Frontier Communications, as the name implies, is taking over the United States' last frontier in terms of internet access, which is rural America. In 2009, the company bought nearly $9 million worth of Verizon's phone lines to expand its service, especially in the Great Lakes area. In some areas, Frontier has purchase Verizon's fiber-optic network, which it refers to FiOS in keeping with Verizon's trademarked term. In late 2013, Frontier announced that it would be purchasing phone lines from AT&T, which includes some of AT&T U-Verse customers. In many rural areas, Frontier owns all the available phone lines and consumers have few internet service provider (ISP) options other than Frontier, unless they opt for more expensive satellite internet access. With all that said, this company has experienced some growing pains. Many subscribers reports 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.
The first thing we noticed about Frontier is that its internet service area is somewhat limited. In fact, they do not provide services to any of our eight test addresses. However, when expanding the number of addresses we tested, we found that Frontier does happen to offer services to many remote and rural areas, so we could further investigate what it has to offer. Frontier can provide high-speed internet in some areas with cable internet and FiOS, Frontier offers download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 3 Mbps with 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps being more common. As for rural high-speed internet providers, Frontier often offers 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 users have reported download speeds lower than what they are paying for. Reported upload speeds are also rather low.
In terms of customer service, you can contact Frontier by telephone, email or chat. When we contacted them by email from an anonymous email account, we did not receive an email response. When we sent one through our corporate email account to its PR contact, we received a response within a day. We have had better luck with the online chat option, however it has been in our experience to wait several minutes to reach a customer service agent. Frontier's indirect support options include online FAQs, tutorials and user tools.
If you happen to live in a rural area that Frontier provides services in, we suggest you talk to your neighbors about the experiences they have had with local customer service and field technicians. After some research, you can determine if you would have a good experience with Frontier Communications or if it would be more beneficial to opt for satellite service.
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 27 of the states it covers.
Frontier Communications is growing. The company continues to purchase existing telephone lines with the objective of gaining customers in rural markets. 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 to see if it can provide you the predictable speeds that you need to satisfy your internet requirements.
Frontier Communications provides fiber, cable and DSL services to many rural areas that in the past had few high-speed internet options.
Some report download speeds slower than expected and inconsistent customer service.
As with any ISP, we recommend you research how well Frontier Communications performs in your area before signing up with its services.