Frontier DSL Stands By Its Caps... Even As It Decreases Broadband Speeds

from the that's-called-not-investing dept

Frontier Communications last year was a big supporter of capping broadband usage at 5gigs (both up and down). The company is still hyping this up, claiming "It is important that customers that use less don't subsidize those that use the most." That sounds nice, and we'll be hearing that a lot from various broadband providers over the next few months and years -- but there's no proof that it's true. For example, no one seems to be offering cheaper plans for those customers who use "less." So if they were subsidizing the high end users before... what's happening to that money now? It certainly doesn't appear to be going into infrastructure improvements. As Broadband Reports points out, many Frontier customers have recently had their broadband speeds decreased from 6Mbps to 3Mbps.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Erv Server, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 10:30pm

    Frontier

    I went to their website to check them out...their prices are very high for what you get, I feel sorry for those who are stuck with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Insider, Feb 17th, 2009 @ 10:50pm

    Monopolies Unite

    I have their service. It has been consistently 1.2MBPS down and .2MPBS up. I live in the mountains and am grateful to even have DSL service. When I first moved here seven years ago the only options were Dial Up that barely worked because of line noise... miserably slow and disconnects every 10 minutes. The other was satellite which was way expensive ($70.00 per month after $400.00 for the clunky dish etc.). The Sat provider also limited download speed and length and that was 5 years ago. Yeah I know they had to share the bandwith... yadda yadda. I was so happy to ditch the Sat for DSL when it arrived. I am not crazy about Frontier's (or any of the big Telcos) policies. The DSL I get is bundled with a residential phone line package so I am only paying about $30.00 a month for the DSL service. That works OK for me.

    Their lip service is to be expected. It is all greed driven as is most of our economy right... capitalism at it's finest. I am all for making a buck but when companies can do it with integrity it is so much nicer. I am a small business owner and I survive because of my integrity and customer service. Those types of companies seem to be very, very, few these days. I can count on one hand those I have dealt with personally. The list of crappy companies with poor quality service, products and/or customer service is HUGE.

    So, make lemonade and be grateful. And of course speak out, get involved, and vote!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    TechNoFear (profile), Feb 17th, 2009 @ 11:50pm

    Welcome to Australian Broadband!

    I think Techdirt misses the point....

    How can you make a walled garden, ie encourage your customers to consume your content/ads in preference to the general content?

    Easy. Charge them to download other content, except your own by creating 'free' to download zones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 12:36am

    I live in the UK and I find it really funny whenever I read an article gasping about how our ISPs have no regard for net neutrality (they throttle bittorrent mainly).
    Yet when you read articles like this you know it makes sense - the smallest cap an ISP offers is over here about 40Gig a month!
    Many ISPs either don't have caps or use traffic shaping during peak hours (eg virgin media gives you 1.2 Gig between the hours of 16.00 & 21.00). So what? Download your torrents overnight - the electricity is cheaper anyway.
    Surely the only reason they can offer limitless surfing is because they're allowed to shape the traffic as necessary?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Bob, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 2:55am

    It Sucks

    when Frontier DSL is your only option other than dialup.
    If you have other options exercise them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Pangolin (profile), Feb 18th, 2009 @ 4:08am

    5 gig?

    I'm considering a move out to a more country location and it looks like I'll have to acquire a T1. Why? Not because there is no service - I have 2 options. It's FAP and CAPs. I could go with Satellite service or with Verizon Wireless broadband. However, I use the internet for consulting. We also use it personally for iTunes etc.

    Consider the last Mac leopard update. It was 365 Meg. I have 2 macs. I also run VM's - several XP versions - these all hit with SP3 around the same time as the Mac update. Not to mention we downloaded a movie from I tunes 1.2 gig. I hit 5 gig in about 3 days. That's all perfectly legal and expected downloading.

    The Verizon wireless would charge me for overage - and the Satellite? Ugh.

    Hughes - Cut off for 24 hours.
    Wild Blue - Bandwidth limited (better than being cut off!) for 30 days.

    So I'm pricing T1's.

    QUERY - are these people really out of bandwidth? Fine. Raise prices and expand your network.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 4:54am

    Capping.... again

    I live in Portugal and my ISP was the first in this country to offer unlimited surfing (yeah, right).

