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Frontier internet review

Frontier internet is a great pick if you live in a rural area, but you still want a physical line for your broadband

Frontier internet review
(Image: © Frontier)

Our 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.

For

  • Great for rural areas
  • Affordable plans
  • No lengthy contracts

Against

  • Inconsistent download speeds
  • Customer service could be better

Frontier internet is one of the leading offerings in fiber and internet services to more remote regions of America. It now covers 29 states, and has been expanding its remit for the past decade. This means it could be your key to fiber fast internet if you're in a more rural area that is otherwise not connected. 

In many rural areas, Frontier Communications owns all the available phone lines, and customers have few internet service provider (ISP) options unless they opt for more expensive satellite internet access, like HughesNet. As a result, Frontier makes it onto our guide to the best internet providers, thanks to its dedication to covering large, underserved parts of the country.

Frontier internet: Pricing and plans

There are two forms of internet available here with fiber internet the fastest and cable internet more widely available.

The cable Frontier internet plans start at $50 per month for 12 months with a one time charge. There are no data caps and speeds are based on what you can get in your location, delivering the fastest possible up to 100Mbps.

The Frontier FiberOptic internet also starts at $50 per month for 12 months with that one time charge. But this gets you up to 1Gbps connection, which is really 940Mbps.

Frontier internet: Features

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.

Other services include phone and TV, which you can bundle up. Some of the premium packages also get you DVR, which will record up to 16 shows at once. Most of this company's services are available in all 29 of the states it covers.

In terms of extras, and bundles, it can't top the likes of Comcast Xfinity, but this won't make much of a difference if Xfinity simply isn't available in your home state.

Frontier internet: Speeds and performance

Typically, speeds are below what you'd expect from most other providers, if you live in reasonably built-up areas. However, if you're lucky enough to live in California, Texas, Florida, or Indiana, you get the full FiOS service and can get incredibly quick fiber.

While there is a good network of both phones and fibre connections in 2021, the service is far from flawless. Perhaps that's to be expected given how remote some of the locations it serves are, but many subscribers report problems with inconsistent service or not receiving the advertised speed.

Frontier does well by rural residents by offering fiber in areas where satellite is more common, and is often the only choice in remote regions (unless you want to keep that painfully slow dial-up connection, or pay extra for satellite). Still, it's here where you are often limited to 6Mbps download speeds on the most basic package, and while that's enough for streaming some TV shows, it quickly falls apart for multiple downloads and anything above HD resolution. If you upgrade to Premium, or Preferred, you do get higher speeds in many areas, but they cost more.

Despite its relative traction, Frontier's internet service area isn't perfect. When we added a number of test addresses, we found that Frontier does happen to offer services to many remote and rural areas, although it missed on a handful of the zip codes we entered. 

Overall, though, we were impressed with just how far the coverage went. Frontier can provide high-speed internet in some areas with cable internet and fiber, and it offers download speeds of up to 115Mbps for most states. More rural spots can expect around 6-25Mbps, which is relatively poor, whereas states supported by Frontier's FiOS can expect up to 940Mbps.

Frontier internet: Customer reviews

ConsumerAffairs has given Frontier a rating of four out of five stars based on 1,374 reviews in the last year. A positive review, from Susan of Crossville, TN, said: "I have had Frontier for years, and they have been almost the only option in my rural area ... I could not be happier with my service, and I have recommended them to several of my friends and neighbors."

A negative review, from Connie of Fort Wayne, IN, said: "I recently moved a few blocks away. The frontier agent kept asking me if I wanted a better service package with the same price. I told her repeatedly no. She even called me and asked me again! When I got my bill it had gone up. I got another bill and it went up even more."

According to Broadbandnow the company has a rating of 3.29 out of five based on 2,746 reviews. A negative review, from Jerry, said: "I chose Frontier because of their FiOS internet and TV package. Granted, it’s fast, fastest internet I’ve ever had at home, but that's where the positive news ends. I really like FiOS, but their customer support is way lacking. I’m definitely looking at other options."

One positive review, from Phoenix, said: "I was looking for an alternative to my previous provider and the only other option was Frontier. I was apprehensive because of Frontier's bad reputation, but I decided to give it a shot. Reliable service."

Should you choose Frontier Internet?

As Frontier continues to grow, it will make it easier to access fiber for more and more 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's internet services in your area to see if it can provide you the predictable speeds that you need to satisfy your internet requirements. Chances are, you'll be able to get a decent package to suit your needs, especially if other ISP options are limited.

Great if you're rural, but there are better options to be had from the likes of Verizon Internet and AT&T Internet in the more built-up states.