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Frontier’s Everyday High Prices for Slow DSL Just Don’t Make Any Sense

Phillip "Frontier DSL is Too Slow and Expensive" Dampier

Frontier Communications occasionally sends me mailers promoting their latest offer for DSL and/or satellite service.  The price on the front of the letter looks good — usually around $20 a month — despite the fact the best Frontier can deliver my area less than one mile from the Rochester, N.Y. city line is 3.1Mbps.  But Frontier’s fine print is infamous for bill padding extra fees, charges, and service commitments that makes the out-the-door price literally higher than Time Warner Cable’s Road Runner service, which actually delivers substantially faster speed at a lower price.

I’m not alone.

Customers in several Frontier service areas are openly wondering why they should do business with the phone company when they are charging more for less service.

In Ohio, Frontier Communications competes in some areas with Buckeye Cablevision.  Frontier sells DSL Internet in northwest Ohio for $29.99 a month.  For that, customers like Inquiry receive 6.2Mbps even though they bought 7.1Mbps service.

“Their [Internet prices] are significantly higher when comparing the other providers in northwest Ohio,” Inquiry writes. “Buckeye Cablevison has 10Mbps service for $24.95/month. And they actually give the customer 10.8Mbps.”

In areas where Frontier often finds itself the only game in town, that price is downright cheap.

Frontier's "High Speed" Fantasies

Nialis in Aliso Viejo, Calif. doesn’t know what Inquiry is complaining about.  He pays $30 a month for 1.5Mbps DSL service from Frontier.

Eric McDaniel from McDavid, Fla. found small relief when he complained about the 2.2Mbps DSL service he was paying $39.99 a month to receive.

“I now pay $29.99, and that is only because I threatened to cancel my service,” McDaniel says. “Now they give me a $10 recurring credit.”

“What are you going to do when they’re the only show in town?”

Even Charter Communications, one of America’s lowest rated cable companies, has prices and service that beats Frontier hands-down.

In some Charter areas like Wausau, Wisc., Frontier DSL comes with a two year service commitment, a $14.99 monthly Wireless Router Fee, and comparatively slow service:

Frontier Communications Pricing - Wisconsin

Customers can pay $29.99 a month (before fees) for “up to 3Mbps” DSL service from Frontier or spend $29.99 and get 12Mbps from Charter:

Charter Communications Pricing - Wisconsin

So how does Frontier Communications keep offering service at uncompetitive prices?  They have much greater success in the rural markets they favor, where cable competition rarely exists.  Plus, many consumers may not understand the impact of the speed differences they receive from different providers, tending to blame “the Internet” for slowdowns more than the provider delivering the service.  Some customers may also be attracted to valuable customer promotions that include free netbooks or television sets, and forget about the fine print service commitments that come with the deal.

As dwink9909 from Clintonville, Wisc. shared on the Frontier Broadband Reports forum: “Frontier Communications Inc. is free to charge the maximum the market will bear primarily because they are the only provider in most of the areas they serve. That’s certainly true here in Wisconsin. Six miles south of me you can get dial-up service from two dozen ISPs and broadband via wireless, cable or DSL, but here there is only a single provider for telephone and broadband. We are among the “under-served” millions who are just glad to have high speed Internet at any cost.”

Frontier is only too happy to oblige.

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  • EJ: As with almost everything in Telecommunications I have a feeling of over-promising. While this is beneficial to them they don't want to lose customers...
  • BarryvoN: Hi a be timelyoffers To equipped click on the connection in this world https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JI1lOh_jpXeLdxFeE4m6x7Z1TbMf3SKa/preview...
  • Fred Pilot: "Rural Americans may face the consequences of any transition. They are least likely to have suitable broadband service capable of supporting DirecTV’s...
  • Matt M: Those of us in the rural areas just keep getting screwed....
  • JOHN S PINNOW: This is well and great. We went from U-verse to direct-tv and now in the next 10 years another shake up. Well I am hoping AT&T will improve its ow...
  • lakawak: First off...NOTHING is free. Spectrum's policy is just forced upgrades. Everything is built into the price already. So where Time Warner used to allow...
  • LG: Now, we need numbers aggregated with and without streaming services, since they're internet based as opposed to CATV / SAT. This difference is more i...
  • L.Nova: Nothing pleases me more than seeing Ajit Pai sorely lose....
  • JFParnell: When the Chips are Down the Buffalo moves ON....
  • Justin Trella: I guess as long as the service is stable you’ll most likely not deflect. I quick call every year or so usually gets your rates back down. If you are l...
  • Justin Trella: I imagine the reason being is it’s a technically no credit check. It’s based solely on the fact you were approved for regular services which are no cr...
  • Ian L: I live in what has to be one of the last MDUs in Austin wired for copper by AT&T rather than fiber. Until June, 50/10 was the highest available sp...

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