Frontier Business Internet Review: 2018


Frontier combines affordable prices, a 36-month price guarantee—two years longer than most—and a premier VoIP solution into an enticing option for your small business.

Overall Rating3 / 5
Plan prices starting at $49.99/mo.
Symmetric fiber speeds
Limited fiber availability
No speeds faster than 150 Mbps

Frontier Communications is best for small businesses that need integrated VoIP services

Frontier Communications provides internet to small businesses in certain states and ZIP codes, so if it’s available to you, there are a few good reasons to consider it for your business. We are most impressed by Frontier’s premier VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution, Frontier AnyWare—a customizable, Cloud-based phone and communications system offered at a reasonable price.

On the other hand, in terms of pure internet power, availability, and customer service, Frontier lags behind several competitors. Still, the company’s products and footprint are growing, and we see a lot of interest from customers signing up for Frontier business internet.

But that’s not everything we have to say about Frontier. We’ve done the research, talked to customer service reps and experts—and the result is this review. Read our Frontier internet review to see if these internet plans are right for your small business.

The plans we recommend for small businesses

PlanStarting price (per month)Max download speedRecommended forLearn more
Fios 50/50 + Phone Bundle plus AnyWare Elite$119.99
+
$29.99
50 MbpsModerate, reliable speeds and enhanced VoIP communicationsCheck Availability
Fios 150/150$194.99150 MbpsHigh download and upload speeds for multiple users and sizable online activityCheck Availability
Broadband Max 7 $49.997 MbpsBasic speeds for a few users at a low monthly costCheck Availability

Data effective 01/23/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Our top Frontier recommendation for small business internet is a bundle that combines the Fios 50/50 fiber internet plan with basic digital phone services—plus the Frontier AnyWare Elite VoIP plan.

Like most of Frontier’s fiber-optic options, this package gets symmetric download and upload speeds, which is great if your business needs a lot of online computing power for multiple users and large-file uploading. Add the top-tier VoIP plan and you get an impressive suite of internet and communication services for a business that needs to scale its online capabilities.

The fastest Frontier plan we could find is the Fios 150/150 plan. However, at $194.99 per month, you may want to shop around, considering Verizon offers a similar plan for cheaper.

If you want cheap, Frontier does offer a basic copper-line broadband plan for just $49.99 per month. This plan has max downloads up to 7 Mbps—sufficient for connecting two or three users and sending a few large files at a time.

Things to consider

Frontier markets its small business products to companies with fewer than 20 employees. If you’re above that, you fit into its “medium-enterprise” segment. Because we focus on small business internet, our recommendations for Frontier plans will have the below-20 companies in mind.

So what does Frontier do best? We love its mid-grade Fiber plans and lower-priced broadband (copper wire) plans—most of which come with a three-year price guarantee. We’re also intrigued by the Frontier AnyWare unified communications product, which we’ll detail a bit later.

On the other hand, some Frontier factors left us underwhelmed. The company’s fastest plans are hard to find and verge on the too-expensive side.

Thumbs Up

Strengths

  • Low-cost basic plans
  • Symmetric fiber speeds
  • 36-month price guarantees
  • Premier VoIP solution
Thumbs Down

Weaknesses

  • No speeds faster than 150 Mbps
  • Limited fiber availability
  • No trial period or money-back guarantee
  • Disappointing customer ratings

Pricing and speed breakdown by plan

We scoured the web, consulted experts, and talked to Frontier customer service reps to give you a comprehensive summary of Frontier plans, their costs, and more.

Compared to other providers, average costs for Frontier are higher than some but lower than others. Yet overall, Frontier internet plans are affordable for their relative speeds—and Frontier Fios plans are an even better value.

Fiber internet plans

Thanks to Frontier’s recent purchase of certain Verizon Fios fiber networks (more on that below), you can now purchase Frontier Fios plans too (in certain areas). With download and upload speeds of up to 150 Mbps, you can choose from a couple of moderately fast and affordable plans to suit your business needs.

PlanStarting price (per month)Max download speedMax upload speedLearn more
Fios 30/30$49.9930 Mbps30 MbpsCheck Availability
Fios 50/50$59.9950 Mbps50 MbpsCheck Availability
Fios 75/75$84.9975 Mbps75 MbpsCheck Availability

Data effective 01/23/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

These three plans represent the most common Frontier Fiber plans we could find. The best thing about these plans is they have symmetric speeds, which means the plans’ upload speeds match their download speeds.

Note that we did catch wind of a 15 Mbps fiber plan and even plans up to 500 Mbps, but considering we couldn’t confirm them, they’re likely very limited to certain areas.

Frontier touts the Fios 50/50 plan as its most popular, and we understand why. It offers solid, symmetric speeds that should meet the internet needs of many smaller businesses. If you’re looking for faster speeds or lower costs, then consider one of the other two Fios plans.

Broadband internet plans

Frontier’s non-fiber plans use traditional copper telephone wires to deliver internet to your business. Because they use existing phone lines, these broadband plans are more common than fiber plans. The available speeds are lower, but so are the prices.

