressive terms and fee structures.

Google Fiber and Frontier’s fiber plans look pretty similar on paper, but there are a few key differences that make Frontier the winner in this category.

With 12-month promotional pricing, Frontier undercuts Google’s prices on the popular 1 Gig plan, matches the 2 Gig price, but is still more expensive for 5Gbps.

Frontier offers a fast and affordable 500Mbps plan, and Google Fiber doesn’t offer a comparable alternative—Google offers an 8Gbps plan that is faster than any Frontier plan.

Frontier also offers a DSL plan, but it hardly compares to Google’s fiber plans (or any other company for that matter). This is because DSL uses a widespread but outdated technology that is unable to compete with fiber-optic speeds. If you are considering a DSL plan, it’s likely that no company offers fiber internet in your area.

Frontier Internet pricing and plans

Frontier Internet plans and pricing
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
Fiber 500$44.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill*500 Mbps
Fiber 1 Gig$69.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill1000 Mbps
Fiber 2 Gig$99.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill2000 Mbps
Fiber 5 Gig$154.99/mo. w/ Auto Pay and Paperless Bill^5000 Mbps
* w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 500/500 Mbps. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.
w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 1000/1000 Mbps. Location dependent. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.
w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 2000/2000 Mbps. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.
^ w/ Auto Pay & Paperless Bill. Max wired speed 5000/5000. Wi-Fi, actual & average speeds vary. One-time charges apply.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that Frontier offers 1 Gig, 2 Gig, and 5 Gig plans that are similar to Google, plus an extra 500Mbps fiber plan on the low end. Frontier’s prices are competitive at the normal rate ($55–$165/mo.), but you’ll actually pay even less for the first year with a $10 per month promotional discount.

Frontier also offers a $65 per month DSL plan for customers in certain parts of the country, and the option to bundle service with a home phone line. While $65 is a reasonable price compared to other DSL internet plans, you might want to see if any other high-speed internet options are available to you before pulling the trigger on DSL. We’ll talk more about that when we compare Google and Frontier’s internet speeds.

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Frontier Internet fees and contracts

Frontier’s exceptionally low fiber internet prices are locked in for 12 months when you sign up but increase to the full price ($10 more per month) after the promotional period ends. Luckily, we think the full price is still pretty phenomenal for what you get.

We’ll also point out that these prices reflect a $10 per month autopay discount, which means you have to pay a $10 fee every month if you are not enrolled in autopay.

Other than that, we’re happy to report that Frontier keeps its pricing, contracts, and fees pretty honest.

None of Frontier’s internet plans require a contract, meaning you are free to cancel your service any time without penalty. There are no data caps, so you won’t ever be penalized for using too much internet.

All of Frontier’s plans also come with free equipment rental (a fancy wireless router) to help you get the most out of your fiber connection. The downside is that you will be charged a $50 restocking fee when you end your service.

Installation will technically cost you $50 for fiber or $100 for DSL, but these fees are waived for any customer who keeps their service for 12 months or more. If you cancel before 12 months, the fee is prorated for the amount of months you used the service.

Frontier’s DSL plan comes with an additional $85 activation fee that unfortunately seems unavoidable.

Google Fiber plans and pricing

Google Fiber prices and plans
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
1 Gig$70/mo.°1000 Mbps
2 Gig$100/mo.°2000 Mbps
5 Gig$125/mo.**5000 Mbps
8 Gig$150/mo.**8000 Mbps
° Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.
** Available in select markets only. Plus taxes and fees. Upload/download speed and device streaming claims are based on maximum wired speeds. Actual Internet speeds are not guaranteed and may vary based on factors such as hardware and software limitations, latency, packet loss, etc.

Google Fiber’s plans start at a hyperfast 1 Gig (1,000Mbps) and go up to a jaw-dropping 8 Gigs. The company really puts the high in high–speed internet.

Google appears confident enough in its product value that it does not rely on promotional pricing to woo new customers. The plans range from $70–$150, which is not bad for the speed and reliability you get from Google.

But what about households that don’t need so much speed? Sadly, Google Fiber does not offer a plan catered to more casual internet users or those with tighter budgets.

