Amazon’s Kuiper vs. Frontier: How Do They Compare and Which Is Better?

Starlink vs Amazon's Project Kuiper

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. Frontier: How Do They Compare and Which Is Better?

Amazon announced its intention to join the internet service provision arena. It has not done so yet, but the news and the progress of what it calls Project Kuiper have caused a major stir in the sector. In this article, we are comparing the new entrant with one of the largest ISPs in the nation, Frontier Internet.

If you had to choose between the two, which one should you go for and why? Here are highlights of their differences based on the available information.

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. Frontier: Side-By-Side Comparison

OwnerAmazonFrontier Communications
Type of internetSatelliteFiber and DSL
CoverageWorldwideParts of the US
Pricing plansNot yet availableAvailable
PartnersULA, Blue Ocean, Arianespace, VerizonNone disclosed

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. Frontier: What’s the Difference?

Let’s take an in-depth look at the differences between these two internet service providers.

Internet Type

Amazon’s idea is to launch a constellation of 3,236 satellites into the lower parts of the Earth’s orbit and use them to provide broadband internet all over the world. By launching them in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), they will be closer to the ground than most others and hence could deliver faster internet.

The objective of Jeff Bezos’ brainchild is to fill coverage gaps across the globe. His strategy is to make the internet available in rural areas and places where fiber and other internet connection options would be too costly to implement.

Frontier, on the other hand, focuses on providing DSL and fiber internet. Frontier’s DSL service is available in most homes and remote areas. However, since most households require faster speeds, Frontier fiber internet plans are preferable.

Communication satellite orbiting space above the Earth.
Amazon’s Kuiper will bring internet service to previously inaccessible areas with its constellation of 3,236 satellites.


Geographical Coverage

Unlike Frontier and other region-based ISPs, Amazon plans to become a global internet service provider offering access to the remotest part of the globe. What makes a significant difference here is that while players in the industry have internet provision as their product, Amazon has other internet-dependent products. It plans to use Kuiper to secure customers for these products. Being the largest online store in the world, it has potential customers in every part of the Earth. Using Kuiper, Amazon seeks to bridge this digital divide, hoping to increase the customer base for its already existing brands.

Frontier Internet is available in 25 states in the US, making it a major player in the country. However, unlike Amazon, it has no plans to extend to other remote parts of the globe because doing so is almost impossible with wired services like DSL and Fiber. Besides, DSL internet uses pre-existing infrastructure, and laying fiber optics cables has proven expensive, to say the least.


Kuiper is not yet available for use. However, the work began in 2018 under the internal codename Project Kuiper, which gave the service its name. In 2020, Amazon received a license from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to deploy and operate the satellites.

The terms of the license required that Amazon deploy half of the intended satellites by mid-2026 and the balance three years later. Kuiper had announced that it plans to launch prototype satellites in the first half of 2023, then start offering services by the last quarter of 2024.

Frontier is an established ISP covering almost half of the United States. Initially, it only offered DSL internet, but as fiber became more common, it joined in and continuously expanded its networks. One of the challenges to expansion is that it is difficult to have two DSL providers in the same region. Nevertheless, the difference between it and Kuiper is that Frontier is already available and may be the only choice in some parts of the US.


Open partnerships are uncommon in the communications industry as most firms try to remain independent. The furthest they do go is either a merger or a takeover. For example, Frontier bought certain infrastructure from Verizon in 2016. It has also had to purchase infrastructure from other ISPs, such as AT&T, to expand its fiber network. Some partnerships are also unheard of in this sector, partly because they are usually kept under wraps.

However, Kuiper is bent on breaking this norm. It has announced that it will partner with Amazon Web Services, its sister product, which is also the biggest cloud computing platform in the world. It plans to partner with Blue Origin, Arianespace, and United Launch Alliance to launch the satellites. Blue Origin is a company founded by Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos. However, unlike Kuiper, it is not a branch of Amazon.

Within the ISP’s clan, Project Kuiper announced in 2021 that it would partner with Verizon. The partnership will expand the coverage of 4G/LTE and 5G networks. According to Kuiper, Verizon will expand its cellular service to remote areas by connecting to Kuiper’s satellites instead of laying fiber cables to cell towers. It is envisioned that partnerships for similar cellular backhaul solutions will increase when the project takes off, especially with ISPs in regions where Verizon cannot operate.


Even though work is still ongoing on Project Kuiper, Amazon has said that prototype testing results showed that it was possible to reach a maximum speed of 400Mbps. While this is lower than the average fiber connection speed, it is incredibly higher than the available satellite speeds. Sector leaders such as Viasat and HughesNet only deliver, in most areas, a maximum of 30Mbps.

Part of the reason for the high speeds is that Kuiper’s satellites would be flying between 367 miles and 392 miles above the Earth’s surface. Viasat’s satellites are flying up to 23,000 miles above the Earth’s orbit. Another ISP that has a similarly low-flying satellite is Elon Musk’s Starlink, but even it currently delivers between 50 and 150 Mbps. However, Starlink has promised to cross the 300Mbps mark soon.

Frontier delivers both DSL and fiber connections, but the two are on opposite sides of the speed spectrum. The ISPs DSL speeds are variable, a marketing term meaning you can’t put a number to it. In fact, Frontier does not even advertise its DSL speeds. It is probably because several factors affect DSL speeds. They include: where you live, the number of connections, the time of the day, and the distance from the transmitting stations. If you live in remote places, it is better than nothing at all. However, those in urban areas would be better off with Frontier Fiber internet. Its speeds are among the best in the country, with plans of up to 5Gbps.


