Frontier vs Optimum - Which One is Better?

Frontier

Starting at

$49.99/mo.

for 24 mos.*

  • Speeds Up to 5 Gbps
  • Available in 29 States
  • No Contract

Call to Order

(877) 592-5815
Optimum

Starting at

$20.00/mo

  • Speeds Up to 8 Gbps
  • Available in 21 States
  • No Contract

Call to Order

(877) 783-2597

The two put together can break frontiers with optimal speeds! But when they decide to go head-to-head, other providers feel stressed. Such is the enigma of the Frontier vs. Optimum debate. 

You can relax though! We have analyzed the two providers on all metrics – perks, price, speed, availability, bundle deals, customer service, and even gaming performance to assist you in choosing the best one for your home. 

So, are you ready to fan the flames as we initiate our Optimum vs. Frontier debate?

Table of Contents

Frontier 

Frontier was the first fiber internet provider in the country to roll out its 5 Gig tier across its 29-state footprint. The history of Frontier Communications dates back to 1935. It started as a rural utility company, and by 1999, it shifted its focus to telecommunications. 

Today, Frontier is the ninth-largest telecommunications company in the USA by revenue and 6th best national internet service provider (ISP). Frontier’s DSL internet service is connecting millions in rural areas. 

Whereas, its ultrafast fiber internet service is available in more than 6.2 million locations, and around 1.8 million US residents are actively subscribed to Frontier Fiber plans. The service starts at $44.99 per month and includes a free Wi-Fi 6/ 6E gateway, unlimited data, free expert installation, and a $100 discount on YouTube TV. 

Here are some of its pros and cons. 

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 Pros:

  • Wide-scale availability in 29 states.
  • Symmetric internet speeds of up to 5 Gigs. 
  • Affordable DSL and fiber internet service.
  • Unlimited data allowance.
  • No annual contracts.
  • Equipment is included in the fee. 
  • Free expert installation with fiber internet. 
  • 24/7 tech support. 
  • Savings of up to $120 per year on Internet and YouTube TV bundles.


 Cons:

  • Limited availability of Frontier Fiber.
  • Second-year price hikes.
  • Slow speeds on DSL connection.

Optimum 

Optimum, owned and managed by Altice USA, is the nation’s fourth-largest cable internet provider and offers high-speed internet plans in 21 states. Originally incepted as a 30-channel cable TV system in the 1970s, Optimum adopted its current brand name in 2005, and today, it stands tall as one of the top 10 telecommunications companies in the USA. 

From its headquarters in Long Island City, New York, Optimum delivers exceptionally fast broadband speeds of up to 8 Gigs through its hybrid fiber-cable network. Over 100,000 subscribers, mainly in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Virginia, are enjoying hyperfast multi-gigabit speeds on Optimum’s 100 percent fiber-rich network.  

Optimum’s cable and fiber internet plans start at $20 per month and include unlimited data, cutting-edge equipment, Snappy Gifts, up to 60 days of money-back guarantee, and non-contractual service. 

Look at some of the pros and cons of Optimum Internet to see how it fares against Frontier.

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 Pros:

  • Available in 21 states of the USA. 
  • Equal upload and download speeds of up to 8 Gbps.
  • 99.9% reliable cable and fiber internet networks. 
  • The price includes a Wi-Fi 6 router. 
  • A 60-day money-back guarantee. 
  • Unlimited data. 
  • Contract-free service.
  • Bundle discounts and gift cards.
  • Free expert installation on online orders. 
  • 24/7 customer service.


 Cons:

  • Multi-gigabit speeds are limited to the New York tri-state area.
  • Accessibility of fiber internet is limited. 
  • Service becomes expensive after the promotional period. 

Internet Service Comparison – Frontier vs Optimum 

Here is a side-by-side comparison of Frontier vs. Optimum Internet service to help you gauge what the two providers can offer.

