| Review by Smith6612 |
member for 5.3 years, 2977 visits, last login: a few hours ago
updated 176 days ago
- $45 per month
- about 7 days
- "Tech Support, Uptime, Routing."
- "Throughput can be inconsistent during evening hours. Bit pricey for the speed"
- "May be leaving service in a few months, but it has been reasonably good."
|Pre Sales information:|
Value for money:
(ratings above consensus)
As indicated in the Bottom line text, I may be leaving the Frontier DSL service after having them for nearly 7 years. I was one of the first customers Frontier had for DSL in the Sanborn, NY area when they first introduced it. The speeds for Frontier Max, the plan I have always subscribed to began at 1Mbps/128kbps and later on increased to 3Mbps/384kbps a few weeks later as Frontier began to establish their network in the area. The supplied modem was the Speedstream 6520 which was an ADSL2+ 10/100Mbps Wireless G router with a max level of security being WPA. The service when it was first connected was awesome. I saw my speeds day and night and it was pretty much reliable. Occasionally when Frontier was having backbone issues I would see a night time slowdown, and support was typically aware of it and willing to file a ticket for 1.5Mbps on a 3Mbps line.
Towards the second and third year of service, Frontier started to have an influx of customers in this area as a result of the trouble going on with the Cable company (Adelphia) and as a result, many folks jumped ship to Frontier. As a result, while Frontier had DSLAM capacity to add connections, they did not have the bandwidth backing up everything at night and as a result, speeds would suffer. It took Frontier a few months to resolve this as it was local, and this was simply a fiber optic upgrade between the Central Office and Rochester, NY. Once the new Fiber was installed, speeds returned to normal again. There was a fiber cut a week after that caused packet loss, however the local techs and phone support have acknowledged an area issue and the fiber cut was eventually fixed by Verizon (who Frontier had to lease Fiber from).
Fast forward to more recent events, I've noticed an increase in congestion on the service being caused from the transit in and around the Rochester area, in addition to the transit going to Ashburn, Virginia which is where Frontier has a key POP for peering with other providers. While my slowdowns are no longer local, they happen at various times of the evening and also on various days. Some days the service is consistent, other days it can be as low as 700kbps to most sites and a rollercoaster at that. Gaming performance also deteriorates during this time, with an increase in latency, loss, and jitter. Some latency increases were attributed to the gear in Rochester I must route through (BRAS, Switches, Fiber Ring) being congested which Frontier has been slowly addressing, but not as quick as they should be. The BRAS I route through was recently replaced, which has allowed for more consistent service.
One issue I do have with the service is with my ability to download and upload at the same time. I've done some research, and while we haven't settled on an exact reason for this, whenever I max my download out and attempt to run an upload at full speed my line takes a massive hit on the download. My download also takes a hit when I upload at a very minimal amount as well (for example, downloading at 390KB/s, could upload an additional 2KB/s and my speed will drop by 100KB/s). Based on what I've found out, this may be due to the old DSLAM I'm attached to, but more than likely it was due to the Cisco BRAS (Edge router) I'm attached to. The new BRAS seems to give me the same problem, but to a lesser extent. This may be due to the Quality of Service rules I have in place which were not effective on the old BRAS (were being completely ignored) but I will have to play around with this a bit more.
As far as the equipment goes, back in the day when Frontier gave out Siemems modems, they were well known to play up with gaming consoles. They were reliable and stable, with the SE567 giving some pretty good Wireless range, but it was often desired to bridge the modem or replace it with something else. Right now I have a Westell 7500 in use on my line, which has been stable and works fine. Frontier now offers Westell 7550s which include Wireless N radios. I'm glad Frontier has moved away from the Siemens modems and has started moving towards Linux-based units. This will, hopefully, allow for far more flexibility with their gear.
The last thing I'd like to mention is that Frontier is now upgrading gear in this area, a much needed upgrade with newer ADSL2+ and VDSL2 gear capable of delivering some better speeds. Some of these upgrades include ADSL2+ bonding on the physical aspects, so there's nothing fancy such as MLPPP being used. I may or may not have the service to try these upgrades out unfortunately, but I hope they execute this upgrade to the best of their ability and also make full use of all of the equipment. One complaint I also have with Frontier is with the speed they also provide in this area. The line I have is capable of going to speeds much higher than they offer. For example, right now my upload is uncapped for various troubleshooting reasons, with a sync at 896kbps. My download speed remains at 3Mbps after 6+ years of service. From what I have been able to obtain, the gear Frontier has is very capable of going faster but due to non-technical reasons they will not turn up the speed higher even on the old gear. I won't elaborate on this for various reasons but I really hope they reconsider now that the cable company in this area has some ridiculous speeds and aren't that much more expensive.
Some of you may also wonder why I didn't mention data limits or modem rental fees. I'm not for Frontier trying to cap their users like they've been trying to do for a while, first starting off at 5GB and then booting higher than average users. They haven't enforced caps in my area yet and I'm glad they haven't. It's not the right direction to go down in a modern Internet if they wish to stay relevant. Leave capping to the wireless providers. Also the modem rental fees, word has it Frontier is doing away with them. I have never paid a modem rental fee and I have found ways around paying it when I swapped modems to Frontier-supported units. For what I pay for the service on top of two landlines with Frontier, it's not worth it. DSL modems are cheap things, and are paid off with a few months of service. Plus, if I ever need support I'd rather not have them blame my modem.