Xfinity vs. Frontier FiberOptic
At a Glance
Data effective 9/14/2017. Pricing is subject to change. Not all offers available in all areas.
Should you choose Xfinity or Frontier as your TV service provider?
Choose Xfinity for wide availability and tons of on-demand content.
Xfinity offers a solid channel selection, backed with a big on-demand library and surprisingly better customer satisfaction scores than Frontier. Xfinity is also more widely available, and the internet speeds are nothing to sneeze at, topping out at 400 Mbps. All this is balanced out by relatively pricey packages, but overall we feel Xfinity is the way to go for most folks.
Choose Frontier for greater channel selection and lower prices.
Frontier is an excellent option for folks on a budget—the bundled prices are hard to beat. In some cases, you can get nearly as many channels as Xfinity for half the price. There is also a greater selection of channels, so if Xfinity doesn’t have your favorite obscure foreign movie channel, you can probably find it here. The trade-offs are lower customer service scores and slower internet speeds.
Compare bundled cable and internet plans available in your area:
For the lowdown on customer service scores for all major TV providers, check out the results of our 2017 Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Overall Customer Rating
- No contract
- Huge on-demand selection
- Fast internet
- Poor customer service rankings
- Low DVR storage
- More expensive than competition
Overall Customer Rating
- Fast fiber network
- No-contract options
- Affordable bundles
- Limited availability
- Poor customer service ratings
- Reliability issues
Get the Xfinity HD PREMIER XF TRIPLE PLAY with 260+ channels, 200 Mbps internet, and unlimited nationwide calling for $159.99 per month.
Installation & Setup
Xfinity installation is pretty standard—there’s an installation fee, but at $60 it isn’t completely unreasonable. There is also a self-install kit, if you’d rather do it yourself and save the money. For professional installations, the company guarantees a two-hour window for appointments, which is significantly better than the usual “sometime between morning and night” that you’ll get from most TV providers.
Frontier didn’t score nearly as well for installation, and some of that is likely due to the fees. Installation starts at $75 with Frontier, and for the top-of-the-line Quantum TV service, you’ll be looking at $89.99 plus a hefty $70 activation fee. Ouch. But the good news is that the installation fee is waived when you opt to bundle services with Frontier, so that’s an option worth looking into.
Xfinity Installation Fee: $60
Frontier Installation Fee: Starts at $75
Xfinity “only” offers 260 channels, which is a fair bit less than most of the competition these days, including Frontier. Numbers aren’t everything, though, and Xfinity proves it by scoring higher in satisfaction here, even with fewer channels to choose from. You can also choose from an impressive library of on-demand content—the company claims over 70,000 available titles.
Frontier FiberOptic provides a much larger channel selection, with more than 400 to choose from in top-tier packages. Frontier does offer on-demand content, though the selection is smaller than Xfinity, and both providers have premium channels like HBO® available if you want them. Frontier’s other TV offerings, Vantage and DISH, don’t provide the same selection as Frontier FiberOptic TV, though DISH typically ranks higher in customer satisfaction.
Frontier Channels: 400+
Signal reliability is one of Xfinity’s strong points. The cable network is robust and able to handle large amounts of traffic at once. As a result, Xfinity is one of the top-ranked providers in this area. In general, you can relax knowing that your service will be there when you are ready to use it.
Fiber networks should, in theory, be more reliable than cable or satellite thanks to the technology involved. Unfortunately, we don’t really see that playing out with Frontier FiberOptic TV. Since acquiring the service from Verizon, Frontier has been plagued with reliability issues that have affected its reputation. We’ll chalk this up to growing pains—hopefully the company can work out the kinks and get things back in shape soon.
Xfinity Type of Service: Cable
Frontier Type of Service: Fiber
Xfinity lands about the middle of the pack in billing satisfaction, with a wide range of packages to suit any budget. Internet-only packages start at just $19.99, while TV-only plans are available from $44.99. Although Xfinity doesn’t require a contract, in most cases you can opt to sign one for two years to save a little on your bill. The bundles are less affordable than Frontier’s, but you do get faster internet with Xfinity, so we can let it slide. Our favorite package is the X1 Preferred Double Play, with 220+ channels and 100 Mbps internet for $109.99 per month.
Frontier has some great affordable options, with internet-only plans starting at $49.99, though they aren’t as fast as Xfinity’s budget options. Our favorite Frontier FiberOptic bundle is the Frontier FiberOptic 50 Mbps Internet + Frontier FiberOptic TV Prime HD, which will get you 50 Mbps internet and 315+ channels for just $134.98 per month—not a bad deal at all.
Xfinity Price: $19.99–$159.99 per month
Frontier Price: $44.99–$135.97 per month
Tech Support & Customer Service
Comcast, which provides the Xfinity service, has a somewhat turbulent customer service history. In fact, it’s been called the most hated company in America. In reality, though, Xfinity scores relatively well compared to the rest of the TV industry, landing around the middle of the pack in our survey and above several competitors—including AT&T and Mediacom—in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) annual surveys. We would say Comcast’s support is about average for the industry, which isn’t saying much, but shows it isn’t as bad as its reputation might lead you to believe.
Frontier suffered from some bad PR surrounding its service during the FiberOptic transition in several markets, and the effects seem to be lingering still. Overall, the company actually scores lower than Xfinity in our surveys and just one spot above on the ACSI metrics. In terms of tech support, we found the website to be somewhat lacking in information, especially compared to the competition.
Frontier FiberOptic Multi-Room DVR
Xfinity internet is fast and affordable. Speeds range from 10 Mbps up to a blazing 400 Mbps, and the service is quite reliable. Unfortunately, there is a data cap on Xfinity internet of 1 TB, with a $10 overage charge for every 50 GB extra you use. While we aren’t fans of data caps at all, 1 TB is pretty reasonable, and we doubt most people will ever hit it, though it is possible if you’re a heavy streamer. And things have improved—the cap used to be a measly 250 GB.
As for internet pricing, the 10 Mbps plan is only $19.99 per month, which is a great price. 200 Mbps internet can be had for just $59.99, and of course bundles are available with TV, phone, or both in a variety of price ranges. You can also save a little money by providing your own modem rather than renting one from Comcast.
Get Xfinity INTERNET BLAST!with speeds up to 200 Mbps for just $59.99 per month.
Frontier FiberOptic Internet
Frontier FiberOptic internet has the advantage of equal upload and download speeds, something you can really only get with fiber due to the increased bandwidth. The faster upload speeds are awesome for backing up and sharing media like videos, which can take forever to get online with traditional cable internet (and forget about DSL). Unfortunately, the maximum speeds of Frontier’s internet don’t stack up to Xfinity’s top-end plans.
You can get 50 Mbps for a very reasonable $49.99, which is a great deal. Bundles start at $74.99 per month for internet and voice and go up to $199.98, depending on which of Frontier’s FiberOptic TV services you choose and how fast you need your internet. And if DISH TV service is of interest to you, Frontier makes a great option for internet service thanks to its available bundles.
Get Frontier FiberOptic 50 Mbps Internet with speeds up to 50 Mbps upload and 50 Mbps download for just $49.99 per month.
More About the Providers
Xfinity is a cable TV, internet, and phone service provided by Comcast. It is the second-largest provider of TV services, behind only AT&T, and serves over twenty-two million customers in the United States.
Frontier Communications is a United States telecom company that provides TV, internet, and phone service across the country. Originally serving rural areas, Frontier has been expanding into larger markets and cities in recent years, including a major acquisition of fiber lines from Verizon in California, Texas, and Florida. It is the fourth-largest provider of DSL services in the United States.