Cincinnati Bell Fioptics Review 2019
Cincinnati Bell is a local fiber internet provider covering Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Their largest service areas are in Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Mason in Ohio, and Florence and Independence in Kentucky. Over the past decade, this provider invested nearly half a billion dollars in building the required fiber infrastructure to bring the fastest internet speeds to the area. The Fioptics service currently has limited availability in the Cincinnati metropolitan, and nearby areas that are wired specifically for Fioptics.
- Large amount of service plans
- Good prices
- No data caps
- Contract-only deals
- Price locks expire after 12 to 24 months
- Limited availability
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics Packages and Pricing
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics offers nine internet packages spanning across five price tiers to their customers.
Packages and Pricing
|Package||Price*||Download||Devices||Promo Price Period|
|5 Mbps||$29.99/mo||5 Mbpsr||1 device||12 months|
|10 Mbps||$39.99/mo||10 Mbpsr||2 devices||12 months|
|20 Mbps||$39.99/mo||20 Mbps||2-3 devices||12 months|
|30 Mbps||$39.99/mo||30 Mbps||4 devices||12 months|
|50 Mbps||$39.99/mo||50 Mbps||5-6 devices||12 months|
|250 Mbps||$39.99/mo||250 Mbps||10+ devices||12 months|
|500 Mbps||$44.99||500 Mbps||15+ devices||12 months|
|750 Mbps||$54.99||750 Mbps||20+ devices||12 months|
|1 GBPS||$64.99||1 GBPS||25+ devices||24 months|
Note: To get these prices, customers will have to subscribe to their eBill service.
All plans include:
- No data caps whatsoever
- Completely net neutral services
- Free email account
Their most basic plan, the 5Mbps plan, supports internet browsing, access to email, and music streaming. It’s best suited for a single user who just needs internet access to pay their bills and browse social media. While this plan can cover HD streaming on a single device (480p), it’s not the right pick for someone interested in HD streaming regularly!
Luckily, there are many more plans available for HD stream–heavy or big power users, like large families with lots of devices.
Cincinnati’s highest tier plan, the 1 Gbps plan, offers speeds up to 1000Mbps for downloads and 250Mbps for uploads for just $64.99 per month.
- This type of plan supports big households, users with many devices, and can easily handle more than 25 internet-connected devices with multiple HD streams (even 4K) simultaneously.
- In addition, the 1Gbps comes with a one year TV stream subscription for either Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
Promotional Prices and Deal Limitations
To be eligible for promotions, customers will have to leave their purchased plan unchanged. Any changes to the products or removing them completely can result in losing the promotion.
If you move, the promotion might also be changed because it differs based on location and products available on your new area.
Taxes and Fees
The above-advertised pricing plans exclude any applicable taxes and fees, so expect to see a higher price on your monthly bill.
Equipment Termination Charge
If customers cancel their services, or move services to a new provider and fail to return any equipment, they will have to cover an equipment charge of $120 for the router and power cord.
Early Termination Fee
For those customers who want limitless internet with high speeds and the most demanding needs, there is a high tier option. The 1Gbps (1,000 Mbps) internet speed, starts at $64.99 per month for new customers and without AutoPay, the price goes up to $69.99.
It’s great for large family households with numerous devices that use a lot of bandwidth, families who enjoy playing games on multiple devices at once, and for those households equipped with smart sensors and assistants.
Tech Support Fees
While Cincinnati Bell gives their customers the freedom to use their own modem instead of leasing theirs, they do not guarantee the modem will work. For any issues that can’t be solved, Premium Technical Support might charge up to $125 per session.
Late Payment Fees
If customers are late paying their bills, they will have to pay a $10.95 fee, and if their due balance is above $547.50, they will have to pay an additional 2% of the whole past due balance as an admin fee.
Your Modem and Router
The available modem lineup includes the base Zyxel 660 and Zyxel 1432 models that allow wired and wireless connection and come with built-in security features, and advanced Zyxel 3415 and Zyxel 4381 with dual-band options, Gigabit Ethernet technology, and HPNA 3.1 support for IPTV.
The wireless modems are available for $8.99 per month. There are no additional charges if any of the equipment fails – tech support will change it out for free.
There’s also the option to use your own modem, but Cincinnati emphasizes that the level of support for these modems will be limited. Plus, if regular support can’t take care of the issue, they will require Premium Technical Support and that is not part of the internet package deal.
In case of technical issues, customers with their own modem will have to pay fees as follows:
- $75.00 one-time fee for Premium Technical Support standard sessions and sessions lasting between 20 and 60 minutes.
- $125.00 one-time fee for Premium Technical Support advanced sessions and sessions lasting longer than 60 minutes.
- $40.00 one-time Diagnostic Fee for instances where the customer agreed to a single session, but tech support was unable to repair the issue.
To avoid one-time fees, users can pay for Premium Technical Support: Unlimited Monthly support package that will cost them $14.99 per month.
Features and Benefits
The Cincinnati Bell Fioptics internet packages can be upgraded with numerous additional features, some of which are available as bundle deals.
Premium Tech Support
For $14.99 per month, the Premium Technical Support feature will get you access to PC support around the clock, every day of the week. To ensure issues are handled quickly, technicians will access your device remotely and resolve issues immediately (to the best of their ability.)