Features  Optimum  Frontier 
Type of Connection  Fiber & Cable  Fiber & DSL 
Price Range  $20.00/mo. – $300.00/mo.  $44.99/mo. – $154.99/mo. 
Speed Range  100 Mbps – 8,000 Mbps  100 Mbps – 5,000 Mbps 
Availability  21 states of the USA  29 states of the USA 
Data Cap No  No 
Contracts  Not required   Not required  
Installation Fee  Free on online orders  Free with fiber internet plans
Equipment Fee  Free  Free 
Bundles  Available  Available 
Perks  Discounts and Gift Cards  Discounts and Gift Cards 
Customer Rating  4.3 out of 5 stars  4.5 out of 5 stars 
Best For  4K and 8K streaming  AR and VR gaming 

Plans & Pricing Details – Frontier vs Optimum Internet

Optimum and Frontier offer great value for the money. However, the introductory rates of Optimum Internet are lower than Frontier plans with the same speeds. Moreover, the maximum upload and download speed available via Optimum is 8 Gigs, whereas, Frontier Fiber’s internet speeds max out at 5 Gigs. 

Refer to the Frontier and Optimum Internet plans to see the difference. 

Frontier

Frontier’s broadband service starts at $44.99 per month. On average, Frontier Internet plans are $4.99 more expensive than Optimum’s. However, the second-year price hike for Frontier Internet plans is not more than 18 percent. In contrast, Optimum raises the price by $50 after the promotional period – a 25 percent increase. 

All the Frontier Internet plans include unlimited data, an advanced gateway, expert installation (up to $100 in value), and contract-free service. 

Frontier Internet Plans
Plans Starting Price Max Speed Type
Frontier Internet  $64.99/mo.  100 Mbps  DSL 
Fiber 500 $44.99/mo.  500 Mbps  Fiber-optic 
Fiber 1 Gig  $64.99/mo.  1,000 Mbps  Fiber-optic 
Fiber 2 Gig  $99.99/mo.  2,000 Mbps  Fiber-optic 
Fiber 5 gig  $154.99/mo.  5,000 Mbps  Fiber-optic 
*Prices are subject to change after the first 12 months of service.
**Wireless speeds may vary.
***Multigigabit speeds are limited to selected markets.

Optimum

Optimum’s 1 Gig speeds and lower are available through cable and fiber networks. The only difference is that the download and upload speeds are asymmetric on the cable network, and the upstream capabilities max out at 35 Mbps. On the contrary, Optimum Fiber customers can enjoy equally fast upload speeds. 

All Optimum speed tiers include unlimited data, a 60-day money-back guarantee, a Smart Wi-Fi 6 router, professional installation with online orders, Snappy Gift scratch cards, and no-contract service. 

Optimum Internet Plans
Plans Starting Price Max Speed Type
Internet 100  $20.00/mo.  100 Mbps  Cable 
Fiber 300  $30.00/mo.  300 Mbps  Fiber & Cable 
Fiber 500  $40.00/mo.  500 Mbps  Fiber & Cable 
Fiber 1 Gig  $60.00/mo.  1,000 Mbps  Fiber & Cable 
Fiber 2 Gig  $80.00/mo.  2,000 Mbps  Fiber-optic 
Fiber 5 Gig  $140.00/mo.  5,000 Mbps  Fiber-optic 
Fiber 8 Gig  $240.00/mo.  8,000 Mbps  Fiber-optic 
*Prices in the table above are promotional rates and may vary by location.
**Availability of multigigabit speeds is limited to a select few metros.
***Optimum Fiber 8 Gig plan is available in some parts of the New York Tri-State area.
****Wireless speeds may vary.

Additional Costs – Optimum vs Frontier 

Additional costs or hidden fees can be a dealbreaker during internet shopping. Luckily, Frontier and Optimum ensure transparent pricing, eliminating the inconvenience of add-on costs such as equipment, installation, and early termination fees. 

Installation Fee

Frontier and Optimum offer free expert installation. The difference is that Frontier’s free installation service ($100 on the house) is limited to its fiber internet plans. Whereas, Optimum Internet customers get free professional installation service when they purchase the plan online. 

