The popularity of fiber-optic is clear, as new companies are forming to address the vacuum. Major companies, like AT&T and Verizon, avoid low population centers (despite demand). However, companies like Ziply Fiber are filling the gap these large providers refuse to tackle.
But does this mean Ziply Fiber is worth your money? To answer this question, this Ziply Fiber review will look into their plans, pricing, and quality.
What is Ziply Fiber?
Ziply Fiber is the catchy name for Northwest Fiber, LLC, a company who bought a large portion of Frontier Communications’ infrastructure back in 2020.
The purchase gave them many customers in the Northwestern United States. The company grandfathered former members of Frontier with their current plans. They also continue to sell a combination of DSL and fiber internet plans to these customers.
These days, Ziply supports nearly 500 thousand customers across Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington. This is a major growth from the 100 thousand customers they had when starting two years ago.
Is Ziply Fiber cheap?
In this Ziply Fiber review, their cheapness depends on what you want to purchase. Looking at all their plans, they offer competitive prices in some areas. Of course, this is likely to change depending on where you live.
Ziply Fiber’s cheapest deal has a one-year promotional price of $20 per month, putting it at the same level of inexpensive as RCN internet plans. This price gives you a speed of 50 Mbps, which is pretty good for small families. The price renews to $40 after the first year, which is still pretty good for slower internet.
Interestingly enough, this 50 Mbps speed is fiber internet, making it easily the slowest fiber internet in the nation. You’ll find this cost advantage erodes when you look at their DSL internet plans.
Ziply Fiber plans & pricing breakdown
Here’s a quick breakdown of Ziply Fiber pricing:
- Fiber 50/50
Promo rate: $20 per month
Standard rate: $40 /mo.
Speed: 50 Mbps download/upload
- Ziply DSL
Promo rate: $50 /mo.
Standard rate: $60 /mo.
Speed: 115 Mbps download speed (7 Mbps upload speed)
- Fiber 200/200
Promo rate: $40 /mo.
Standard rate: $60 /mo.
Speed: 200 Mbps download/upload
- Fiber Gig
Promo rate: $60 /mo.
Standard rate: $80 /mo.
Speed: 1000 Mbps download/upload
- Fiber 2 Gig
Promo rate: N/A
Standard rate: $120 /mo.
Speed: 2 Gbps download/upload
- Fiber 5 Gig
Promo rate: N/A
Standard rate: $300 /mo.
Speed: 5 Gbps download/upload
When you compare this to other fiber internet services, you’ll find pricing to be pretty competitive.
For example, if you compare these to current Xfinity plans, the 900 Mbps from Xfinity is comparable to the Fiber Gig plan from Ziply. Of course, you can save a bit more through Xfinity with long-term contracts, making the first two years a bit more cost-effective for Xfinity customers.
AT&T internet plans are also pretty comparable, matching the 1 Gbps plan of Ziply at $80 per month. This advantage erodes at higher speed levels, where 5 Gbps is about $120 per month cheaper through AT&T compared to Ziply.
The saving grace for Ziply is that they target a comparatively underserved market. Because there is less competition in the northwest, Ziply has the luxury to charge higher prices with higher speeds. Thankfully, they don’t take this approach with their slower high-speed plans.
The only plan that Ziply lacks includes speeds in the middle. One could save a few dollars per month by choosing speeds at 400 or 600 Mbps. Because Ziply doesn’t include these plans, it is one potential weakness that might make cost-conscious customers shop around.
Fees to look out for when using Ziply Fiber
Customers of Ziply Fiber have expressed a mixed bag of responses to fees. Below, we will clarify why some customers get these hidden fees while others do not.
Looking at current Ziply plans, there are virtually no fees with what they offer. Ziply doesn’t have any early termination fees, data overage fees, or router rental fees.
Current promotions will also allow new customers to waive installation fees. This might only be for a limited time. Take advantage of this while Ziply is still in the early, aggressive growth phase.
This comes from Ziply’s offering of unlimited data with no-contract plans. It’s becoming a standard feature of these new fiber companies, adopted from trailblazers like AT&T who do much of the same thing.
However, Ziply purchased 100 thousand internet plans from Frontier Communications. Frontier is known for including a series of fees related to equipment rental and contractual obligations. There are many customers who haven’t transitioned to Ziply’s new pricing structure, as Ziply has grandfathered these customers.
So despite what you might see on some Ziply Fiber reviews, there are no hidden costs beyond general taxes and surcharges required by federal and state groups.
How fast is Ziply Fiber?
From the internet plans you see above, Ziply Fiber offers speeds up to 5 Gbps. This puts it on the same level as the fastest internet providers in the nation.
Despite having faster speeds on its higher level, its overall speed is slower. This mainly comes from the number of customers who still rely on DSL plans.
Thankfully, Ziply does offer fiber in over 80% of the markets it does business in. So if you live in an area that has Ziply, you likely have access to their fiber plans.
How does Ziply Fiber compare to other internet service providers on speed?
