WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Charging customers higher rates as they use bigger swaths of bandwidth is a policy that makes sense, the chief executive of Frontier Communications Corp, a rural telecommunications company, said on Monday.

It is important that customers that use less don't subsidize those that use the most, Maggie Wilderotter, the chairman and CEO of Frontier, told a group of state utility regulators meeting in Washington.

Tiering charges based on customer use of bandwidth is part of a growing trend among Internet service providers.

Earlier this month, Charter Communications Inc said it will implement bandwidth thresholds, and Time Warner Cable Inc said it will expand a similar program.

These extreme users ... are called personally by our general managers, and we talk to them, she said. At times, the heavy usage is caused by a virus that an unsuspecting user has acquired on their computer, she said.

The policy is not without controversy, though.

Public interest groups worry that companies will monitor individual use and discriminate against certain content or applications.

Wilderotter said the company looks at macro trends only, and individuals do not need to worry that their activity is being monitored.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)