AT&T vs. Frontier: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

Both providers offer fiber and DSL internet, but AT&T may have the upper hand in your area with pricing and variety.

  • Best for price
    • Customer rating: 3.8/5
    • Price: $55.00–$180.00/mo.*
    • Speed: 25–5,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: DSL, fiber, fixed wireless
    • Data cap: None–1 TB
    • Contract: Monthly
  • Best for simplicity
    • Customer rating: 3.8/5
    • Price: $49.99–$149.99/mo.*
    • Fiber speed: 500–2,000 Mbps
    • Internet type: DSL, fiber
    • Data cap: None
    • Contract: 1-year fiber contract

Compare AT&T and Frontier head to head

AT&T is the best choice for fiber internet. It has four fiber plans at great prices, making it one of the best internet services for gaming. Frontier is no slouch in delivering fast fiber speeds, but its fiber network is far less available than AT&T’s. Both primarily deliver DSL internet if fiber isn’t in your area, although AT&T has the upper hand in megabit-per-dollar value.

Pros and cons: AT&T vs. Frontier

Pros:

  • Great fiber internet prices
  • Excellent reliability and customer service

Cons:

  • Data caps on some plans
  • No TV and fiber internet bundles

Pros:

  • Unlimited data
  • Affordable fiber

Cons:

  • High fees
  • 1-year contracts with fiber

 

Want to know if AT&T or Frontier are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below. 

Plans and pricing: AT&T vs. Frontier

Overall, AT&T has a larger footprint across the US than Frontier. Both primarily offer DSL internet as they slowly expand their fiber networks. But, if you want a variety of options—including fixed wireless—then AT&T is the way to go.

AT&T plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
AT&T Internet 300$55.00/mo.*300 MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet 500$65.00/mo.*500 MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet 1000$80.00/mo.*1,000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet 2000$110.00/mo.*2,000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet 5000$180.00/mo.*5,000 MbpsFiber
AT&T Internet up to 75 Mbps$55.00/mo.#75 MbpsDSL
AT&T Internet up to 100 Mbps$55.00/mo.*100 MbpsDSL
AT&T Fixed Wireless$59.99/mo.**10–25 MbpsWireless

AT&T is primarily a DSL internet provider—for now, at least. AT&T plans to reach 30 million locations with its fiber network by 2025.7

AT&T’s two DSL plans are pretty cheap in terms of megabits per dollar when you compare them against Frontier. If fiber isn’t in your area, then AT&T’s DSL is the way to go unless you have access to cable internet.

AT&T’s fiber plans are reasonably priced too. It also offers incredibly fast speeds over fiber—5G Internet delivers the fastest speeds from a major provider in the United States. You likely won’t need 5,000 Mbps speeds (unless you’re mining cryptocurrency). The Internet 300 plan will be a much better deal, although the price is still higher than what you can get from Frontier.

Frontier plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeDetails
Frontier Fiber Internet 500$49.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill*500 MbpsFiberView Plans
Frontier Fiber Gig$74.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill940 MbpsFiberView Plans
Frontier Fiber 2 Gig$149.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill2,000 MbpsFiberView Plans
Frontier Internet$49.99/mo. w/Auto Pay & Paperless Bill§Up to 25 MbpsDSLView Plans

Like AT&T, Frontier is mostly a DSL internet provider with some fiber. Both are working to swap out old DSL lines with the faster fiber connections, but if DSL is all you can get, then AT&T is the way to go.

Frontier goes head-to-head with AT&T at speeds of 500 Mbps and higher. For instance, Frontier’s 500 Mbps plan is slightly cheaper than AT&T, but AT&T becomes the cheaper option if you want speeds up to 2,000 Mbps. Frontier currently does not have a fiber plan that competes with AT&T’s 5,000 Gbps service.

Overall, Frontier aims to reach 10 million locations with its fiber service by 2025. The company launched its 2 Gbps fiber plan in February 2022 and expects to reach 10 Gbps in the near future.8

HSI badge deals

Deal and promotions: AT&T vs. Frontier

Get a subscription to HBO Max™ at no extra cost by signing up for an AT&T gigabit internet plan.