PlanStarting price (per month)Max download speedLearn more
Business Internet Max 7$49.997 MbpsCheck Availability
Business Internet Ultra 15$79.9915 MbpsCheck Availability
Business Internet Ultimate 20$109.9920 MbpsCheck Availability
Business Internet Extreme 40$139.9940 MbpsCheck Availability

Data effective 01/23/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Small businesses with basic internet needs can get by with Frontier internet plans in the 7 to 20 Mbps range. Yet here’s another heads up: you might find a 1 Mbps “Lite” plan in your area for about $20 per month, but the plan may be a promotional offer only, so we left it off of our comparison chart.

If, on the other hand, you need more power, consider the Ultimate or Extreme plans for more connected users and devices, more seamless streaming, and more large-file sharing.

Bundles and value-added services: Upgrade and scale

For extra savings on several services, consider bundling internet, phone, TV, and other products. Frontier has some compelling options to customize your service.

Bundles

Frontier offers digital phone services and DISH satellite television services as bundle options with broadband internet plans. These are our three favorite Frontier small business internet bundles:

Bundled servicesStarting price (per month)Recommended forLearn More
Broadband Ultra (15 Mbps)
+
Phone
$69.99Small offices with two or three connected employees who make frequent long-distance callsCheck Availability
Broadband Max (7 Mbps)
+
Dish America's Top 120
$112Small bars and offices that need basic internet and the most-watched TV channels to entertain customersCheck Availability
Broadband Max (7 Mbps)
+
Dish America's Top 120
$130Offices with more than 10 connected employees making frequent calls and using online streaming and computing servicesCheck Availability

Data effective 01/23/18. At publishing time, pricing and speeds are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Remember, you can add the Frontier AnyWare VoIP solution to just about any plan or bundle—a great option for businesses doing a lot of online collaboration and communication.

Value-added services

With your Frontier internet plan comes certain included features and the option to add other perks. From technical support to extra security, you can choose a valuable package to get the full internet services you need.

Frontier includes these features with every internet plan or bundle:

  • 24/7 business-centered technical support
  • 99.9% uptime reliability average (see below for more details)
  • Dedicated line connection (meaning you don’t share your internet bandwidth with other customers)
  • Secure wireless networking capabilities for several devices
  • At least eight email accounts with 1 TB (1,000 GB) of mail storage

What’s more, you can purchase these internet and other technology add-ons to truly tailor your small business services:

  • DISH satellite TV ($39.99 to $94.99/mo.): Whether you run a dentist office or a dive bar, choose from a suite of TV packages to entertain your patients or patrons.
  • Frontier Secure ($14.99 to $39.99/mo.): This add-on gives you extra computer protection, Cloud backup, and 24/7 premium technical support.
  • Managed Wi-Fi (from $37.99/mo.): Keep your customers and employees connected with hotspots, network extenders, and remote management and monitoring services.
  • Static IPs (cost unavailable): If you host your own web servers, run a virtual private network (VPN), or need an unchanging IP address for any other reason, definitely upgrade to the static IP option.

If you have 20 or more employees, Frontier offers even more add-ons for its medium- and enterprise-level services, including advanced ethernet, IP VPN, and voice services.

Frontier is also unique for sponsoring a podcast for business owners, called Gain Your Edge. The podcast covers topics like business travel, marketing technologies, and VoIP systems.

Reliability and support: There’s work to do

Even more than residential customers, businesses need reliable internet that won’t disrupt their day-to-day operations. And if something goes wrong, you want access to technical support to resolve the issue quickly. In this category, Frontier gets a few high marks—but doesn’t make the grade in some areas.

Uptime

Uptime is of utmost importance for business internet. No service is perfect, but the longer you experience downtime, the harsher the disruptions to your operations that depend on reliable internet.

A 99.9% uptime means you can expect downtime of about 43.8 minutes per month or 8.76 hours per year.

We couldn’t find an uptime guarantee from Frontier—this is surprising since other companies like AT&T and Verizon have them. But Frontier does claim that its connections have an average uptime of 99.9%. That average is, well, about average.

A 99.9% uptime means you can expect downtime of about 43.8 minutes per month or 8.76 hours per year. There may be providers with stronger uptime averages, but with only about one disconnected working day per year, 99.9% isn’t too shabby.

Technical support

Frontier offers 24/7 technical support for all of its business internet customers—fantastic! But not so fast—how good is that support?

We looked at a few sources to judge Frontier on this front, and here’s what we found:

  • American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI): ACSI reported in 2017 that customer satisfaction for Frontier had remained at its previous “low” score of 56 out of 100.1
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): In every state where it operates, the BBB grades Frontier Communication Corp. an F based on negative ratings given in 97% of 1,035 customer reviews.2 BBB notes in its “pattern of complaint” summary that many Verizon Fios customers that were forced to switch to Frontier experienced a poor transition of services, service outages, and slow speeds.
  • J.D. Power: In its eastern United States segment, J.D. Power ranked Frontier just two out of five “circles”—one of the worst out of the six company reviews—citing poor scores for performance and reliability, billing, communication, and customer service.3

Yikes! These low grades should definitely give you pause, but we think the company may have suffered most from a tricky transition after its Verizon Fios acquisition. And the company is expanding its footprint, so we think its reputation has the opportunity to grow too.

