Consolidated Communications Internet Reviews 2020
Consolidated Communications, formerly known as FarPoint, shares its internet services across 24 US states offering DSL, fiber, cable, copper, and fixed wireless services. This means the speed, availability, and quality of service are vastly different from state to state, depending on the technology used.
- Fiber availability
- No data caps
- No installation fees
- Good customer service compared to other competitors
- Offer varies greatly depending on location
- Pricing differs across states
- Price locks usually only valid for 12 months
Packages and Pricing
Unlike many other providers, Consolidated Communications’ package speeds and pricing vary greatly by state. Since they offer DSL and fiber too, this section will have an overview of both in terms of pricing and speed based on two different locations.
Speeds can reach between 100 Mbps and 150 Mbps in select areas and most users are able to get speeds of at least 80 to 100Mbps in most of the areas they cover. The greatest coverage areas are in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, California, and Texas, and fiber packages up to 1Gbps speed is supported in:
- New Hampshire
The following fiber package deals are based on the Sacramento, California, services:
Their FAST package is the entry package and comes with 6 to 20Mbps internet speed. The package is a good pick for those who wish to enjoy browsing social media sites, watching YouTube, checking their emails, and online shopping. Customers who get the full 20Mbps can also enjoy HD streaming and gaming. The price of the package starts at $21.95 per month.
The FASTER package delivers much more speed, usually capping between 50 and 100Mbps. This is more than enough for HD video streaming, music streams, downloads, and competitive gaming. The faster package starts at $46.95 per month.
Their BLAZING package is the fastest in the lineup, with download speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Note that the actual speed will fall somewhere around 940 Mbps though, as the rest is needed for the technology that delivers the speeds itself.
This package is best for those who wish to connect with everything and enjoy limitless possibilities in their homes. This is enough for heavy data usage, streaming, gaming, smart appliances and sensors, and pretty much anything you can do online right now. The Blazing package starts at $76.95 per month.
Note: All three plans come with a free Wi-Fi router for wireless home networking and have no data caps whatsoever. The prices for all three plans do not include taxes, fees, or other applicable charges, so customers can expect that the actual price of their bill will be higher.
Customers should be aware that the advertised prices are available as a limited time offer only and are valid with a one-year term commitment. After that, the prices will be matched with standard rates.
The following DSL package deals are based on the Covington Country, Alabama, services:
Their FAST package comes with 10Mbps internet speed. Enough for online shopping, browsing, and checking emails, and the price starts at $25 per month.
The FASTER package delivers up to 25Mbps. This is sufficient for gaming, streaming, and videos, but won’t be able to support everything at the same time without some stuttering. The faster package starts at $41.95 per month.
Their BLAZING package is the fastest available for the area, with speeds up to 50Mbps. This package starts at $44.95 per month and supports HD streaming for TV and movies even on multiple devices without buffering issues.
The pricing depends heavily on the area and the type of technology used to bring services to your doorstep. Those who live in areas where 1Gbps is available will get a much better deal for their money.
To find out the packages available in your area, visit the residential Internet web page and choose your state and city.
Consolidated Communications also offers phone and TV services, so customers can bundle and get all the services they need together from them. Their double play bundles start at $71 per month and includes internet and TV, while triple-play starts at $86 per month and includes unlimited nationwide calling too.
Network Management and Performance
Consolidated Communications states that the speeds advertised in their packages are “up to” and the highest speeds are not guaranteed. Their services, especially fiber, are not available in all areas. One interesting aspect that they also mention is the uninterrupted service, which they do not guarantee either.
Consolidated Communications states that when users connect multiple devices, performance will vary based on the package. If the speeds are lower and too many devices are connected, they might experience performance issues.
The actual speeds and throughput depend on multiple factors, including routers, switches, hubs, NIC cards, and wireless networks. Plus, they also manage their network, which means that in times of heavy usage, they will throttle speeds so that everyone can get fair access.
To get the package pricing as listed above, new users will have to accept the following mandatory fees:
- A Wi-Fi equipment fee of $10 per month
- The paper invoice fee of $1 per month – This covers the costs of printing and mailing the bills. The fee will be waived if customers sign up for paperless billing.
- Network Care Plus Wired ($6.95/mo) or Wireless ($11.95/mo) plan with their Consolidated Internet service.
In the case of late payments, users will lose the promotional rates and upcoming bills will be priced at standard rates instead.
Consolidated Communications has a few more fees to keep in mind, so users can expect that their final bill will be higher than the pricing of the package.
- They charge a broadband cost recovery fee of $2.97.
- Their early termination fee for internet services is $99.00. This is actually quite low when compared to other providers.
For customers who bundle their Internet with other services, these additional fees may need to be paid:
- For Digital TV Service:
- $24.95 per month for the Regional Sports & Local Channel Fee – It covers charges by local channel providers and networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and others).