    How they did it? Simple.

    They invented their own Terms of Use. A very ambiguous and totally unclear policy basically stating that you can download, a lot (some say the limit is about 500 GB per month, but that is only speculation) but they reserve the right to limit your speeds (aka. Traffic Shaping) or charge for the "extra" bandwidth without the need to admit it because customers would start to leave, and some are changing to smaller ISP, myself included.

    IMO, what's the point of and ISP claiming unlimited bandwidth (not going off topic here, but Frontier's limit of 5 GB is rather pathetic, as said by Pangolin, anyone can hit that limit just through automatic updates) if they throttle speeds? Wouldn't it be much better if they set a decent limit and the subscriber use his/her connection how they wanted without any speed limit? But, than again, what would be that "decent" limit? Frontier's pathetic example?

    This is just another example of what a company can do when there is no competition in sight. And if there was, would it be any different? I've seen many examples of how competition works. They get together, "study" a product, come up with a price range, and launch that very product, on the same day, exactly the same. The only thing that's different is it's colour...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:05am

    silly Dogma

    "It is important that customers that use less don't subsidize those that use the most."

    Why?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 8:39am

    5 gigs, hardly!

    Last night I downloaded a demo of a 2009 baseball game on the PS3 network. It was between 1.5 and 2 gigs. I also bought two of the $10 download-only games, these were 750megs and 300 megs respectively. Then the 750 meg one needed a 150mb update, and the 300mb one needed an update which was also the full 300mb.

    That is 3.5 gigs in 1 1/2 days, and I didn't even get on the computer.

    How can the ISPs claim this is necessary when the rest of the world continues to demonstrate that it is most certainly not?

    If Time Warner Roadrunner charged me for overages or cut or slowed access (which is a right they reserve for themselves in their new 2 year 'price lock' contract agreement) I would be gone in a heart beat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    RD, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    Duh

    "The company is still hyping this up, claiming "It is important that customers that use less don't subsidize those that use the most."

    Erm....no, that actually IS EXACTLY how consumer line pricing works. I cant believe these companies can bald-faced lie like this and get away with it. The reason BB pricing is so low (relatively, though it depends a lot on location as well) and you get decent speeds (again, relatively) is BECAUSE of this. Otherwise, if we didnt have this flat-rate, all-you-can-eat (though that is going away now) pricing, everyone would need dedicated lines that cost 3-5x as much.

    What is "important", Mr Broadband Provider, is that you DO WHAT YOU ARE PAID TO DO AND KEEP YOUR FSCKING INFRASTRUCTURE UP TO DATE TO HANDLE THE SERVICE YOU HAVE PROMISED! Get it? IF not, please go out of business so others who DO get it can provide what YOU promised and didnt deliver.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 11:41am

    Move

    When the government gives protected monopolies to these providers they will usually take advantage of the situation. Unfortunately, in many cases these days the only way you'll be able to get acceptable internet service is going to be to move somewhere else. Some would suggest to another country, but there are areas in the U.S. that aren't as bad as others.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    Re: 5 gigs, hardly!

    If Time Warner Roadrunner charged me for overages or cut or slowed access (which is a right they reserve for themselves in their new 2 year 'price lock' contract agreement) I would be gone in a heart beat.

    Where would you go?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    twowords, Feb 18th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    bleed the public dry

    I used to have DSL in my house from the local telco and they offered different prices for different speeds.they had a great system.no matter the speed you always had it without limits.i do not know what they do now it has been 6 years since I had anything like that.I now use my sprint mobile since I travel everyday. I look at what the other countries of the world offer and I have got to say that the corporations in america truly know how to vampires when it comes to sucking the public dry of our hard earned money and then claiming we should like what they do for us.It is all just their way of justifing that big pay package to the CEO's.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Feb 19th, 2009 @ 12:05am

    There Are Cheaper Prices For Grandma

    Mike,

    You are not really correct when you say "For example, no one seems to be offering cheaper plans for those customers who use "less."

    Many carriers DO. There are "introductory" and low-speed DSL plans for about $20, which is much cheaper than the average price. This is the case in the US, and all over the world.

    The main difference is that ISPs typically differentiated those cheaper connections by speed, not by capacity. However, capacity is a much better, more fair way to define a "low end" connection. Also, it's better for the low end consumer, because they get access to the high speeds (even if only up to the cap.)

