PROS / Frontier Communications provides fiber, cable and DSL services to many rural areas that in the past had few high-speed internet options.
CONS / The quality of download speeds and customer service may be inconsistent.
VERDICT / Frontier is quickly expanding into rural territory in 28 states. This is good news for rural residents who would otherwise have to resort to dial-up or satellite service.
Frontier Communications, as the name implies, is steadily covering areas around rural America. Since 2009, Frontier has been expanding its capabilities by purchasing phone lines from other major internet service providers, particularly in the Great Lakes area, and has acquired fiber optic components for even faster speeds. In many rural areas, Frontier owns all the available phone lines and consumers have few internet service provider (ISP) options unless they opt for more expensive satellite internet access.
With all that said, this company has experienced some growing pains. Many subscribers report problems with inconsistent service or not receiving the advertised speed. With all of this in mind, we investigated what Frontier has to offer and compared it to other services to see how it stacks up in a quantifiable comparison.
Despite its growing traction, Frontier's internet service area is still limited. In fact, it does not provide services to any of our eight test addresses. However, when we expanded the number of test addresses so we could further investigate what it has to offer, we found that Frontier does happen to offer services to many remote and rural areas.
Frontier can provide high-speed internet in some areas with cable internet and fiber optics, and it offers download speeds of up to 24 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 3 Mbps maximum. Most commonly, speeds reach around 1 to 2 Mbps.
Frontier does well by rural residents by offering DSL in areas where dial-up is more common. For the most part, DSL service is Frontier's most valuable residential ISP product since it is generally the fastest connection option available in many areas. Frontier's DSL is much faster than dial-up and can run online games but does not reach speeds fast enough to run multiple games or downloads at once.
When you need assistance, Frontier has telephone, email and chat to help. When we contacted them by email, we did not receive a response. We had better luck with the online chat option; however, it took several minutes to reach a customer service agent. Frontier's indirect support options include online FAQs, tutorials and user tools.
Extra tools that come with a Frontier subscription include eight email accounts with 5GB of email storage each, internet and email security software, parental controls, and call waiting services. Frontier also offers backup services and personal device protection. Other services include phone and TV, which you also bundle. Most of this company's services are available in all 28 of the states it covers.
As Frontier Communications continues to purchase existing telephone lines, it will make internet easier to access for rural customers. If you live in a rural area, you may have few ISP options beyond Frontier. If this is the case, we recommend that you research Frontier Communications’ services in your area to see if it can provide you the predictable speeds that you need to satisfy your internet requirements.