- $8.99 per month for the Whole Home DVR Service – This networking fee is charged for hard disk storage capacity and interconnectivity of the service with additional set-top boxes.
- For Hosted Voice Phone Service:
- $0.35 per month for the Regulatory Recovery Fee, which Consolidated Communications charges to cover their costs towards the FCC, the North American Numbering Plan Administration, and to support communications services for disabled individuals.
- $5 per month for the Long Distance Admin Fee – For maintaining and upgrading their service.
Your Modem and Router
Consolidated Communications offers the NETGEAR 6300 router to their customers that they can lease for $10 per month, and the router comes with professional installation. Users will also get a manual installation guide for doing it on their own, and the router has a built-in firewall to help keep data secure.
If you choose to switch to another ISP, the router has to be returned. If it’s not returned, Consolidated Communications will charge for unreturned equipment, and this goes for all equipment, not just the router.
Features and Benefits
Users who choose Consolidated Communications as their provider will benefit from the following features:
Contract Buyout Plan
Consolidated will buy out the current internet or TV service contract from another provider and offer up to $200 credit for it. The customers are able to qualify for both services for the $200 buyout in the event that their TV and internet are with two different providers.
Consolidated will not actually buy out the contract but gives customers $200 credit after they present a copy of the early termination fee (ETF) and a receipt showing they paid for it.
Home Wi-Fi & Network Care Plus Wireless
This package includes coverage of any troubleshooting users might experience with the router, as well as equipment replacement in case it gets broken. The package costs $11.95 per month and covers the lease on the router, expert installation and round-the-clock tech support, as well as support and replacement for all wiring inside the home if needed making it quite a good deal.
24/7 Remote Premium Tech Support
The premium tech support options start at $15.99 per month and includes assistance with anything tech-related in the home: from connecting game consoles to backing up pictures and videos. The service covers the following aspects:
- Home Network
- Operating System – Windows and MacOS
- PC Security
- Third-Party Device Support
- Smartphone Support
The Premium tech support is available as a one-time service and has unlimited options too. Users can choose any of the above services for a one-time fee, or opt for a subscription-based option and get access to all of them all the time.
Kaspersky Internet Security
Users can also get the Kaspersky Internet Security suite at bargain prices and protect their devices against malware and spyware. One license is enough for up to 3 different devices (computers, Macs, and Android), and protection for up to 3 devices will cost $2.99 per month. For up to 5 devices, it’s $4.99 per month.
Security includes a firewall, virus and spyware protection, and parental controls to keep children safe while browsing. The suite updates automatically.
Streaming TV Services with Internet Services
Those users who wish to enjoy select TV streaming services won’t have to get a TV service for it, as Consolidated Communications offers streaming TV services as an additional feature with the internet package.
Every ISP has their fair of unsatisfied users, and Consolidated Communications is no exception here. The thing that most customers are complaining about is the stability of their internet connection, but these are often connected to the Wi-Fi signal.
Wi-Fi signal strength and speed depend on a number of factors, such as the position of the router, home layout, and network capabilities on-premises. In addition, most devices are unable to get 1Gbps speeds over Wi-Fi, which Consolidated explains in detail in their support section on the website and other web pages as well.
Those who don’t have issues with service stability say they are a reliable provider, but the pricing tends to be a bit steep after the promotional period in some areas.
Still, most customers are happy with the consolidated communications’ customer service, saying they are friendly, knowledgeable, and resolve issues quickly.
What makes their customer service stand out is that they have local customer service units in every area they serve, which means that tech support will be there quickly and know the infrastructure situation in detail.
Each area has its own service numbers, all of which can be found by state on their website.
Ways to Save on Consolidated Communications
Consolidated Communications can help you save by bundling your services with them. You can have all – the internet, TV, and phone – there, and they will even buy out your current contract and cover ETF costs up to $200 per service (in case you use different providers for each service).
By choosing paperless billing, customers can save $1 per month, which might not seem like much, but it will help keep the costs and the carbon footprint down.
Network Care Plus
This service covers all network-related issues, management, and equipment change, and the modem lease is included in the price. Since the difference in price between a modem lease only and this package is $1.95, you basically get network maintenance and troubleshooting for under $2 a month.
You’ll often find good promotions on their website to save on standard pricing, so keep an eye out online and see whether you are eligible.
They offer cable, DSL, and fiber options, so it’s best to check whether you have DSL or fiber capabilities, as you will get much more speed for the price.
Consolidated Communications is an internet service provider that offers good packages, but pricing tends to go up after the promo period is over. Luckily though, the contract times are the same as the promo period, so you’re free to switch to other providers if the bills are too steep after promotion has ended.
Their coverage area is wide, but their highest speed internet offers (fiber 1Gbps) is still limited to metropolitan areas mostly. Users who reside in areas where they can get fiber should definitely check them out, especially because of the local tech support that will provide quick service for installations and tech issues setting them apart from some of the competition!