America! The land of capitalism! Love it or hate it, you’ve got to admit there are never enough options for a single good or service. Internet service providers in the country have met a similar fate. Competition is high and at any given address in the country, there could be more than 10 internet carriers promising reliable and high-speed internet connection for your home.
Now, if you have diligently played your role of an informed customer by shortlisting internet providers in your area, and are down to two choices; Spectrum and Frontier, then our Spectrum vs. Frontier internet comparison will help you decide on a winner.
- Pros & Cons – Spectrum Internet vs Frontier
- Internet Service Comparison – Spectrum Internet vs Frontier
- Internet Plans- Spectrum vs Frontier
- Internet Speed – Frontier vs Spectrum
- Bundle Deals – Spectrum vs Frontier
- Coverage Area – Spectrum vs Frontier
- Customer Service – Frontier vs Spectrum
- Additional Fee – Frontier Internet vs Spectrum
- Final Verdict
In less than a decade, Spectrum by Charter Communications has become the second-largest cable internet provider in the USA. In 2014, Charter Communications rebranded its residential services to Spectrum and by 2016, it expanded into the internet market by acquiring a vast network of cables from the Time Warner Cable Company. The acquisition was only the beginning of Spectrum’s success.
Spectrum’s use of hybrid fiber-coaxial cables allowed the company to deliver high-speed internet with maximum download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps. The hybrid model promised the reliability and high bandwidths of fiber internet at the cost of cable internet connections. As 90 percent of the homes in the US were already wired with coaxial cable for their TV and telephone connections, it was not difficult for Spectrum to provide its internet service in 41 states, reaching more than 30 million homes in the country.
Currently, Spectrum offers three internet plans to its customers with varying speeds and prices. The cheapest Spectrum internet plan starts at $49.99 per month and subscribers get 300 Mbps download speeds with 99.99 percent consistency throughout the country.
Internet + Advanced Wi-Fi + FREE Unlimited Mobile Line
Avail of Spectrum One offer for $49.99/month
Frontier Communications was formerly known as Citizens Utilities Company until 2000. The company made its mark in the telecommunications industry in the early 1990s by providing telephone and TV services to rural areas around the country. In 2009, Frontier purchased Verizon’s landline and fiber-optic cables network, allowing it to launch its fiber internet services in a few selected cities and suburbs of Indiana, Texas, Florida, Oregon, and Washington.
Frontier’s acquisition of AT&T’s DSL lines in 2014 led to the expansion of its DSL broadband services and today, Frontier’s internet footprint spans over 25 states across the country. Frontier has more than 2.82 million residential broadband internet subscribers and out of those 1.43 million are subscribed to its fiber internet services.
Frontier has become a household name in American rural communities. Its low-cost DSL internet is available for just $32.99 per month. Even though the maximum download speed is just 6 Mbps, it is better than having zero internet connectivity.
Frontier’s ultrafast fiber internet is available in most metro areas across its 25-state footprint. The cheapest Frontier internet plan starts at $49.99 per month. In the first quarter of 2022, Frontier rolled out its 2 Gig fiber internet plan for $149.99 per month. The 2-Gig fiber internet’s availability is limited to city centers and tech hubs in Texas, West Virginia, Florida, California, Indiana, and Connecticut.
Pros & Cons – Spectrum Internet vs Frontier
America is home to thousands of internet service providers. Some are specific to a local community or region, while the top internet providers have nationwide coverage. In the Frontier vs. Spectrum internet debate, the winner will naturally be the one whose pros outweigh its cons.
