At a Glance

Type of Service

Fiber

Type of Service

Cable

Channel Count

385+ channels

Channel Count

225+ channels

Price

$30.00–$100.00 per month

Price

$49.99–$99.98 per month

Equipment Fees

$15 per month

Equipment Fees

$14.95 per month

Installation Fee

Starts at $80

Installation Fee

Starts at $49.99

Contract

None

Contract

2 years

Customer Satisfaction

2.98/5

Customer Satisfaction

2.70/5

Type of Service

Fiber

Channel Count

385+ channels

Price

$30.00–$100.00 per month

Equipment Fees

$15 per month

Installation Fee

Starts at $80

Contract

None

Customer Satisfaction

2.98/5

Type of Service

Cable

Channel Count

225+ channels

Price

$49.99–$99.98 per month

Equipment Fees

$14.95 per month

Installation Fee

Starts at $49.99

Contract

2 years

Customer Satisfaction

2.70/5

Data effective 7/30/2017. Pricing is subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.

Should you choose Frontier or Mediacom as your TV service provider?

 

The Verdict

Choose Frontier for great television and a wide variety of bundles.

Frontier® offers affordable bundles and an excellent TV service, including bundles with DISH® (except for with FiOS) if you prefer that provider over Frontier. Frontier’s internet packages are a little less exciting—in short, we’d expect faster speeds from a fiber provider. The prices are quite competitive, though, with several bundles coming in under $100 per month. Unfortunately, the overall experience is marred by a reputation for poor customer service and high installation fees. Still, we recommend Frontier for a solid TV service and decent fiber-optic internet.

Choose Mediacom for television bundles that come with fast internet speeds and great prices.

Mediacom really kills it in the internet department, with packages offering speeds up to 1 Gbps. Although the TV offerings are not excellent, the low bundle pricing helps make up for it. Plus, the DVR is a TiVo, which is one of our favorites for its compatibility with other providers. Like Frontier, the experience is brought down a notch by spotty customer service and lots of small fees, but if fast internet is what you want, Mediacom has it in spades.

See if Frontier or Mediacom plans are available in your area:

What’s the deal with the different Frontier TV services?

Frontier offers several different TV services. In markets where it acquired Verizon’s Fios customers, it continues to offer its own Frontier-branded FiOS® TV service. This is largely the same as Verizon Fios TV, just provided under a different name: FiOS by Frontier. In Connecticut, the company offers its Vantage™ TV by Frontier fiber-optic service. Frontier also offers bundles with DISH satellite TV service, which is the same DISH you know and love. Customers that want to add internet service to DISH can choose to do so through Frontier.

In this article, we will be focusing on FiOS service. FiOS by Frontier made our list of Best TV Providers of 2017 for its blend of affordable, contract-free bundles and solid fiber service.

If you switch to FiOS from Frontier, you can save $150 on Nest.

Frontier

Overall Customer Rating

2.98 Stars (2.98 / 5)

Advantages

  • Fast fiber-optic network
  • No contract required
  • Good pricing

Disadvantages

  • Limited fiber availability
  • Spotty reliability
  • Poor customer service ratings

Mediacom

Overall Customer Rating

2.70 Stars (2.70 / 5)

Advantages

  • Affordable pricing
  • Wide availability
  • Fast internet speeds

Disadvantages

  • 2-year contract required
  • Poor customer satisfaction scores
  • Lots of additional fees

Installation & Setup

Frontier

3.11 Stars (3.11 / 5)

Frontier ranks near the bottom of our survey for installation, and the large accompanying installation fees are certainly not helping. There is an $80 fee for internet-only installation, and if you want Quantum TV, you’re looking at $89.99 plus a $69.99 activation fee. That all adds up to some of the highest fees in the biz. On the bright side, it may be possible to get your activation fees waived, depending on the specific services you order. It never hurts to ask!

Mediacom

2.86 Stars (2.86 / 5)

Mediacom also brings hefty fees, and it scores even lower than Frontier in this category as a result. The fee starts at $49.99 and increases for each additional service you order, going up to $99.99 for installing three services (like a standard Triple Play, which includes TV, internet, and phone). There are also activation fees of $10 and a variety of other possible charges, depending on the equipment ordered and work needed at installation. When you can get free installation from companies like DISH, it’s hard to swallow fees of over $100.

Frontier Installation Fee: Starts at $80

Mediacom Installation Fee: Starts at $49.99

Channels

Frontier

3.18 Stars (3.18 / 5)

Frontier doesn’t score particularly high on channel selection overall, but it does significantly better than Mediacom. FiOS TV offers over 400 channels, which is a solid selection that should keep most people happy. Frontier also offers the Vantage™ TV service in Connecticut, and you can bundle DISH satellite TV service with Frontier internet if you prefer. DISH offers 290+ channels, which is the least of the bunch. However, with DISH you’ll also find your favorite premium channels, including HBO®.

Mediacom

2.77 Stars (2.77 / 5)

Frontier doesn’t score particularly high on channel selection overall, but it does significantly better than Mediacom. FiOS TV offers over 400 channels, which is a solid selection that should keep most people happy. Frontier also offers the Vantage™ TV service in Connecticut, and you can bundle DISH satellite TV service with Frontier internet if you prefer. DISH offers 290+ channels, which is the least of the bunch. However, with DISH you’ll also find your favorite premium channels, including HBO®.