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

Get the Deal

Extra fees: AT&T vs. Frontier

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeOther Fees

AT&T

  • $10.00/mo.
  • Up to $99.00 for professional
  • $35.00 for self-install
  • $15.00/mo. (early termination, contract plans only)
  • $5.00 (late payment)
  • Frontier
    Frontier
  • No charge for DSL modem or wireless gateway
  • Free pro install*
  • $85.00 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
  • Frontier’s monthly rates include autopay and paperless billing discounts, so expect to pay $7.99 extra each month if you opt out of both. If anything, Frontier’s Internet Infrastructure Surcharge fee should be a little alarming, as you’re investing in maintenance and other network infrastructure costs.1

    Want to know if AT&T or Frontier are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below. 

    Customer ratings: AT&T vs. Frontier

    Overall RatingSpeed RatingPriceReliabilityCustomer Service

    AT&T*

    3.84.03.54.03.8
    Frontier
    Frontier*
    3.84.03.53.83.7

    Note: We pulled these numbers from our 2020 survey because Frontier didn’t have enough respondents to appear in our 2021 customer satisfaction survey.

    For 2020, AT&T ranked slightly ahead in every category, scoring 4.09 in speed satisfaction versus Frontier’s 3.98, for example (we rounded the numbers in the chart). Yet AT&T’s speed, reliability, and customer support satisfaction scores were lower in 2021, while Frontier didn’t rank at all.

    Best TV and internet bundles

    Internet speedTV channelsPriceDetails
    DIRECTV ENTERTAINMENT All-Included Package + AT&T InternetUp to 100 Mbps160+$129.99/mo.*
    DIRECTV CHOICE™ All-Included Package + AT&T InternetUp to 100 Mbps185+$134.99/mo.*
    Fiber 500 Mbps + DISH America’s Top 120Up to 500 Mbps190$119.98/mo.#View Plans
    Fiber 500 Mbps + DISH America’s Top 120+Up to 500 Mbps190+$134.98/mo.View Plans

    AT&T doesn’t bundle TV with its fiber internet. Instead, it pairs four DIRECTV packages with its 100 Mbps DSL service. The ENTERTAINMENT package includes SHOWTIME®, STARZ®, CINEMAX®, and EPIX® for free during the first three months.

    Frontier bundles DISH TV with its fiber and DSL services. The America’s Top 120 package includes 190 channels, while the Plus package adds regional sports channels to the lineup. Both plans include SHOWTIME and the DISH Movie Pack for free during the first three months.

    Internet types: AT&T vs. Frontier

    Internet typeDetails

    AT&T
    DSL
    Fiber
    Fixed wireless
    Frontier
    Frontier
    DSL
    Fiber
    View Plans

    Both companies primarily offer DSL, which uses telephone cables to bring the internet into your home. A 140 Mbps or slower speed is typical for a DSL connection, although Windstream’s DSL service can reach up to just over 200 Mbps.

    Fiber-to-the-home services from AT&T and Frontier have a somewhat smaller footprint, generally covering around 30% of their national markets. AT&T is the only provider of the two with a fixed wireless service, however, which sends internet via transmitters to homes that can’t get a landline connection.

    Should you get fixed wireless?

    Fixed wireless isn’t just for rural areas. Perhaps you live in an area where fiber and DSL internet just isn’t reliable. Take a look at our fixed wireless internet guide for more about speed, plans, and pricing.

    Data caps: AT&T vs. Frontier

    Data CapDetails

    AT&T
  • No cap for fiber
  • 150 GB for DSL6
  • 1 TB for 75 Mbps or slower
  • 350 GB for fixed wireless plan
  • Frontier
    Frontier
  • No cap
  • View Plans

    Frontier doesn’t enforce data caps on its DSL and fiber services, and AT&T refrains from imposing a data cap on its fiber connection. But AT&T limits data on its DSL and fixed wireless services to keep the services affordable. The company also admits that it can’t always measure your data use on a DSL connection, so it’s possible that you can go over the 1 TB limit, and it doesn’t show up in the data tracker. If that happens, you won’t be charged.2

    Contracts: AT&T vs. Frontier

    Contract lengthDetails

    AT&T
  • No contract
  • Frontier
    Frontier
  • 1-year contract for fiber
  • View Plans

    AT&T doesn’t require a contract in most cases. Instead, you pay a discounted price each month for 12 months, and then the plans increase around $10 (DSL) and $20 (fiber)—the fixed wireless service doesn’t appear to have promotional pricing.

