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Frontier Communications Internet Review

Originally manifesting in 1935 as a telecommunications company that focused on serving rural customers, Frontier Communications now inhabits many regions of the United States. Though first known as Citizens Utilities Company, much more has changed aside from the name. Today the company offers service virtually nationwide, and further includes FiOS (Fiber Optic Service) licensed from Verizon in select areas.

The Good

A very environmentally and socially conscious company, Frontier offers high-speed broadband service for Internet, phone, TV and data backup. These services are supported by two different infrastructures (Frontier FiOS or Frontier DSL), depending on geographic location in the US. Note that Frontier cable is not a supported service. Essentially, slight variations of pricing and services options will depend on the region where service may be provided.

Frontier Internet speeds vary based on the package you select and as such, how much you are willing to pay per month.

Though Frontier divides their service by region, the same deals apply to most areas pertaining to Internet service offered via Frontier DSL. Starting at $19.99 per month, a residential user can purchase Internet with qualifying phone service. This will give the user 6 Mb/s but the speed can be doubled to 12 Mb/s in most cases, for an additional $9.99 per month.

With regular DSL and phone service, you will pay a total of $50.98 per month. Most of the time, a promotional gift card is included for new customers which increases in value with the amount of services bundled (i.e. TV and phone). This price is locked into place for 2 years, as guaranteed on its website. All Frontier Internet services include a gateway, which is nice bonus as many providers either rent the equipment for a fee, bill you for the device or require you to purchase a compatible device separately.

Another nice feature included with certain packages is Frontier Secure - a backup service that can be added to Internet bundles starting at $4.99 per month (in some cases the service is free.) With the basic service, virus protection is included for up to 3 PCs. The best part is the ability to backup an unlimited amount of data for up to 3 home computers. Though the primary focus of the company is Internet, its data backup service boasts some of the most competitive pricing for the private consumer backup market.

Frontier also offers higher class Internet service for small business as well as enterprise level solutions. Internet for small business starts at $49.99 per month and features 7 Mb/s download speeds. More bandwidth can be purchased for offices with a higher number of employees. For example, a plan for 40 Mb/s will run at $139.99 and all plans include a free WiFi router. Enterprise solutions are available but are custom designed for each individual case so it is difficult to pinpoint a starting price and feature/equipment inclusions.

Speaking from personal experience, the FiOS is a top class service for the home. I have never had an outage in over one year and running the WhichVoIP speed test always results in the correct speeds for uplink and downlink. The FiOS is a direct connection from your home to the Central Office and this is great when compared with other technologies, such as Cable, as the time of day or week has no impact on the throughput. My family can stream multiple Netflix movies, make VoIP calls and access the Internet all at the same time, with no impact on quality. For further reading, view our article on VoIP over Frontier FiOS.

The Bad

The FiOS service is relatively new and a common complaint against the company is the lengthy amount of time that may pass before certain processes take place (e.g. installations or changes to a service plan). Frontier DSL has been around for a long time and typically gets more complaints. However, there are a lot of variables at play with DSL service, such as the quality of the wiring inside your home, the distance from your home to the Central Office and whether you are using filters to help with the signal quality.

There is no contract for residential service but if cancelled, a $9.99 fee will be incurred.

Installation fees are required in some cases. If a technician performs a setup of a home gateway, this will require a $99.99 fee though you will not be charged should you connect the device yourself. With a one year agreement for a business plan, you are required to pay $99.99 for installation but this fee will be waived with a 2 or 3 year agreement. Should you cancel before your contract expires, the remaining balance is due upon termination, plus the $9.99 broadband fee. On the FiOS side, if your home or business is not outfitted with an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) a professional technician will be required to install this device at a cost of almost $50.

The Bottom Line

  • Frontier DSL Internet pricing starts at $19.99 per month for new users and provides adequate bandwidth (6 Mb/s) for casual use. Free gateway is provided with the purchase of residential service.
  • Installation fees ($99.99) required for a 1 year business contract or when a technician is required to connect a router for residential service.
  • For FiOS service on the West Coast (currently select areas in Washington, Oregon, California and Montana) the Ultimate Internet packages starts at $29.99 per month for 15 Mb/s with no contract and features a two year price lock. ONT installation costs $49.99 plus a further $29.99 activation fee.

Frontier Internet problems could be caused by lack of power, general outages, equipment or configuration issues that can be investigated by visiting the Frontier support center. If Frontier Internet is down then these documents or the support team will help get you up and running again quickly.

Overall Thoughts

Frontier provides either DSL or FiOS Internet service, depending on your location. Both types of service offer competitive pricing and decent Internet speeds. There tends to be more complaints with the DSL service but in fairness, this tends to occur for all DSL companies and often is due to other factors such as wiring inside the home or distance to the Central Office. The FiOS service is excellent if it is available in your region and the only complaints tend to be related to the customer service side, most notably billing issues.

If you add TV and/or phone service, there tends to be great double and triple plays on offer so this is worth considering as it may help significantly reduce your monthly bills. Check your Frontier phone bill to see if you can save some money through bundling, or even unbundling and going with a regular VoIP service.

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