In the tables below, we have listed the pros and cons of both internet carriers to give you an overview of which internet provider has precedence over the other.
|Pros – Spectrum vs Frontier|
|Coverage in 41 states of the US||Available in half of the country|
|Speeds as fast as fiber internet||DSL and Fiber internet|
|No Contract Service||2 Gigabit speed for fiber|
|Unlimited Data||Low-cost DSL internet|
|Bundle Deals||Available in rural areas|
|1st-year promo pricing||–|
|Better customer service||–|
|Cons – Spectrum vs Frontier|
|Price hikes after a year||Fiber internet coverage is low|
|$5 additional WI-FI router rental fee||High monthly fee|
|–||1-year contract for fiber internet|
|–||High Early Termination Fee|
Internet Service Comparison – Spectrum Internet vs Frontier
Deciding on the best internet connection for your home can be challenging when your options are limited and it is hard to get your hands on verified information. Advertisements can lie but we will not.
The table below presents an honest comparison between the Spectrum and Frontier internet services including the hidden costs associated with your subscription.
|Type of Internet||Hybrid fiber-coaxial cable||DSL and Fiber|
|Internet Speed||Up to 1000 Mbps||Up to 2000 Mbps|
|Coverage Area||41 states of the USA||25 states of the USA|
|Customer Service||3.9 stars||3.6 stars|
|Additional Fee||$19.99 + $5.00||$400 + $3.99 + $6.99|
|Learn More||Call Now||Call Now|
Internet Plans- Spectrum vs Frontier
Spectrum and Frontier offer multiple internet plans in their respective coverage areas. The users can choose their preferred monthly plans based on their families’ requirements such as the internet fee per month, the number of devices that can be connected, maximum download speeds, device security, and the possibility of bundling the internet with other services.
For homes with high internet usage, Spectrum and Frontier offer gigabit speeds but whether your postal code falls under their service area is a big question mark.
Spectrum Internet Plans
|Internet||$49.99/mo||300 Mbps||Call Now|
|Internet Ultra||$69.99/mo||500 Mbps||Call Now|
|Internet Gig||$89.99/mo||1,000 Mbps||Call Now|
Spectrum uses a combination of fiber optic and coaxial cables to provide internet to homes over long distances. Using fiber optic cables in the first leg of the journey ensures lightning-fast internet speeds of up to 300 Mbps. Subscribers enjoy promo rates and freebies for the first year of the service. An array of fee waivers, free giveaways, and monthly discounts make Spectrum internet twice as affordable when compared to its fully-fiber optic counterparts.
Frontier’s DSL Internet Plans
|Plan||Price||Speed||Data Caps||Learn More|
|DSL 1||$32.99/mo||6 Mbps||None||Call Now|
|DSL 2||$39.99/mo||25 Mbps||None||Call Now|
|DSL 3||$49.99/mo||115 Mbps||None||Call Now|
Frontier’s affordable DSL internet plans are also available in the rural areas of its 25-state footprint. You enjoy unlimited data without any extra charges. The price for your Frontier DSL internet service stays the same for the first 24 months and you are not obligated to sign a contract to avail of this offer.
Frontier’s Fiber Internet Plans
|Fiber 1||$49.99/mo||500 Mbps||Call Now|
|Fiber 2||$79.99/mo||1000 Mbps||Call Now|
|Fiber 3||$149.99/mo||2000 Mbps||Call Now|
Frontier’s lightning-fast fiber internet plans start at $49.99 per month. The internet speed is fast enough to connect multiple devices to the network and can easily support online activities like HD quality streaming, downloading, professional gaming, video conferencing, and uploading heavy files. Unfortunately, the service is limited to just six states and their metropolis.
Internet Speed – Frontier vs Spectrum
Spectrum proved that delivery of fiber internet speeds is possible in every single home around the country despite the absence of a vast fiber optic network. The hybrid model allows it to maintain high bandwidth over long distances. The initial transmission of data signals takes place in the form of light photons inside the fiber optic cables at superfast speeds. At the end of each fiber node, coaxial cables are attached that convert the light photons into electrical signals for long-distance transmission. In most cities where Spectrum has coverage, users get minimum internet speeds of 300 Mbps and maximum download speeds up to 1000 Mbps (1 Gig). In suburbs and the countryside, internet speeds can fluctuate but even then, the average speed stands at 100 Mbps.