How much internet do I really need, anyway?
bullet

Many factors can affect how much bandwidth your home needs. Our article about internet speeds will help you identify what type of plan will keep you and your family connected in all the ways you need.

Google Fiber internet fees and contracts

Even though Google is a bit spendier than Frontier, you won’t ever have to worry about hidden fees creeping up on your monthly bill. That’s because Google has a transparent approach to pricing, going as far as to publish a user-friendly breakdown of potential charges.

Google’s plans have no contracts or data caps. Like with Frontier, you can terminate your service any time without penalty, and you’ll never be charged for using lots of data.

All the plans also come with free Wi-Fi equipment rental, and there is no restocking fee at the end of your service (as there is with Frontier).

Google Fiber installation is usually free, though some customers may need to pay a construction fee that can be waived after 12 months of service.

All in all, we appreciate how upfront both companies are about fees and contracts. But if we had to pick, Google Fiber would be our choice for best terms and fewest fees.

Google Fiber vs. Frontier Internet speed

Both companies offer fast fiber-optic connections, but Frontier has more options for casual internet users.

Let’s get real about internet speed. In truth, most American households will have their daily internet needs met by any low-end fiber plan. For instance, Frontier’s entry-level 500Mbps plan should be able to support 4 or 5 people streaming HD video, gaming, and working simultaneously without showing signs of slowdown.

Furthermore, both Google and Frontier’s fiber connections tout symmetrical speeds. This means that you can upload as fast as you can download, and 500Mbps upload speed is more than enough to post large videos to social media or submit gigabytes of homework the night before it’s due.

Larger households should consider a 1Gbps plan if they plan to be very online with lots of connected devices. Certain academics, gamers, or professionals might also consider upgrading to rest easy knowing that their business meetings and battle royale matches always run smooth as silk.

Frankly, anything above 1Gbps caters to a more specialized crowd like an apartment building or business. A 2Gbps connection can support dozens of users, and Frontier advertises that its Fiber 5 Gig plan can “power hundreds of devices at our highest speed.”

In terms of reliability, we’re glad to report that fiber-optic connections are among the most reliable technologies around, so you won’t have to worry about losing your connection while marathoning the latest season of True Detective.

Unfortunately, DSL connections are not as reliable, which is why we are less enthusiastic about Frontier’s DSL option. DSL is an outdated technology that can sustain adequate download speeds (usually below 100Mbps) but severely limits upload speeds.

Frontier does not advertise download speed for its Frontier Internet (DSL) plan because it depends on how many other subscribers are already in your area. The company has a reputation for underperforming on DSL internet speed, so even if you are quoted up to 75Mbps, your average speeds could be much lower.

Frontier Internet vs. Google Fiber internet speed comparison
Provider
Download speeds
Upload speeds
Details
Google Fiber1000-8000 Mbps1000-8000 Mbps
Frontier Fiber Internet500-5000 Mbps500-5000 Mbps
Data as of 04/05/2023. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

We tested the major ISPs for actual internet speeds and determined that Google Fiber lives up to its promises more than any other company. Frontier didn’t quite make the list, but that doesn’t mean its fiber internet isn’t still lightning fast.

Depending on location, Frontier’s DSL plan might be great for small families and casual internet users who lack access to a fiber internet network.

Frontier Internet vs. Google Fiber availability

Frontier’s fiber-optic network is larger than Google’s, and the DSL network even reaches rural areas.

One thing that Frontier has going for it is impressive nationwide availability.

Frontier provides fiber internet to roughly four times as many users as Google Fiber. The coverage range includes 25 states in the American Southwest, Upper Midwest, Northeast, and South, with the highest density in Connecticut, Florida, and California.

Frontier Internet coverage map
Frontier coverage map

Image source: Frontier.com

This map includes all of Frontier’s networks, meaning some states and regions only have access to the company's DSL network. We commend Frontier for offering high-speed internet in areas that other ISPs don’t.

At the same time, we wish that rural users had more choices in general. We’re glad to see a trend towards consumer choice with the arrival of 5G home internet plans from some of the country’s largest cellular network providers.