    I think that you're fundamentally wrong here. When DSL hit the US in about 1997, it was targeting high-end customers, with most users still on dial-up. For the first 4 years or so, that continued. Then in 2002, the ISPs really started trying to grow their customer bases by attracting people who demonstrated less demand, and would switch to DSL if it cost less. They have been demonstrably offering cheaper and cheaper products since that time, but trying to limit them in some way (speed) so as not to cannibalize the high-demand users like myself.

    Yeah, and Frontier's proposed caps of 5GB are terribly low, and their customers should help them realize this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Robert J, Mar 3rd, 2009 @ 3:50pm

    This will be the downfall of Frontier

    The introductory plan from Frontier right now is 'frontier lite' for $39/m at 768k. I had this plan at the same exact speed 3 years ago for maybe $5 or $10 more. After 3 years, these people have not changed the speed and barely changed the price. And now they have the audacity to cap at 5gigs.

    It's absolutely mind-boggling why this company is still surviving. Right now i'm paying $45/m for 15000k with no cap through Optimum Online and this is after paying an introductory price of $29/m for two years.

    Noone in their right mind would stay with Frontier unless they had absolutely no other choice. I swear, I would rather move then to have to deal exclusively with frontier. Also, I was thinking of changing over to Fios but I can't due to the pro-monopoly 'regulations' still in effect in my area. What a shame

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Kevin Dean, Mar 6th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Duh

    Someone who gets the business model! Yeah!

    Unfortunately, government people prevent the kind of competition that would kill this horrible business model. :(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Felipe Ferrera, Oct 14th, 2009 @ 7:41pm

    We just switched from Optimum online to Frontier's Dsl internet. It is the most depressing decision ever made. I'm surprised this webpage even loaded.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Rod Dierenfeld, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 7:57am

    Beware of DLS Hi-Speed Rip-Offs

    Beware of DLS Hi-Speed Rip-Offs
    Many Frontier customers have recently had their broadband speeds decreased from 6Mbps to 3Mbps, this is ture, 2Mbps at best, for a faster speed, and you need to call customer service a request a higher speed for an additional cost. One you see that service has been updated and that things are great, do be fooled! The faster speed is short lived for few weeks and ends up with the lower speed of less then 3Mbps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Caleb Santos, Oct 13th, 2011 @ 6:12pm

    Frontier Sucks

    I live in Estonia. A former soviet republic, albeit the most technologically advanced one. I live outside the city in the forest. No cable lines go to my village so we use 3G. The signal is weak because the forest is so thick. I can still peak to 4mbps on a clear night and I even hit 2mbps upload one time. I come home for a visit to the USofA. My mother has frontier DSL. Its maximum download peak is 1.4 mbps (not to mention the horrific upload speeds) and usually it is much slower. In Estonia, I pay $15 a month for mine. My mother, $40 or something ridiculous. Something is amiss. I want answers. And, btw I am voting for Ron Paul in the GOP primaries and eventually for president.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    John bland, Oct 29th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Monopolies Unite

    Yeah, eh? Sigh . . . This is THE AGE OF INCURIOUS - Celebrating Ignorance. Our motto: "Settle for the half-assed, and then, by GOD, admire it!." [OLD JACK/Pulitzer Prize winner Mckinley Kantor's book written early in the capitalist malignancy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Southern West Virginia, Dec 22nd, 2011 @ 5:38am

    Frontier DSL

    I think you people are crazy. Frontier does not have a 5gig cap and Frontier has placed DSL and Fiber in the areas that no other provider would touch. Not to menetion the maintance cost of the network in rural areas where problems are likely. In the sate of West Virginia they are upgrading their network to a ROTUM network, look it up it will move the rural population into the modern times not to mention they will be offering VDSL in 2012.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    regeya, Jun 4th, 2012 @ 7:31pm

    Why introduce caps, anyway?

    I mean, it's not like their service even WORKS half the time, so why would they need to cap? With the shoddy service I have, it's a wonder if I'm able to transfer 5GB in a month.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Bearfoot, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 5:56pm

    Re: silly Dogma

    Because if they don't we'll have to pay for it ourselves.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This