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Frontier: America’s Worst Wired ISP for Netflix Viewing (Second Time Winner!)

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Frontier Communications’ DSL service delivers abysmal results for customers looking for quality time with Netflix.  For the second quarter running, the independent phone company’s ability to keep up with Netflix’s high quality video is about on par with a garden slug in a triathlon — yes, it may eventually reach the finish line, but you’ll be dead before it happens.  Even more embarrassing for Frontier, their service is occasionally beaten by Clearwire, a wireless ISP with a bandwidth throttler that can reduce your online experience to the painful days of dial-up if deemed to be using “too much.”

“Frontier sucks,” writes Stop the Cap! reader Doug in Charleston, W.V. “After they took over where Verizon fled, my ability to watch Netflix online became a source of endless frustration, so now I limit myself to mailing DVD’s back and forth.”

Remarkably, Charter Cable, which does poorly in customer satisfaction surveys, is again the runaway winner, followed by Comcast, the heavily usage-capped Cable One, Time Warner Cable, and Cox.  Verizon and AT&T only deliver middling performance.

Currently there are 10 comments on this Article:

  1. DJ says:

    I’m not shocked by this at all.

    Also, remember back when Frontier promised 5Mb to some of us in W.Va by February 17th? Well, it’s now June, almost July and nothing has changed.

    I’ve emailed the W.Va Frontier reps countless times and just get ignored.

    This is seriously the most useless company I’ve seen.

  2. jr says:

    Frontier thinks you’re spoiled if you want to do anything but read text online

  3. Welp says:

    Emm… why Time Warner? They offer packages that far exceed the mandatory 6 Mbps requirement for Netflix HD streaming in every market.

    This is the dumbest survey I’ve seen. TWC is (for now) one of the remaining ISPs with no bandwidth caps. This really isn’t very reflective on what ISP is truly best for Netflix. Also according to that picture TWC has the 4th highest speed.

  4. Smith6612 says:

    It would probably help the Telephone companies out a bit if they offered speeds that went over 3Mbps on their DSL products, along with building out Fiber networks. There’s no getting around the DSL Speed < Distance limitation, which is probably why they have lower speeds, but even then, everyone could do better.

    I'm not sure if it's also been mentioned, but often times watching the lowest quality stream tends to skew the results too. I see it with YouTube where super fast connections buffer up a video instantly but get rate throttled on the server end to a very low speed.

    • Netflix is mostly measuring the quality of ISPs backbone connections. Frontier’s 1-3Mbps rural DSL speeds are part of the problem, but their backbone connections are creating the lousy results you see on that chart.

  5. Brett says:


    I believe you read the above as “Second Time Warner” and not “Second Time WINNER.” I, too, made this mistake until looking at the graph and realizing my error. While I think Time Warner speeds are disgraceful, especially in my area, you are correct in saying they offer speeds sufficient for
    Netflix HD, without caps.


    • I never thought people would read it that way, but I guess now I can see how you could misinterpret Winner for Warner. :-)

      My bigger point was to note Frontier has been a flop ever since Netflix began releasing this chart. Time Warner, as the article text notes, does pretty well with Netflix. I have had almost no troubles using them myself.

  6. Baxter says:

    I for one is really surprised that suddenlink is doin this good, ive never had a problem yet really, i do fear the caps more than anything especially the ones they where thinkin about implimenting 31gb….come on now thats crap

    but im glad to see the company stayin on par with the top other companys. AT&T rateing and Frontiers is not surprising at all, of course

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