Frontier vs. AT&T in 2022

There’s a lot of information out there that can make shopping for internet extremely difficult. We are here to help by comparing two of our most popular providers: Frontier and AT&T.

Table of Contents

  • Frontier and AT&T Overview
  • Speed Comparison: Frontier vs. AT&T
  • Plans and Prices for AT&T and Frontier
  • Frontier and AT&T Customer Satisfaction
  • Perks Included in AT&T and Frontier Plans
  • Additional Fees for Fontier and AT&T
  • FAQ

Summary

If you’re in the market for a new internet service provider (ISP), you of course want to consider your options carefully so that you select the right service for you. If the available internet service providers in your area happen to be AT&T and Frontier, then your choice may not be easy! Use this post to help inform your decision with breakdowns of some of the most important facets of these two leading internet service providers.

Frontier and AT&T Overview

If you’re deciding between AT&T and Frontier for your internet service needs, you may soon feel like you’re slogging through countless particulars. To keep things organized for you before we jump into any of the finer details of this internet service comparison, we’ll begin with a general introduction to each of the providers in question. See below for a brief description and a list of pros and cons for each of these providers.

Frontier Overview

Frontier is good at being your run-of-the-mill provider that gets the job done and that’s it. Their speeds are high and their prices are nice, but they just don’t have all the bells and whistles that AT&T does that make the deal that sellable to people who are looking for that kind of thing. A plus side is that the FiberOptic plans have some high-end upload speeds (uncommon for many providers) so it might be helpful for any folks who post large files or stream live videos, like a frequent YouTube contributor, for example.

Pros
  • Symmetrical upload and download speeds
  • Affordable low-tier plans
  • Two-year price lock
Cons
  • Equipment fees
  • Two-year contract
  • Fiber not available everywhere

AT&T Overview

AT&T is really great for a few reasons that are summarized below. The first is the Gig plan, which is one of the most wallet-friendly deals around for this high speed. They even offer Hyper-Gig plans.

Pros
  • Super affordable Gig plan
  • Hyper-Gig speeds
  • Symmetrical upload and download speeds
Cons
  • Expensive installation fee
  • Fiber not available everywhere

Speed Comparison: Frontier vs. AT&T

Frontier
PlanHighest SpeedLowest Speed
Frontier FiberOptic2000 Mbps500 Mbps
Frontier Internet115 Mbps9 Mbps
AT&T
PlanHighest SpeedLowest Speed
AT&T Fiber Internet5000 Mbps300 Mbps

In general, the range of speeds offered by AT&T and Frontier are comparable. The largest differences come into play when we look at the lower end of speeds available from these providers. Although Frontier has the potential to offer a much smaller amount of speed for those who just don’t need much, AT&T offers more affordable fiber internet options. That said, it bears reminding that fiber connections are not available in every geographic location. If your residence is only serviced by DSL connections, you may not be able to subscribe to a fiber or Gig-level service.

Internet providers typically only promote download speeds when advertising their services. That’s because download speeds are much more necessary for home and office use than upload speeds are for loading web pages, downloading large PDFs and more. Having a higher upload doesn’t hurt, though. Having an equal amount of upload and download speeds will save you a lot more time by preventing long sessions of staring at the loading screen while trying to upload 200+ photos of your dog to Facebook. No judgement here. Either way, check on the current download/upload ratios for your internet service provider. Although they are often symmetrical (the same speed for both upload and download functions), it’s worth knowing for sure if there is a speed difference.

Yes, AT&T’s highest speed is as “blazing fast” as they say, but it’s a crazy amount of speed. Many people don’t really need that much bandwidth unless they are running a home office of 10+ people or running every device in the home has internet at all times without stopping. But hey, it’s a good price for that amount of speed so it might be worth it if you’re going to use it—otherwise you could be paying for speed that you don’t use.

Plans and Prices for AT&T and Frontier

Let’s get right down to it. What do the plans and prices look like for both Frontier and AT&T? They have similar speeds, although Frontier has more options for low-tier internet. At the end of the day, AT&T has some of the best prices for Gig service in the game.