Frontier Channels: 385+

Mediacom Channels: 225+

Reliability

Frontier

3.20 Stars (3.20 / 5)

Considering FiOS from Frontier is a fiber-optic service, we expect excellent reliability—that’s one of the selling points, after all. Unfortunately, Frontier fails to deliver. Many of the issues seem to come out of new service areas, indicating that the company may need to streamline its acquisition process. That said, if you have reliability issues, you can always opt to bundle Frontier internet with DISH TV, which is rated as one of the most reliable TV services around.

Mediacom

2.91 Stars (2.91 / 5)

Mediacom is rated very poorly on reliability. In fact, we gave it the “Greatest Decline” award in this category in our 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey. Users report numerous signal issues, including pixilation and outages. Since cable is normally considered a very reliable technology, this is disappointing to note.

Frontier Type of Service: Fiber

Mediacom Type of Service: Cable

Monthly Bill

Frontier

2.45 Stars (2.45 / 5)

We say this all the time, but it bears repeating: no provider scores well in billing, so don’t let that low score throw you too much. Frontier’s packages are actually priced very reasonably. That’s especially true of the bundles. You can get the FiOS 50/50 + FiOS TV Prime HD + Digital Voice bundle with 315+ channels, 50 Mbps internet, and unlimited nationwide calling for just $70 per month. That’s quite a bargain.

Mediacom

2.33 Stars (2.33 / 5)

Mediacom also gets a low score, despite offering rather affordable packages. A bundle with 225 channels, 100 Mbps internet, and unlimited calling is $99.98 per month. We are chalking the low rating up to the range of additional fees you could be hit with for activation, installation, and equipment.

Frontier Price: $30.00–$100.00 per month

Mediacom Price: $49.99–$99.98 per month

Tech Support & Customer Service

Frontier

2.97 Stars (2.97 / 5)

Frontier is not known for its great customer service. It ranked third-from-last in our survey. The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), which ranks companies across a variety of industries, gave Frontier a 60, which is below the industry average of 64. Common complaints include difficulty changing packages, poor representatives, and billing issues.

Mediacom

2.61 Stars (2.61 / 5)

Mediacom rates even lower than Frontier, with a last-place finish in our survey and a rating of just 56 from ACSI. That said, Mediacom has actually improved on ACSI’s benchmarks every year it’s been included, which is a good sign for the future. The provider also seems to be good about addressing customer complaints, judging from the responses it has given on its Consumer Affairs page.

Equipment

Frontier FiOS Multi-Room DVR

Simultaneous Recordings: 12
Storage: 200 hours of HD
Price: $15 per month
Approximate Dimensions: 12.6″ x 9.1″ x 2.6″
# of TVs per DVR: 3 (more with mini clients)
Additional Features: Play, pause, and rewind live shows on any connected TV; includes interactive media guide.

Check out CableTV.com’s roundup of the best DVRs.

Mediacom TiVo DVR

Simultaneous Recordings: 6
Storage: 150 hours of HD
Price: Starts at $14.95 per month
Approximate Dimensions: 16.5″ x  9.7″ x 2.4″
# of TVs per DVR: N/A (need a separate mini box for each additional TV)
Additional Features: Play, pause, and rewind live TV; compatible with any provider.

Read our review of the TiVo DVR

Internet Service

Frontier Internet

Frontier’s internet offerings come in two flavors: the FiOS fiber-optic service and a more widely available Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service. The fiber service is more expensive but much faster, thanks to the nature of the technology. It also has the advantage of equal upload and download speeds, something unique to fiber thanks to its super-high bandwidth. It’s also worth noting that Frontier doesn’t have any data caps on its internet plans, which is awesome. That means you can download and stream as much as you want without worrying about overages.

DSL packages are available with 6 Mbps, 12 Mbps, or 24 Mbps speeds, while the fiber clocks in at 30, 50, 75, or 150 Mbps. There is no gigabit option at this time. This is surprising, considering many fiber providers and even cable providers offer Gigabit options, including our competitor, Mediacom. Still, Frontier internet is fast, the prices are good (just $30 for the 50 Mbps option and $50 for the 150 Mbps), and the faster upload speeds will be appreciated by anyone who shares a lot of media online.

Mediacom Internet

Mediacom’s cable internet service is fast and affordable, with speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps, although Gigabit speeds will only be available in select areas—namely Iowa and parts of Alabama and Missouri. Even if you can’t get the Gig service, you can still enjoy fast speeds since Mediacom also offers 100, 200, and 500 Mbps plans. That should be plenty of speed for most people.

As for prices, Mediacom is pretty affordable if you just want internet, with a 60 Mbps option for $49.99 per month. Mediacom does have data caps, though, and there are penalties for going over. The caps vary with plans, ranging from 400 GB on the 60 Mbps plan to a whopping 6,000 GB on the Gigabit plan. The penalty is $10 per 50 GB of overage. While we aren’t fans of any data caps on internet plans, these are at least reasonable, so we can’t complain too much.

More About the Providers

Frontier

Frontier Communications is a telecommunications company based in the United States that has traditionally served rural areas but has been expanding into larger markets in recent years. It is the fourth-largest DSL provider in the United States. In 2015, the company purchased Verizon’s Fios operations in California, Florida, and Texas, and began providing those services to customers.

Mediacom

Mediacom is a cable TV and telecommunications provider in the United States, serving mainly small markets in the southern and midwestern states. Mediacom provides service in fourteen states, serving over 1.3 million customers.

Compare cable and internet plans available in your area:

*Pricing and speeds are current as of writing. Pricing and speeds are subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.