Spectrum vs. Frontier

Spectrum has the upper hand in availability, but Frontier’s fiber is your fastest option if you can get it.

Best for speed

  • Customer rating: 3.6
  • Price: $49.99–$89.99/mo.
  • Max speed: 300–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
  • Internet type: Cable
  • Data cap: No data cap
  • Contract: No contract

Best for affordability

Get Frontier Internet Plans which are fast and reliable and Deals, and Prices customer satisfaction scores, and reviews for ISPs near you.
  • Customer rating: N/A
  • Price: $49.99–$149.99/mo.
  • Max fiber speed: 500–2,000 Mbps
  • Internet type: DSL, fiber
  • Data cap: No data cap
  • Contract: 1-year fiber contract


  • Good performance
  • No modem rental fee


  • Expensive after a year
  • Extra charge for WiFi
Get Frontier Internet Plans which are fast and reliable and Deals, and Prices customer satisfaction scores, and reviews for ISPs near you.


  • Affordable DSL plan
  • Available in rural areas
  • Fast fiber


  • Limited fiber availability
  • High fees
  • No cable internet

Plans and pricing: Spectrum vs. Frontier

Spectrum and Frontier have a simplified lineup. Because they deliver different types of internet connections, Spectrum cable internet provides faster speeds when compared to DSL.

Both companies offer a plan capable of up to 940 Mbps—although Frontier’s is fiber and Spectrum’s is cable. But Frontier’s Fiber Gig and Fiber 2 Gig plans are extremely limited in availability, while Spectrum’s Internet Gig cable internet service is more accessible.


Spectrum plans and pricing

Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)View Plan
Spectrum Internet Ultra®$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)View Plan
Spectrum Internet Gig®$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.Up to 1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)View Plan

Frontier plans and pricing

Frontier Internet (DSL)$49.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill*N/AView Plan
Frontier Fiber Internet 500$49.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless BillUp to 500 MbpsView Plan
Frontier Fiber Gig$74.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill#Up to 940 MbpsView Plan
Frontier Fiber 2 Gig$149.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless BillUp to 2,000 MbpsView Plan

Deals and promotions: Spectrum vs. Frontier

Get a free, 90-day trial of Peacock Premium when you sign up for a qualifying internet plan.

Get Frontier Internet Plans which are fast and reliable and Deals, and Prices customer satisfaction scores, and reviews for ISPs near you.

You’ll get $5 off your monthly bill when you set up online autopay.

Extra fees: Spectrum vs. Frontier

 Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees
  • $5.00/mo. for WiFi (no charge with Internet Gig plan)
  • $3.00/mo. per Spectrum WiFi Pod
  • No charge for modem or gateway
  • $49.99 for pro install
  • $19.99 for self-install and service activation
  • $49.99 for WiFi Pod install
  • $9.99 service activation fee
  • $8.95 late payment fee (after 21 days)
  • $25.00 insufficient funds fee
  • $5.00 phone payment processing fee
  • $9.99 reconnection fee (internet)
  • $4.99 reconnection fee (TV)
  • $19.99 equipment upgrade fee to Internet Gig plan
  • No charge for DSL modem or gateway
  • Free pro install
  • $85.00 DSL activation fee*
  • $10.00 disconnect fee
  • $9.99 equipment fee for extra devices
  • $5.00/mo. no AutoPay fee
  • $2.99/mo. Paper bill fee
  • $6.99/mo. Internet infrastructure surcharge

Other than the WiFi charge, Spectrum doesn’t tack on a lot of extra fees. Even if you cancel your service before the 12-month promotional pricing period ends, Spectrum won’t penalize you with an early termination fee.

Frontier charges $85 to activate DSL service but waives the fee for fiber. There’s also no equipment fee—Frontier raised the prices to cover the cost. New to Frontier’s list of other fees is the monthly charge for a paper bill, which began in April 2022.

Customer ratings: Spectrum vs. Frontier

 Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating
Spectrum (2021)
Frontier (2020)

Spectrum ranked lower in our annual customer satisfaction survey than it did in the previous year. Its largest declines were in speed satisfaction and reliability. However, 87% of those surveyed confirmed that their speeds usually or always met their needs. On reliability, 67% of respondents said they “never” or “not often” experienced outages.