Frontier Internet Plans and Prices
PlanPriceSpeedTech
Frontier Basic Internet 3-91$32.99/mo. 9 Mbps DSL
Frontier Internet 12-251$39.99/mo. 25 Mbps DSL
Frontier Internet 45-1151$49.99/mo. 115 Mbps DSL
Frontier Fiber 500 Mbps 2 $49.99/mo. 500 Mbps Fiber
Frontier Fiber Gig2 $74.99/mo.940 Mbps Fiber
Frontier Fiber 2 Gig$149.99/mo.2000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet Plans and Prices 3
Plan*PriceSpeedTech
AT&T FIBER 300Mbps$55.00/mo.300 Mbps Fiber
AT&T FIBER 500Mbps$65.00/mo.500 MbpsFiber
AT&T FIBER 1 GIG$80.00/mo.1000 MbpsFiber
AT&T FIBER 2 GIG$110.00/mo.2000 MbpsFiber
AT&T FIBER 5 GIG$180.00/mo.5000 MbpsFiber

We think AT&T’s pricing and plans are doable for the reliability and speed you can get with your plan. But symmetrical upload and download speeds? It’s a deal that’s hard to pass up. These kinds of parallel speed options will help guarantee you a satisfactory experience with your internet and both AT&T and Frontier boast it.

Although Frontier’s prices are clearly different across each of their service plans, AT&T’s lower-speed plans appear to have similar prices across a few of the tiers. Make sure that you’re getting the most out of your service by asking for a plan that gets you the highest speed for your monthly price. One more thing to keep in mind about AT&T’s service is that AT&T now more heavily promotes its fiber service as opposed to its lower-level DSL services, so you may not always find DSL plans available in your area.

Frontier and AT&T Customer Satisfaction

Based on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)

As of June 2021, America answered satisfaction questions for telecommunication questions. Thanks to them, we can compare these two services based on how happy customers are with the services they purchased. The ACSI measures internet providers based on customer reviews for service reliability, connection speeds, security, bill clarity, service center staff helpfulness, website usability, Wi-Fi quality and more.

From 2020-2021, satisfaction for Frontier services increased a bit. As a company, Frontier scored a 63 out of 100 according to the ACSI metrics. Although that’s one of the lowest scores overall, it is still an improvement on prior scoring. AT&T made some more progress by growing their score by about five points from last year, earning them a 74 out of 100—one of the highest scores you can find for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) through this survey.

Perks Included in AT&T and Frontier Plans

AT&T is the top choice for features that come with their different internet deals, especially if you bundle with their other services like TV and Mobile. Frontier has your basic add-on features, but nothing that stands out too much.

AT&T Features

  • 99% Reliability
  • Speeds up to 5000 Mbps
  • Smart Home Manager App for connected devices
  • Symmetrical speeds
  • 30,000+ Wi-Fi hotspots

Frontier Features

  • 24/7 Tech Support
  • No data caps
  • DSL Price for Life and price locks
  • Symmetrical speeds for fiber plans
  • High speeds

Additional Fees for Fontier and AT&T

The sneaky reality of ISP subscriptions? Hidden fees. Thankfully, we’ve dug them up and displayed them here to promote complete transparency while you shop.

Frontier's Hidden Fees
FeeAmount
One-Time Activation $85 ($49 for FiberOptic in NY)
Self-InstallationAvailable if you order a self-install kit
Equipment RentalNone
Broadband Processing Fee (Upon Disconnection)$9.99
Early Termination FeeUp to $400
AT&T's Hidden Fees
FeeAmount
Professional InstallationUp to $99
Self-Install KitNo charge, $35 activation fee
Broadband Processing Fee None
Early Termination Fee$15 for each remaining month

It’s a fact that internet service providers require a lot of fees. With AT&T, the fee that stands out to us the most is the $99 professional installation fee, although you may be able to self-install for a lower price. If you don’t usually trust yourself with technical matters, though, a self-install option may not be for you.

For Frontier, the ETF (Early Termination Fee) is sky high, which makes sense since they have a two-year contract. Although the activation fee is still a decently sized charge, Frontier does not have monthly rental fees.

Frequently asked questions

Are AT&T and Frontier the same?

No. Frontier temporarily used the same lines as AT&T but cut that off in 2014.

Is AT&T or Frontier faster?

Both AT&T and Frontier offer 2-Gig speeds, but AT&T offers 5 Gbps speeds in select locations.

How many Mbps do I need for Netflix?

25 Mbps is a basic speed for regular, single SD stream. If you want to have multiple streams at the same time with HD quality, 100 Mbps is the best.

Written by: Hayley Abshear

Edited by: Sarah Solomon

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