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Google Fiber has a different approach to most ISPs, targeting specific high-density metro areas rather than widespread geographical areas. In fact, we can easily list the states and cities where it’s available:

  • Alabama: Huntsville
  • Arizona: Mesa
  • California: Orange County
  • Georgia: Atlanta
  • Iowa: Des Moines, West Des Moines
  • Kansas/Missouri: Kansas City
  • North Carolina: Charlotte, The Triangle
  • Tennessee: Nashville, Smyrna
  • Texas: Austin, San Antonio
  • Utah: Provo, Salt Lake City

If your city wasn’t listed above, fear not! Google Fiber is always expanding. In fact, plans are underway to expand to the following markets in 2024 and beyond:

  • Arizona: Chandler
  • Colorado: Lakewood, Westminster, Wheat Ridge
  • Idaho: Pocatello
  • Iowa: Council Bluffs
  • Nebraska: Bellevue, Omaha
  • South Carolina: Tega Cay
  • Tennessee: Murfreesboro
  • Utah: Logan

Google offers another type of internet called Webpass that is available in seven additional markets nationwide. More information about that program can be found in our full Google Fiber review.

Frontier Internet vs. Google Fiber customer service

There’s a wide gap between Frontier and Google Fiber in this category, with Google being the better user experience.

What Google Fiber lacks in availability, it more than makes up in customer experience. In an industry with generally low standards for customer care, Google Fiber stands above the crowd, achieving the highest rating of any ISP in the category of Customer Service in a recent study by HighSpeedInternet.com.

While it isn’t the worst, Frontier could stand to improve customer support ratings. In the same survey, Frontier scored right in the middle.

To avoid long wait times, we recommend utilizing either company’s website to schedule a call in advance. To make the whole process smoother, you might consider reading through our list of tips before reaching out to your ISP for help.

Google Fiber customer service is available by phone at +1-866-777-7550 or at www.fiber.google.com/support to start a chat or send an email.

You can reach Frontier’s customer support at 1-800-921-8101 or by visiting https://frontier.com/helpcenter/internet to start a chat.

Google Fiber vs. Frontier Internet: Which ISP is the best fit for you?

How do the two ISPs stack up to one another overall? Anyone who wants at least 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) speed will likely get a better service with Google Fiber if they happen to live in one of the handful of cities where it’s offered.

Households on a budget, or those that need only 500Mbps or slower speeds might be better off going with one of Frontier’s cheaper plans. If you live in a rural area, the choice is already made for you because Google Fiber does not operate in those areas at all.

Let’s review the criteria one last time:

  • Plans and price: Frontier boasts cheaper prices for 12 months on its 1 Gig internet plan and an appealing 500Mbps plan that Google doesn’t even offer. Meanwhile, Google’s 2–8 Gig internet plans are a better value.
  • Terms and fees: Both companies have good terms of service: No contracts, free equipment rental, avoidable installation fees, and no data caps.
  • Internet speed: Google Fiber provides the fastest and most reliable fiber internet connection on the market. Frontier’s fiber plans are still fast, but don’t expect too much from the DSL plan.
  • Availability: Frontier has a much bigger network, covering more rural and metro areas across the United States.
  • Customer service: Google Fiber users are happier with the customer service experience than Frontier users, but there are plenty of ISPs out there that do a worse job.

Methodology

The primary goal of these comparison reviews is to provide our readers with helpful, accurate, and practical information so that they will feel empowered to select the best ISP and internet plan for their specific home internet needs.

These comparison reviews synthesize and interpret a variety of sources, including surveys, testimonials, reviews, internal research, fine print, and other first-party publications. Whenever possible, we relay the most current information available straight from the companies themselves.

Ultimately we hope that you will learn something about yourself (what kind of internet user you are) and the industry (what kinds of internet are available to you). Not every internet user has the same wants and needs, but we hope that with this information, each user can find the internet plan that best suits them.

If you feel this article could be improved, please don’t hesitate to reach out via the Contact Us link below.

Easton Smith
Written by
Easton Smith
Easton has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for several years, reviewing health, lifestyle, and technology products. He has probably read more Terms of Use contracts than any human alive. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, Easton spends his time camping, climbing, and volunteering with humanitarian aid organizations.

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