Our survey for 2021 didn’t have enough respondents to add Frontier to the list. However, Frontier did well in the previous year, scoring 4.0 in speed satisfaction and 3.8 in reliability, outranking Spectrum’s current scores. Both providers saw low scores in pricing no matter the year, indicating that customers weren’t completely satisfied with the price of their internet plan or bundle.

Best TV and internet bundles

PackageInternet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
Spectrum Internet (up to 300 Mbps) + TV SelectUp to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)125+$99.98/mo. for 12 mos.View Bundles
Spectrum Internet Ultra + TV SelectUp to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)125+$119.98/mo. for 12 mos.View Bundles
Frontier 500 Mbps + DISH America’s Top 120Up to 500 Mbps190$119.98/mo.*View Bundles
Fiber 500 Mbps + DISH America’s Top 120+Up to 500 Mbps190+$134.98/mo.View Bundles

Frontier currently doesn’t offer a TV service for new customers. Instead, the company partnered with DISH to provide DSL and satellite TV bundles. Both bundles include local channels and start you with a three-month trial of the DISH Movie Pack™ Online TV service, which usually costs $30 per month.

Spectrum doesn’t have discounted bundles. Instead, you can pair its TV Select service with one of its three cable internet plans. Both services have a discount for the first 12 months, but all premium channels are extra. You’ll also see a broadcasting surcharge of up to $20 per month.


Internet types: Spectrum vs. Frontier

 Internet typeDetails
SpectrumFiber, cableView Plans
FrontierFiber, DSLView Plans

Spectrum offers cable internet, which relies on coaxial cable that’s typically already installed in homes and apartments. Cable internet providers like Spectrum and Xfinity currently limit their speeds to around 1,000 Mbps.

Frontier’s primary market is digital subscriber line (DSL) internet, which uses telephone wires that are usually installed in homes and apartments. DSL is a slower alternative to cable internet.

Frontier’s ace up the sleeve is its fiber internet service, however. While limited in availability, fiber-optic cables provide symmetrical upload and download speeds—that means you can watch a YouTube video just as fast as you can upload one.

In contrast, coaxial cable connections provided by Spectrum have fast download speeds but extremely slow uploads. If you often transfer large files to the cloud, Frontier’s Fiber Internet 500 and Fiber Gig plans would be ideal.

Data caps: Spectrum vs. Frontier

 Data CapDetails
SpectrumNo capView Plans
FrontierNo capView Plans

With Spectrum and Frontier, you won’t see data caps like other internet providers. You get unlimited data, which translates to no monthly overage fees and no monthly charges for unrestricted access. They also don’t intentionally throttle your connection, no matter how much you download—the data spigot remains wide open every month.

Contracts: Spectrum vs. Frontier

 Contract lengthDetails
  • No contract
View Plans
  • 1-year fiber contract
View Plans

Spectrum doesn’t enforce a contract. Instead, it offers a discount for the first 12 months. But even though prices go up after that, customers can cancel internet service after one month without penalty.

Frontier’s DSL service doesn’t appear to have a contract. However, all three fiber plans require a one-year agreement. Discounted pricing for the Fiber Internet 500 and Fiber Gig plans end after 12 and 36 months, respectively—there’s no discount with the Fiber 2 Gig plan. A two-year commitment comes into play when you bundle Frontier Internet with DISH.


Our HighSpeedteck.com editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.

Additional resources

  • AT&T vs. Spectrum
  • DSL vs. Fiber Internet: Which One Is Right for You?
  • DSL vs. Cable: Which Is Right for You?
  • Xfinity vs. Spectrum
  • Xfinity vs. Frontier


1. Frontier Communications, “Get Ready for Your Safety-First Appointment.” Accessed May 4, 2021.

2. Frontier Communications, “Before the Public Utilities Commission of the State of California,” December 24, 2020. Accessed May 4, 2021.

3. Frontier Communications. “Frontier Delivers Record Operational Results as It Becomes a Fiber-First Company,” February 23, 2022. Accessed March 18, 2022.