Frontier Communications is a major DSL and Fiber internet, TV, and phone provider. Frontier Internet plans are available in California, Florida, Connecticut, and 23 other states as of 2021.
NOTE: Frontier recently rebranded, giving new names to their plans and services. What was once called Frontier Fios is now Frontier FiberOptic; Frontier’s DSL plans are now simply referred to as Frontier Internet.
Frontier Internet Plans and Pricing Summary
|Plan name||Download speed||Monthly start price|
|Frontier 9 Mbps Plan||9 Mbps||$38/mo|
|Frontier 25 Mbps Plan||25 Mbps||$45/mo|
|Frontier 50 Mbps Plan||50 Mbps||$50/mo|
|Frontier 115 Mbps Plan||115 Mbps||$55/mo|
|Frontier 500 Mbps Plan||500 Mbps||$60/mo|
|Frontier 940 Mbps Plan||940 Mbps||$80/mo|
What Is the Difference Between Frontier Internet and Frontier FiberOptic?
Depending on your location, Frontier Communications offers two different types of internet service.
Frontier Internet is the most widespread of the two, using Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) to deliver internet data over telephone lines. Because this technology is older, there’s high availability across the United States, making it one of the better options for rural customers. While DSL is a much larger network than alternatives like Frontier FiberOptic, the maximum speeds are much lower. The DSL speeds from Frontier cap out at 25 Mbps, while FiberOptic reaches speeds of up to 940 Mbps.
DSL does have an advantage over competitors in terms of reliability, however. The overall speeds on the network are lower, but you’ll generally get the same speed regardless of your neighbors’ internet usage.
Frontier FiberOptic uses a Fiber Optic network in which data is transmitted through light that bounces between glass or plastic rods. Light moves very quickly, and so will your internet connection on this cutting-edge technology.
So if Frontier FiberOptic plans are better, why doesn’t Frontier extend the fiber network? The simple answer is: because the network is extremely expensive to roll out. Due to financial limitations, Frontier FiberOptic and other fiber providers have limited availability.
Is Frontier Fast Enough for Streaming?
Considering how expensive TV packages have become, a lot of people are ditching their traditional TV service in favor of a number of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. These services offer a variety of content available to watch whenever you’re up for it and are usually way less expensive than your average television package. However, streaming requires a relatively fast internet connection to ensure your shows play without any buffering.
Netflix recommends a speed of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) for streaming. This number refers to the rate of data transmission, but it can be difficult to get a sense of how fast these internet plans actually are. For a real-life comparison, consider that a 5 Mbps connection will download an HD movie of average length in around two hours. Frontier FiberOptic offers plans of up to 500 Mbps in select areas, which would download the same movie in less than one minute. Most Frontier customers report their speeds are reliable, sometimes faster than advertised.
Netflix Recommends at Least 5 Mbps for Streaming: Virtually All Frontier Plans Meet This Requirement
While a plan of 5 Mbps may be fast enough for standard streaming, it’s a very slow connection if you plan to download games, for example. Even if you’re not a gamer, an internet connection that slow will start to suffer if more than one person is using the network, making it less than ideal for multi-person households — or even a single person with multiple devices using the connection at once.
The speeds of Frontier internet plans are drastically different depending on where you live, and the standard high-speed internet package may not be enough for heavy streamers. Still, in the majority of areas that Frontier serves, there will be a plan available that has enough speed to stream in standard definition (SD).
Frontier Contract: Is Frontier a Good Option for Renters and Students?
Many renters and students are looking for an internet service that will work with them. Month-to-month service is generally the best option for people who aren’t sure whether they’ll be in the same place long-term.
Fortunately, Frontier Communications is a very good option for those who don’t want to commit to a lengthy contract. Frontier internet plans do not require a contract.
Frontier Internet Plan Termination Fees
While Frontier internet plans are contract-free, you may still need to pay early termination fees (ETFs) if you signed up for a promotion or bundle plan. Most new customer plans offer a discounted rate for the first year of service. If you cancel within that first year, Frontier may charge ETFs. Unfortunately, it’s not clear exactly how much Frontier will charge. If anything, expect to pay the monthly fee for the remaining months left in your promotional plan or bundle contract.
Frontier TV Options: FiberOptic vs. Dish
Frontier’s internet plans come with two TV options: Frontier FiberOptic TV and Dish Network (a third-party satellite TV provider).
The best overall value for service is Frontier FiberOptic TV — however, FiberOptic TV is only available in their fiber coverage area. Dish offers hundreds of HD channels at attractive prices, but keep in mind it’s a satellite service. So, you’ll need a place to put a receiver dish on your roof or balcony. You’re also likely to be locked into a two-year contract with early termination fees (ETFs), which is the norm with Dish TV.
|Frontier FiberOptic TV Plans||Channel Count|
|FiberOptic TV Prime||200+|
|FiberOptic TV Extreme||250+|
|FiberOptic TV Ultimate||300+|
Is Frontier Available in My Area?
As mentioned above, the service area for Frontier FiberOptic is extremely limited. There are small pockets that offer service in several different states, but the areas with the most coverage are Florida, California, Connecticut, Washington, and Oregon.
Frontier Internet, on the other hand, has a wider coverage area. Frontier’s DSL service has some presence in nearly every part of the country with a notable gap running down the middle of the country from North Dakota down to Louisiana.
Despite the large coverage area, there’s still a chance that Frontier Communications won’t be available at your specific address. In order to see if Frontier is available, as well as to be aware of any other options serving your residence, check your address using our internet availability tool.
Frontier Modem and Router: Rent or Buy?
Before you can use your Frontier Internet plan, you’ll need two pieces of equipment: the modem and the router.
The modem hooks you into the Frontier network, while the router allows you to connect multiple devices to the same network over Wi-Fi. These two pieces of equipment are commonly combined, in which case Frontier calls them wireless “gateways.”
Frontier usually charges around $10 per month ($120 annually) to rent their internet equipment. If you buy the modem and router outright, it can cost $50 to upwards of $100+ for advanced features.
A dilemma to consider with most internet providers is whether to rent or buy the router, modem, or gateway. In most cases, you may be better off purchasing your own equipment. Having a compatible router and modem (or gateway) will save you money each month with Frontier, but it also makes it easier to cancel service if you decide to switch providers.