Ziply takes an approach similar to CenturyLink in how it provides internet plans. This means it relies on incredibly slow or incredibly fast internet.
Much of this comes from the type of internet services they offer. Ziply focuses on the two extremes of modern internet: DSL and fiber. Cable internet providers, by comparison, can offer mid-grade speeds (200 to 400 Mbps).
When comparing it with faster providers, it stands with the best of them. It offers faster speeds than companies like Xfinity, Frontier, and Mediacom. Meanwhile, it is on par with EarthLink and AT&T, two of the few providers that give up to 5 Gbps.
Where is Ziply Fiber available?
Ziply Fiber operates in four different states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Most of this availability is in major cities in each state, with a larger cluster in both Washington and Oregon.
Here are a few cities you are likely to find Ziply:
Ziply Fiber is spending $500 million to expand their network to new locations. Most of these future expansion projects involve expansion into areas they already operate in.
Because Ziply Fiber is relatively small, it doesn’t plan on expanding into a new state. However, they do want to work on expanding to over 1 million homes throughout the Northwestern United States.
Is Ziply Fiber reliable?
Because Ziply fiber is relatively new, it's hard to determine their reliability. The growing pains of integrating and expanding new services have resulted in spotty reliability.
You can find much of this on the Ziply Fiber Reddit page. Much like other internet service providers, you’ll find a couple of examples of how this rapid expansion has been a mixed bag.
One solid thing you can see across its website is a plan to improve the local infrastructure. Many of these northwestern locations were owned by Frontier before 2020, not seeing upgrades for decades prior.
To be frank, it is difficult to get a clear picture of how reliable Ziply fiber is right now because of their relative newness. There are some good signs of fast growth and a willingness to improve the customer experience.
Does Ziply Fiber have excellent customer service?
When looking at customer support, you face the same challenges as testing reliability. Because of their brief life span, it's hard to judge Ziply for what you see.
To start, it’s important to note that the Better Business Bureau has given Ziply a B minus. This is up from a C from when the company began, showing signs of improvement.
However, the company is working on reputation management. The BBB even reached out to Ziply for a response, as many consumers addressed service and billing issues with the transition to Ziply.
The good news is that Ziply responded to the BBB’s request, establishing a communication with the BBB. While there is a long road to travel, Ziply is making strides for improvement. Given the company has only been around for two years, we will monitor their growth.
What do customer reviews say about Ziply Fiber?
The BBB’s customer reviews give Ziply a 1 out of 5. Other sites, like Yelp, give us reviews of around 1.5 stars. This is with a few hundred reviews on each site.
Other Ziply fiber internet reviews across the board have left mixed results. Reddit has shown a slew of customers who praise the company’s improvements to the local infrastructure.
Much like with all new companies, time will tell about their quality. Also, transitions are hard, so it might be best for you to try them yourself. Thankfully, that no-contract offer means you can leave without penalties.
Who should buy Ziply Fiber?
Knowing that Ziply Fiber is still in its young stages, its best customers are those looking for inexpensive gigabit internet. Its one-gig plan is incredibly cost-effective, especially for the first year of service.
If you are asking “how much upload speed do I need,” Ziply offers symmetric download/upload speeds. This means your upload speed and download speed match, which can be great if you livestream content or upload large files.
Ziply is also ideal if you want to pay bottom-dollar rates for slower internet. With 50 Mbps at $20, it is one of the cheapest internet providers you can find. The renewal rates go to $40, which is still pretty good for what you get.
Ziply Fiber isn’t ideal for those who want more established reliability and customer service. Being young, Ziply will naturally struggle more with these issues. So, if you aren’t that tech savvy, Ziply might not be your best choice.
How do I know if Ziply Fiber is near me?
If you want to compare Ziply Fiber plans near you, all you need to start with is your zip code. By putting this zip code into our “Find A Provider” tool, you’ll find all the best internet providers by zip code.
The tool allows you to sort through different factors of the internet. These include speeds, pricing, and internet provider services offered (like television or home phone).
So, if you want to save yourself some time on the research process, check out our tool. It will help you find the best internet to meet your needs.
Ziply Fiber FAQs
Is Ziply Fiber owned by Frontier?
No, Ziply is independently owned by Northwest Fiber LLC. I purchased a large amount of internet infrastructure from Frontier in 2020.
Is Ziply better than Frontier?
For now, Ziply is using Frontier’s former internet infrastructure, making them fairly identical. However, Ziply is planning massive improvements and expansion to the area.
Is Ziply faster than Xfinity?
Ziply offers fiber-optic internet, similar to what you get through Xfinity internet plans. As a result, the two have incredibly comparable speeds. However, Ziply offers faster potential speeds up to 5 Gbps, which is something Xfinity doesn’t offer.
Does Ziply offer 5G internet speeds?
Ziply doesn’t offer 5G fixed wireless internet. However, its speeds will exceed what you get through any 5G provider. Verizon, for example, offers internet speeds that do not exceed 1 Gbps.