We shall have to wait a little longer to know the cost of using Kuiper’s services. However, given the price and the cost that will go into achieving the project, industry experts are positing a starting price of $100 per month. In addition to the monthly fees, there will certainly be installation and equipment fees, which are expected to be just like with other satellite internet providers. Again, these are just speculations.

Frontier has a well-laid-out price plan for its services. The entry Copper Plan is for DSL and comes at a monthly charge of $50/month and a variable speed. The next tier of plans is the Fiber internet, named based on the maximum speeds. Consequently, they are Fiber 500, 1 Gig, 2 Gig, and 5 Gig at monthly charges that vary based on the region. Therefore, check out Frontier’s site for the prices in your area.

One thing that gives Frontier one up on its competitors is that it has no data caps on its plans. Most satellite connections come with stringent data limits, hence the preference for Frontier’s DSL. Frontier also does not have soft data caps where your connection slows down after reaching some undisclosed limit.

There are a few additional costs, and they depend on your location and the service plan you are purchasing. They include activation, installation, equipment rental, and disconnection fees. On contracts, this often changes, though as a standard, there is a 24-month contract on Frontier’s DSL service. To retain old customers and attract new ones, Frontier occasionally offers non-contractual promotions.

Bundles and Extras

Kuiper has disclosed nothing about any extra services and bundles it will be offering, though there is a vast opportunity for that, thanks to its partnerships and sister products.

Frontier offers bundle packages, which include TV and home phone services. It has partnered with streaming services such as DISH, DirecTV, and YouTube for TV service. As for the Home Phone package, you get unlimited nationwide, long-distance calls and voicemail, among other offers.

Frontier Internet homepage
One thing that gives Frontier an edge is there are no data caps on any of its plans.


Customer Satisfaction

Until it builds its own, Kuiper will ride on Amazon’s reputation as a customer-centered enterprise with high customer satisfaction rankings.

The story is different for Frontier. It has consistently recorded not satisfactory scores. In 2019 and 2020, it ranked last in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Though it saw a slight improvement in 2021, ranking second last, it performed better in 2022 with a 61/100 score, which was four points above the previous year.

While this score was still below the industry’s average, it was still a noticeable improvement compared to previous years. What has impacted its reputation mainly is not delivering on its advertised speeds, which is primarily due to the DSL connections. However, increasing investment in fiber connections has seen its rankings rise.

Pros and Cons

Amazon’s Kuiper ProsCons
Global coverageIt is not on the market yet
Faster than average satellite connections
Several partners to sustain connection quality
Amazon has a good customer satisfaction rating
Frontier ProsCons
Has low-cost plansIt has a reputation for poor customer satisfaction
No data caps
Some plans do not have contracts
Available in rural areas

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. Frontier: 7 Must-Know Facts

  • Kuiper is a work in progress and might not be widely available until 2025.
  • Kuiper is a satellite internet service, while Frontier focuses on DSL and Fiber internet
  • Amazon has so far invested $10 billion in the Kuiper Project
  • It will take about 92 launches for Kuiper to complete its constellation.
  • Different space companies will carry out Kuiper’s satellite launches.
  • Frontier fiber internet is available in 15 states
  • No data cap on Frontier internet

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. Frontier: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?

Whether Kuiper or Frontier is the best for you depends on several factors. Some of them include:

Urgency: If you live in a remote area and urgently need an internet connection and you either have to go for Frontier or wait for Kuiper, then your choice is fixed. Frontier wins.

Speed: Once Kuiper is active, you have to choose between Frontier’s DSL and Kuiper’s satellite, then go for the satellite as it has better speed. However, if circumstances pit Kuiper and Frontier Fiber against each, take fiber.

Cost and budget: Kuiper will undoubtedly cost more than Frontier, and where their prices are almost similar, Frontier will have better speeds. Also, it is essential to consider hidden costs, data caps, and other price issues that reduce the value you get for your money.

At the moment, it’s hard to tell which is better as Kuiper is not yet available, giving Frontier an upper hand. You either go with it or find out about other ISPs in your area and check their terms and customer reviews.

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. Frontier: How Do They Compare and Which Is Better? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which Frontier fiber plan should I buy?

The choice depends on the number of people in your house and their internet usage. If you are only five or less with basic streaming usage, Fiber 500 will do just fine. You can adjust your plan as the number of users increases. We recommend the top-price plan, Fiber 5 Gig, to businesses with several devices and in need of fast internet connectivity.

How high do LEO satellites fly?

Low Earth Orbit is the space extending from the Earth’s surface to about 1,240 miles. LEO satellites fly within this space, usually at orbiting altitudes of more than 200 miles.

What do I need for Kuiper internet service?

Considering it is a satellite internet service, you will need a satellite dish, a trans-receiver, and a modem. Kuiper will certainly provide a Gateway modem with in-built Wi-Fi or be compatible with modern routers.

When will Kuiper internet service be available?

One of the grounds for the FCC’s license for Kuiper was that 50% of the satellites be launched by July 2026. By Kuiper’s estimates, hopefully, enough satellites would have been deployed by the close of 2024 to enable the start of service.

Did Frontier emerge from its bankruptcy filing?

Frontier’s April 2020 filing for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy was aimed at debt restructuring for sustainable growth. By October 2021, the company had significantly reduced its debts and boasted a $2 billion liquidity. Its customer satisfaction ratings have also improved since then.

Will current satellite internet providers survive Kuiper's launch?

All Satellite internet providers risk losing to Kuiper because of the high speed it promises. However, Kuiper might charge higher than its competition and will take time to grow its customer base. Thus, the current ISPs would have enough time to adjust and face their new challenger.

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