Frontier decided to keep it simple. Frontier’s competitive advantage is providing internet to rural areas at affordable rates. Its DSL internet with speeds up to 115 Mbps is available to all its customers. But its fiber internet plans with speeds up to 2000 Mbps (2 Gigs) are only available in the main cities of these 6 states
- West Virginia
So, if you are not a lucky resident of one of these states and still want gigabit speeds to power your house, Spectrum is your best bet for a high-speed internet connection.
Bundle Deals – Spectrum vs Frontier
As prominent members of America’s telecommunications consortium, Spectrum and Frontier have a wide range of services listed in their portfolios. Both companies offer TV, home phone, and mobile phone services to residential customers along with their internet.
Customers can personalize their bundle plans by cherry-picking the services they want for their homes and substantially reducing their monthly bills.
Spectrum’s 4-in-1 bundle pack starts at $114.97 per month.
|Bundle||Price||Internet||Cable TV||Home Phone||Mobile|
|1||$114.97/mo||300 Mbps||125+ channels||Unlimited||1 line- unlimited|
|2||$134.97/mo||500 Mbps||125+ channels||Unlimited||1 line- unlimited|
|3||$154.97/mo||1000 Mbps||125+ channels||Unlimited||1 line- unlimited|
These Spectrum bundle deals come with no-caps internet, a free modem, free anti-virus software, and free access to more than 530,000 Spectrum out-of-home Wi-Fi hotspots. If bought separately, these four services will cost more than $154.96 per month instead of $114.97 per month.
- Cost of 300 Mbps internet = $49.99 per month
- Cost of Cable TV = $59.99 per month
- Cost of an unlimited home phone = $14.99 per month
- Cost of an unlimited mobile phone line = $29.99 per month
Frontier’s Basic Internet and DISH TV Combo
|Plan||Price||Internet||DISH TV||Home Phone|
|America’s Top 150||$117.98/mo||115 Mbps||240+ channels||–|
|America’s Top 200||$129.98/mo||115 Mbps||190+ channels||Unlimited calls|
|America’s Top 250||$174.98/mo||115 Mbps||290+ channels||Unlimited calls|
Frontier allows customers to combine internet with Dish TV service for as low as $117.98 per month. But when compared with the rates of Spectrum’s bundle plan 1, this price seems quite high, especially when you consider that you only get access to two services; 115 Mbps basic internet and Dish TV with 240+ channels. The rates will be twice as high for Frontier’s fiber internet users.
Coverage Area – Spectrum vs Frontier
Spectrum’s extensive network coverage spreads from the east to the west coast, hovering over 41 states of the USA. Except for the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah, Spectrum offers full to partial internet services in the remaining 41 states.
The concentration of Spectrum internet is highest on the east coast, especially in New York and Ohio. Spectrum’s gigabit speeds of up to 1000 Mbps are available in most metro areas around the country.
The following 41 states have access to Spectrum’s fiber-coaxial cable internet connections.
|Spectrum Internet Coverage Area|
Frontier offers internet connections in half of the country. Due to restricted fiber internet infrastructure in the country, Frontier’s fiber internet availability is limited to 11 states. Within those 11 states, 2-Gig speeds are only available in city centers and major business districts. The remainder of Frontier’s footprint is serviced by comparatively slower, DSL internet.
The 25 states that have full to partial access to Frontier’s DSL and fiber internet connections are stated below.
|Frontier Internet Coverage Areas|
Customer Service – Frontier vs Spectrum
Ever heard the saying, “You can’t make everyone happy. You are not a pizza?” Well, true and applicable to internet providers too. How can you expect to have zero angry customers on your database when you are entertaining and troubleshooting thousands of calls from all over the country in your 8-hour shift? Naturally, someone will be unhappy. The story is not very different when it comes to Spectrum’s and Frontier’s customer service.
