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Frontier Communications review

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

Frontier Communications 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 Communications is one of the leading names in providing 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, after it started out purchasing phone lines from other providers back in 2009. 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.

While there is a good network of both phones and fibre connections in 2020, 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.

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 Communications review

(Image credit: Frontier)

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.

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.

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.

Should you choose Frontier Communications?

As Frontier Communications 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 Communications’ 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.