Equipment Fee

Optimum and Frontier internet plans come with Wi-Fi 6 residential gateways. Frontier’s free equipment ranges from Amazon eero Wi-Fi 6+ to TP-Link Archer AXE300 6E routers. Optimum includes a Smart Wi-Fi 6 router with all its plans. However, customers may add Wi-Fi extenders for an extra fee to eliminate dead zones around the house.  

Early Termination Fee

Annual contracts are optional for Frontier’s DSL internet and 2 Gig service. Other than that, Frontier and Optimum do not make their subscribers sign service term agreements. Therefore, an early termination fee (ETF) becomes invalid, and customers can cancel the service or switch plans whenever they like.  

TV & Internet Bundles – Optimum vs Frontier

Frontier and Optimum offer a range of telecommunications solutions to their customers. Along with blistering-fast internet, they offer TV, home phone, and mobile phone services within their footprints. The services can be combined for savings, additional perks, and hassle-free billing. 

Optimum Bundles 

Optimum’s cable TV packages can be stacked on top of its high-speed internet plans for combined Snappy Gifts of up to $400 in value. Optimum is offering Snappy Gift credits of up to $300 on its multigigabit internet plans, and its curated, elite-level TV packages – Select TV and Premier TV, also include Snappy Gifts of up to $100 in value. 

So, for a price as low as $80 per month, you can get mirrored upload and download speeds of up to 8 Gbps, watch more than 420 cable TV channels, and purchase gifts worth $400.

Popular Optimum Internet and TV Bundles 
Bundled Price  Optimum Internet Optimum TV  Included 
$80.00/mo.  300 Mbps  Basic – 50+ channels  Voice remote
$160.00/mo.  500 Mbps  Core – 220+ channels  Voice remote & $50 gift 
$200.00/mo.  1,000 Mbps  Select – 340+ channels  Voice remote & $250 gift
$245.00/mo.  2,000 Mbps  Premier – 420+ channels Voice remote & $400 gift
$190.00/mo. 5,000 Mbps  Basic – 50+ channels  Voice remote 
$290.00/mo. 8,000 Mbps  Basic – 50+ channels  Voice remote
*Bundled prices quoted in the table above reflect a $5 discount for AutoPay and paperless billing services.
**Quoted gift values are a combination of Snappy gift credits applicable on Optimum Internet and Optimum TV packages.
***Prices are subject to change after the promotional period and may vary by location.

Frontier Bundles 

Frontier Fiber internet plans can be bundled with the YouTube TV streaming service for yearly savings of up to $120. Frontier is offering a $10 monthly discount on YouTube TV to new fiber internet subscribers. 

For a starting price of $107.98/mo, Frontier Internet and YouTube TV bundle offers symmetrical internet speeds of up to 5 Gigs and watch over 100 cable TV channels, including popular networks like ABC, CBS, ESPN, HGTV, and more. 

Frontier Internet and YouTube TV Bundles 
Bundled Price  Frontier Internet  YouTube TV  Savings 
$107.98/mo.  500 Mbps  100+ channels  $10.00/mo. 
$127.98/mo.  1,000 Mbps  100+ channels  $10.00/mo.
$162.98/mo. 2,000 Mbps 100+ channels  $10.00/mo.
$217.98/mo.  5,000 Mbps  100+ channels  $10.00/mo.
*Prices are subject to increase after 12 months.
**Taxes and fees apply.

Better Option for Gaming – Optimum or Frontier?

Low latency and jitter make more sense to gamers than faster internet speeds. The lower the latency (or ping) and jitter, the lesser the lag. Hence, a smooth, glitch-free gameplay.

It is an industry-wide accepted fact that fiber-optic internet has the lowest latency compared to other types of internet connections. Although Optimum and Frontier are fiber internet providers, Frontier’s fiber internet network is larger than Optimum’s, making the service more accessible. 