In the American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2022, Spectrum was three places above Frontier Communications with a score of 63 out of 100. It means that Spectrum’s customer service ranks as the 6th most satisfactory among all the American internet service providers. Frontier is not far behind. Frontier ranks as the 9th most satisfactory internet service provider with a score of 61 out of 100.
According to Forbes Home, Spectrum has a 3.9-star rating out of 5 stars and Frontier Communications has been given a 3.6 rating.
So, what are these pain points that are affecting Spectrum and Frontier’s customer satisfaction score?
- Spotty internet speeds
- Service disruptions
- Delayed and poor customer service
- Unexpected price hikes
- Miscommunication between departments
- False promises and misleading ads
But all hope is not lost. There is increased competition in the residential internet market. As more and more companies step up to provide quality internet and customer service to their customers, Spectrum and Frontier have learned to take criticism seriously and make amends.
Additional Fee – Frontier Internet vs Spectrum
Hidden costs and additional charges can cause a significant hike in your monthly internet bills. It can be tremendously frustrating when you expect to pay less than $50 per month for your internet service but bills show a figure considerably higher than that. It can throw your entire budget off track, forcing you to cut down on your essential needs.
In the past, Frontier Communications has faced hefty lawsuits for misleading customers in their advertisements and forcing them to pay for high speeds when they were receiving slow internet all the way. Recently, Frontier again came under fire for adding surcharges to the monthly bills and raising the fee by $10 to $15 per month. In response, Frontier released a complete breakdown of the additional charges on customers’ internet bills which are as follows:
- Carrier Cost Recovery Charge: A mandatory fee that all customers must pay to receive Frontier internet service in their area. Around $3.99 per month.
- Digital Phone Unlimited: Only applicable if you are using Frontier’s mobile phone service along with its internet. Around $10 per month.
- Primary Federal Subscriber Line Charge: A FCC-regulated charge imposed by the Federal government for providing internet and telephone services over long distances. Around $5 per month.
- VoIP Administrative Fee: A mandatory fee charged by Frontier for providing voice-over-Internet Protocol to customers. Around $6.99 per month.
- Convenience Fee: This fee is applicable to customers who pay their bills through an agent over the phone instead of using the MyFrontier Mobile App for bill payments. Around $10 per month.
Generally speaking, Frontier internet is a no-contract service, and therefore, customers are not worried about paying fines if they abruptly cancel their internet service. However, in some cases, you will be asked to sign a contract for fee waivers and gifts such as free equipment and installation. For instance, Frontier’s fiber internet users for gigabit speeds are required to sign an annual contract if they want the $300 gift card. In such a case, canceling the service before the contract expires could result in a $400 early termination fee. Moreover, failure to return the equipment within 30 days of service cancellation could result in another fine of around $200. All in all, Frontier makes it quite unbearable to stick around for longer with its hidden costs and heavy fines.
Compared to that, Spectrum’s transparent pricing has garnered appreciation all over the country. Spectrum users have the option to choose between a self-installation kit and a professional installation. One-time professional installation and activation could cost anywhere between $70 and $95. Whereas, the self-installation kit only costs $19.99 and you can set up your new Spectrum internet within 15 minutes. The only additional fee you are required to pay on top of your monthly internet bills is the $5 equipment rental fee for your Spectrum-approved Wi-Fi router.
Please note that Spectrum internet’s monthly fee is exclusive of government taxes and the amount varies from state to state, but hardly ever exceeds $10 per month.
The results of our honest Spectrum vs. Frontier internet comparison reveal that for all those living in the cities and suburbs, Spectrum is the best choice for residential internet. Unlike Frontier, Spectrum internet’s vast footprint includes 41 states of the US. It offers fiber internet speeds up to 1000 Mbps at the price of low-cost cable internet and its exciting bundle deals and fee waivers make the service more affordable. Indeed, Spectrum’s pros have outweighed its cons.
But let’s not overlook the fact that Spectrum’s availability in rural areas is partial to nil, and that’s where Frontier steps in, lighting the path to digital transformation.