    However, AT&T may require a contract if you order internet service with additional promotional discounts. The early termination fee applies if you cancel service after 14 days.3 The fee is prorated and reduced each month.4

    Frontier also doesn’t require a contract when you sign up for DSL. However, all three fiber plans require a one-year agreement. Frontier’s Internet 500 and Internet Gig plans increase by around $10 per month after 12 months and 36 months, respectively. The 2 Gig plan doesn’t have discounted pricing.

    .

    Installation: AT&T vs. Frontier

    Installation optionsDetails

    AT&T
  • Up to $99.00 for pro installation
  • $35.00 for self-installation
  • Frontier
    Frontier
  • $85.00 for DSL activation
  • Free pro installation*
  • View Plans

    Modern AT&T fiber installations include a termination box outside and a fiber jack installed in the room where AT&T’s desktop optical network terminal (ONT) resides—this device is actually a gateway supporting fiber. Older fiber installations have a smaller ONT mounted on the fiber jack and use Ethernet to connect a standard gateway or router.

    With Frontier’s fiber-to-the-home service, a technician installs the ONT in your garage, basement, or closet. After that, the ONT connects to your home’s existing Ethernet or coaxial cable wiring—a MoCA adapter and splitter are required for coaxial cabling and TV. The supplied gateway connects to the Ethernet or coaxial cable jack mounted in the wall.

    Like self-installing cable and DSL equipment, your home already needs a fiber connection before you can order a self-install kit from AT&T. Frontier currently does not have a self-install option.

    Availability: AT&T vs. Frontier

    AT&T has a larger footprint stamped across the US than Frontier. Most of its coverage spans through the south and southeast and stretches up into Wisconsin and Michigan. There are scattered spots throughout Kansas and Oklahoma and very little elsewhere until California.

    According to the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T’s DSL internet covers 96% of its nationwide market while fiber is available in 31% of its service areas—fixed wireless is available in just 4%.9

    Frontier mainly resides in the states surrounding the Great Lakes and extends down into West Virginia. It’s also available in parts of the northeast (Verizon territory) and scattered places in the southwest—mostly Arizona and California.

    Frontier’s DSL service covers 99% of its service area followed by fiber at 34%.

    To see which AT&T and Frontier plans are available in your area, enter your zip code below:

    Final call: AT&T vs. Frontier

    AT&T is our top pick of the two for fiber internet. The incredibly fast speeds are great, and there’s a wider variety of plans that should fit the needs of most homes. But, like Frontier’s fiber service, it’s hard to find unless you live around densely populated areas like Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Orlando, and San Francisco.5

    AT&T is also our top pick for DSL internet. But if you don’t have access to either DSL or fiber, AT&T has your back with its fixed wireless service.


    View Frontier Plans

    Methodology

    Our HighSpeedInternet.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.

    More about AT&T and Frontier

    Sources

    1. Frontier Communications, “Answering Your Questions,” Accessed January 4, 2022.
    2. AT&T, “Get Home Internet Data Usage Info,” Accessed January 4, 2022.
    3. AT&T, “Contract Requirements for U-verse, AT&T Internet, AT&T Phone Service,” December 6, 2018. Accessed January 3, 2022.
    4. AT&T, “AT&T Internet Cancellation Policy,” Accessed January 4, 2022.
    5. AT&T, “Want to Know If You Can Get AT&T Fiber at Your Address?” Accessed January 4, 2022.
    6. AT&T, “Get Home Internet Data Usage Info,” Accessed January 4, 2022.
    7. AT&T, “AT&T and Frontier Communications Strike Network Deal,” October 6, 2021. Accessed January 4, 2022.
    8. Frontier, “Frontier Investor Day Presentation,” August 5, 2021. Accessed January 4, 2022.
    9. Federal Communications Commission, “Fixed Broadband Deployment,” December 31, 2020. Accessed January 4, 2022.

    Author -

    Kevin Parrish has more than a decade of experience working as a writer, editor, and product tester. He began writing about computer hardware and soon branched out to other devices and services such as networking equipment, phones and tablets, game consoles, and other internet-connected devices. His work has appeared in Tom’s Hardware, Tom's Guide, Maximum PC, Digital Trends, Android Authority, How-To Geek, Lifewire, and others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on internet security.

    Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong

    Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.