Premium Technical Support includes:
- Resolving most common computer issues: software support, removing viruses, installing drivers
- Mac and PC support, phone, printer, camera, and other devices are also supported
- Network support: They will take care of any network issues and issues on devices such as routers, hubs, ports, switches, homegroup bugs, and more
- Software support for OS, security features and business apps
- Third-party devices and peripherals support: TVs, streaming players, printers, scanners, mobile devices
- Virus/spyware removal
Internet Safeguard is an enhanced internet security suite for $4.99 per month that includes protection for all devices – computers, smartphones, and tablets. Cincinnati Bell partners with F-Secure to bring their customers peace of mind and security to all their devices, information, and communication. Features include:
- Easy controls via the My Cincinnati Bell app
- Easy protection sharing with family
- Family rules: Auto-blocking of problematic content, internet curfew features, app scanning, device finder, and number blacklisting
- Banking protection: Auto-blocking of known phishing and scam sites, autostop of untrusted processes when using banking
- Browsing protection: Every website is scanned, and unsafe or malicious websites are blocked
- Password safeguard: Enables storage of all usernames, passwords, and credit card info, with a master password securing all of them. Help keep accounts secure by automatically generating strong passwords. All your passwords are checked and you can quickly locate weak passwords. Includes real-time alerts on password hacking. You can also sync passwords between devices.
Vacation Rate Service
During vacation, customers can activate the Vacation Rate Service that will let them pay reduced rates while keeping all services, equipment, and promotions intact. A one-time fee of $18.30 will be charged to add the vacation rate, but it covers all devices and services.
This Whole Home Wi-Fi solution will cover every inch of your home with the strongest Wi-Fi signal to ensure every device is connected and stays that way. Cincinnati Bell will send a trained technician for an onsite assessment, and they will find the optimal position for your router.
The service is available for $7.99 per month and includes network support and smart device pairing setup for Amazon Echo Nest or Google Home. You’ll also get gaming setup for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and hardware advice and counseling.
The Radius Wi-Fi Plus is the higher tier option available for $19.99 per month. In addition to all the features from the standard package, it also includes Premium Tech Support that will make sure all your devices perform optimally, and if needed, you can get booster technology to increase the strength of your Wi-Fi signal.
With the plus package, you also get:
- device and software optimization
- driver installation
- fixing registry errors
- PC scans, and malware and virus removal
Static IP Address
Cincinnati Bell is one of the few ISPs who offer their customers the ability to choose a static IP address. This option will help home-based businesses have more reliable uptimes and VoIP capabilities.
The Premier Upgrade
This is their best feature bundle option for internet services. With the premier upgrade, customers can get Wi-Fi coverage of the whole home and keep it secured and connected. In case anything goes wrong, support is there to help.
With the Premier Upgrade, for just $5 extra* per month, you will get:
- Repair Protection – Covers all wiring issues that can happen in the home, standard and non-standard included.
- Internet Security – The full Internet Security package is part of the deal, for easy security sharing, family rules, and protection for computers, phones, and tablets.
- Wireless Modem – The Cincinnati Bell Wireless Gateways is part of the deal. It’s set up to work optimally with Fioptics technology, and in case any issues arise, it’s covered with full support and troubleshooting.
- Access to the Fioptics Free Wi-Fi – You connect through the free mobile Connect Cincinnati App. In addition to free internet access, the customer will get special offers on the newest deals around the city, information on points of interest, specials, events.
Note: The Standard Premier rate for new customers is $13.99/month for 12 months, which is $5 more than Cincinnati Bell’s standard wireless modem lease fee of $8.99/month. For existing customers, Premier will cost $18.99/month ($10 more than standard wireless modem lease).
Cincinnati Bell Fioptics Customer Service
Cincinnati Bell customer service is available around the clock, every day. It’s refreshing to see that all parts of customer service – sales, repair, and technicians – are available all the time which is unusual in a provider.
To resolve issues, you can reach them through the following:
- Via phone on 513.566.4101 or 1.888.246.2355
- Send them a message through their contact form on site
- Use live chat. Note that their live chat is only available between 7:30 am and 9:00 pm from Monday to Friday, and 10:00 am to 7:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
All in all, customers seem to be rather satisfied with Cincinnati customer support, with complaints being in the usual range of lower than advertised speeds and blackouts that happen from time to time. The most mentioned complaint being scheduling issues for tech support.
To resolve simple issues or find answers quickly, you can use the Help Center section of their website to find guides and answers on connection and speed issues, outage check, or installation guides.
Ways to Save on Cincinnati Bell Fioptics
Lease their modem
Even though you can have your own modem, their modem lease is lower than with other ISPs, so it’s safer to lease the modem, especially considering that the majority of their tech support (especially remote) is not available otherwise.
Look for deals
Cincinnati offers low prices with price locks of 12 to 24 months but only if you sign contracts. If you wish to avoid price increases, make sure the price lock is as long as the agreement you signed with them.
Be careful about canceling early
If you’re not happy with Cincinnati Bell Fioptics services, it’s best to wait out until your contract is over because of early termination fees.
Check availability before moving
Because Cincinnati Bell coverage area is quite limited still, some of their services might not be available in your new location.
If you live in Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana and are looking for good fiber internet deals, Cincinnati Bell Fioptics might be a good pick for you. Even though you have to sign a service agreement, their price locks make it worthwhile.
Before you choose to switch, however, make sure that you live in an area with good coverage to eliminate the possibility of disconnects or slower speeds. Considering how minor the differences in price between their higher tiered packages, go for 1Gbps if it’s available.