Frontier’s multigigabit speeds are accessible in most metro areas within its 29-state footprint, delivering ultra-low latencies between 10 and 12 milliseconds (ms). In comparison, Optimum’s multigigabit speeds are limited to the New York tri-state area, and the remaining service areas can access its cable internet plans (up to 1,000 Mbps down/ 35 Mbps up), with typical latencies between 13 and 27 ms.  

Therefore, in a battle between Frontier and Optimum, Frontier Fiber is better for pro-level online gaming and virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) gaming. 

Wider Coverage Area – Frontier or Optimum?

Frontier and Optimum’s hybrid fiber-DSL and fiber-cable networks are vast and cover almost half the country’s land area. Frontier is widely available in 29 states, and its 100 percent fiber network covers more than 6.2 million locations/ passings, delivering hyperfast 5 Gig speeds to over 10,000 cities and towns.  

All the States Where Frontier Internet is Available 
Alabama Indiana Nevada South Carolina
Arizona Iowa New Mexico South Dakota
California Kansas New York Tennessee
Connecticut Michigan North Carolina Texas
Florida Minnesota North Dakota Utah
Georgia Mississippi Ohio Virginia
Illinois Nebraska Pennsylvania West Virginia
Wisconsin
*Service availability may be spotty within these states.

Frontier is gradually expanding its fiber-optic broadband network across the country and expects to achieve a target of 10 million fiber passings by 2025. Currently, Frontier’s fiber internet service is available to more than 16.2 million Americans, making it the fourth-largest fiber internet provider in the USA. 

On the other hand, Optimum’s internet service extends to 21 states, serving over 20.6 million people. Optimum’s fiber internet coverage is concentrated in the New York tri-state area and West Virginia. Whereas, its coaxial cable network blankets 1,000+ residential communities.

All the States Where Optimum Internet is Available 
Arizona  Kansas  Nevada  Ohio 
Arkansas  Kentucky  New Jersey  Oklahoma 
California  Louisiana  New Mexico  Pennsylvania 
Connecticut  Mississippi  New York  Texas 
Idaho  Missouri  North Carolina  Virginia 
West Virginia 
*Coverage within these states may vary based on network availability.
**The Optimum 8 Gig plan is limited to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Better Customer Service – Frontier or Optimum

Scores don’t lie. Customer satisfaction studies and indices prove that Frontier’s customer service is a notch above Optimum’s. In the American Customer Satisfaction Index 2023, Frontier Fiber scored 74 out of 100 points in the fiber internet category. Interestingly, Optimum didn’t even make it to the list.  

Optimum was on the non-fiber internet service providers’ list and ranked the lowest, with 58 out of 100 points.

Similarly, in the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Study for 2023, Frontier Communications scored better than Optimum in the South and East regions (where Frontier and Optimum were compared).

Frontier vs Optimum – J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Scores 2023
Provider Region Score out of 1,000Rank 
Frontier East 6855th 
Optimum East 6616th
Frontier South 7383rd
Optimum South6768th

So, whose customer service is better, Optimum’s or Frontier’s? The answer is undoubtedly Frontier. 

Final Verdict – Frontier or Optimum? 

If you are still unsure which of the two, Optimum or Frontier, best fits your broadband needs, then let’s summarize their strengths and weaknesses. 

Frontier’s fiber footprint is larger than Optimum’s, delivering exceptional multigigabit speeds, superior gaming performance, and world-class customer service. Its introductory prices may be higher than Optimum’s, but the regular rates are cheaper and guarantee similar speeds and perks. 

In contrast, Optimum’s fiber-optic network is concentrated in a handful of states in the Northeast, but its gigabit cable network bridges the gap in the remaining states. Customers enjoy discounts of up to $60 per month during the first year, a 60-day free trial, and Snappy Gift credits of up to $400. But service is expensive in the long run, and limited fiber capabilities only add to the frustration. 

We hope our Frontier vs. Optimum in-depth review will help you pick the best provider, depending on your preferences. 

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