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, they bought nearly $9 million worth of Verizon's phone lines to expand their service, especially in the Great Lakes area. In some areas, they own all the available phone lines and consumers have few ISP options other than Frontier, unless they opt for more expensive satellite internet access. That said, they have 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 them to other services to see how they stack up in a quantifiable comparison.
The first thing we noticed about Frontier is that their service area is somewhat limited. In fact, they do not provide services to any of our eight test addresses. However, they do happen to offer services to some rural areas of the state our office is in, so we could investigate what they have to offer. For the most part their most valuable residential ISP product is their DSL service since this is their fastest connection option available. Frontier's DSL is much faster than dial-up and can run online games, but users report download speeds lower than what they paid for especially of larger files such as purchased movies, games or software. Reported upload speeds are also rather low. Third-party tests show Frontier's speed to be one of the slowest in comparison to their competitors.
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 their PR contact, we received a response within a day. So was can report that their business-to-business response time is quick, but we cannot say that we trust customer service to respond quickly. Additionally, we did notice that a few times in the middle of the week day their chat support was unavailable, which is unusual. Most services that offer chat support keep their services available during the day at least. Frontier's indirect support options includes 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, internet and email security software, parental controls and call waiting services. They also offer backup services and wireless networking assistance. Other services they offer include phone, TV and digital phone services. Most of their services are available in all 27 of the states they provide services.
Frontier Communications is growing. They continue 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 they can provide you the predictable speeds that you need to satisfy your internet requirements.
Frontier Communications provides 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 their services.