The fine print

We’ve shown you Frontier plans, pricing, and extra features, but there’s more you should know about. Here are some of the finer details and features to consider.

Price guarantee: It comes in threes

Frontier advertises a 36-month price guarantee for most of its internet plans—one of the best we’ve seen. Locking in your price for several years is helpful for managing a tight budget and avoiding the hassle of looking for new internet providers every year.

Fees: Murky costs

We had trouble ferreting out information about any extra fees Frontier charges. Installation fees? Frontier will “waive” these fees if you sign a one-year (or longer) contract. Activation fees? Unknown.

What about early termination fees? Here, Frontier notes a few charges you could pay. The first applies if you cancel your service before it’s even delivered to you. In that case, you’ll pay an “NRC” (non-recurring charge) fee plus one month of your monthly fee for the service.4 How much is the NRC? Sorry, we’re not sure.

Frontier advertises a 36-month price guarantee for most of its internet plans—one of the best we’ve seen

The next charge you could pay is for early termination of your service after its installed. Here’s some of the fine print:

If Customer terminates Service, or Frontier terminates Service as a result of Customer’s default, then unless otherwise specifically provided in writing, Customer shall immediately pay Frontier a termination charge equal to all unpaid amounts applicable to the terminated Service through the date of termination, plus the MRC and all related taxes and surcharges multiplied by the number of months remaining in the applicable Service Term, if any.

Try saying that in one breath. Here’s our best translation: if you cancel early, you’ll pay your monthly service charge times the number of months left on your contract—plus some extra fees, probably.

Contracts: Just the basics

Most Frontier plans require you to sign a contract with a minimum length of 12 months. Some promotional plans, however, may have higher contract lengths or require you to purchase additional services, such as phone.

Hardware: Equip your business

Frontier includes a basic wireless router with certain plans and bundles, but the details are a bit murky here too. However, Frontier does have several equipment partners you can buy from.

For example, you can equip yourself with a business-grade router for better security, remote access, and more. Larger businesses with advanced needs can purchase or access equipment like these:

  • Video systems: Conferencing and security surveillance
  • Voice systems: Cloud or on-site services like IP PBX or VoIP and analog or digital phone sets
  • Wired and wireless network systems: Routers, POE and LAN switches, servers, hubs, access points, controllers, firewalls, and storage devices

FAQs about Frontier business internet

Left with more queries about Frontier and business internet? Let’s see if we can help.

What’s the difference between Frontier Fios and Verizon Fios?

In 2016, Verizon sold some of its fiber-optic lines—branded Fios—to Frontier. The deal included keeping the Fios name, which is why you’ll see the term applied to both companies’ fiber internet plans.

Where is Frontier business internet available?

Frontier Fios availability jumped with its purchase of some of Verizon’s connections. Today, you can get fiber in certain areas of California, Texas, Florida, Oregon, Washington, and Indiana.

For $119.99 per month, combine fast Mbps symmetric speeds with solid voice technology for a package deal that’s affordable and effective.

But we expect the service to grow quickly as the company expands its fiber capabilities.

What’s the difference between broadband and DSL?

Broadband is a general term for internet connections that are faster than the traditional over-phone-lines options of the dial-up era. Depending on the company or source, broadband may refer to all “high-speed internet” connections, including digital subscriber line (DSL), cable, and fiber.

DSL is a type of broadband internet that uses existing copper phone lines to deliver fast internet without interrupting the phone services and vice versa.

What are the benefits of a VoIP system for small businesses?

Frontier actively markets its Frontier AnyWare VoIP system, but what is VoIP exactly, and what’s it good for?

You can add the Frontier AnyWare VoIP solution to just about any plan or bundle—a great option for businesses doing a lot of online collaboration and communication.

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is an electronic communications system that uses internet connections for calls and other services—in contrast to traditional analog or digital phone systems that use circuit-switching telephone lines. With VoIP, you can conduct conference calls, connect employee phones, add automation features, and more.

Frontier’s VoIP system, Frontier AnyWare, is a Cloud-based communications system for businesses with up to 500 phones.

Hint

Wondering if you need VoIP for your small business? If your business is growing, we definitely recommend it! VoIP is an affordable solution for communication, collaboration, and customer service that can expand with your company.

The takeaway: Frontier is a feasible small business internet solution with enticing technology solutions.

Frontier is worth considering for your business internet needs—especially if Frontier Fios plans are available in your area. What’s more, the company’s impressive Frontier AnyWare VoIP system is a solid Cloud-based communications system that can help you increase your collaboration abilities. If Frontier can iron out some of its downsides—like poor customer service ratings—our confidence in the company’s internet plans will grow even further.

Tell us your own experiences with Frontier business internet, or let us know if we left anything out. Join the discussion below and help us improve our Frontier internet review!

Disclaimers

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don’t guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

1. American Customer Satisfaction Index, “Press Release Telecommunications 2017
2. Better Business Bureau, “Frontier Communications Corp.
3. J.D. Power, “US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study (2017)
4. Frontier Communications, “Terms and Conditions for Frontier Business Services