What is fiber availability like in your state?

Joe Supan

Apr 8, 2023 — 5 min read

Report: Most Americans can now get at least 100 Mbps internet speeds at home.

Key findings

  • 92.2% of U.S. households have access to at least one provider that offers 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds.
  • 37.3% currently have access to at least one fiber internet provider.
  • Rhode Island leads the nation in both fiber availability and access to 100/20 Mbps speeds.
  • Montana is last in the nation with only 64.6% of households having access to 100/20 Mbps speeds.

The digital divide is starting to look more like a crevice, according to the FCC’s latest availability data, although affordability still remains a major barrier. 99.9% of American households now have access to minimum broadband speeds of 25/3 Mbps, and 92.2% can even get 100/20 Mbps — largely due to the expansion of cable and fixed wireless options in rural areas. The Allconnect team analyzed this data taken directly from the FCC’s National Broadband Map

9 in 10 households can access 100 Mbps speeds

The FCC’s latest data shows that 99.99% of American households have access to minimum broadband speeds of 25 Mbps. That said, satellite internet is often the only game in town in rural areas, and it can be prohibitively expensive (and unreliable). Still, new wireless providers like T-Mobile and Verizon have stepped in to offer inexpensive alternatives to satellite in many rural areas. 

  • 92.2% of U.S. households have access to internet speeds of 100 Mbps or above — the FCC’s new proposed minimum for broadband.
  • 89.5% can get speeds above 250 Mbps, while just 28.8% have access to gig speeds (above 1,000 Mbps)
  • Satellite is available almost everywhere in the country, but only 29.5% of households can access 100 Mbps speeds. 
  • Fixed wireless internet is also widely available — 64.8% of households can get it — but only 24.7% can access speeds above 100 Mbps.

Fiber availability continues to expand

For almost a decade now, we’ve been hearing that fiber is the future of internet. It provides symmetrical speeds, greater bandwidth, and a more reliable connection. With providers like Verizon Fios and AT&T, most plans are cheaper than comparable speeds from cable, too. Here’s where fiber deployment stands today:

  • 37.3% of U.S. households currently have access to at least one fiber internet provider.
  • 72.9%  of those fiber households — or 27.2% of the country as a whole — can get download speeds of 1,000 Mbps at their address. 
  • Fiber is generally the only way for Americans to access gig speeds. Less than 1% of the country has access to speeds above 1,000 Mbps through cable internet, while 1.6% of households can get those speeds through fixed wireless (primarily Verizon 5G Home, which “peaks over 1 Gbps in certain areas,” according to the company.)

Best and worst states for fiber availability

While 1 in 3 households can now sign up for fiber internet, that access is not evenly distributed. In Rhode Island, 4 in 5 households have access to fiber; in Alaska, it’s only 1 in 17. 

  • The West region has the lowest fiber availability overall at just 28.6%. 
  • Fiber internet is most prevalent in the Northeast, available to 52.4% of households in the region.
  • 32.0% of households in the Midwest can access fiber internet and 39.1% in the South. 

Broadband availability by state

Top and bottom states for speed

Although internet availability has improved greatly over the past decade, there are still significant disparities between states. Here are the top and bottom states when it comes to meeting the FCC’s new proposed minimum for broadband speeds, 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload.

  • The Northeast is the best region for meeting the 100/20 Mbps threshold, with those speeds available to 95.6% of households. 
  • The South has the lowest percentage of households that can access 100/20 Mbps speeds, with just 86.9%. 
  • 100/20 Mbps speeds are available to 87.4% of households in the Midwest and 89.0% in the West.

FCC map questions

The FCC’s broadband maps have been hotly contested for years. In 2018, the FCC released a report saying the digital divide was rapidly closing, with only 14.5 million Americans still without access to 25/3 Mbps speeds. Months later, Microsoft released their own report saying that number was closer to 120.4 million. Fixing the broadband maps became in immediate priority for the FCC’s new Chair Jessica Rosenworcel.

“The FCC’s old broadband maps were not very good, not very good at all,” Rosenworcel said at a press conference in January 2023. 

The old maps relied on providers to submit the areas they offered coverage. They also got credit for serving an entire census block as long as they covered just one home in the area. Rosenworcel says that the new maps take into account more than 200 sources, including address-specific data from providers, tax records, and satellite imagery. 

That said, the new maps are off to a rocky start. An Allconnect analysis found several errors in one area. After the first update to the maps, the FCC opened a request for corrections. Many of these have been updated in the past three months, with a new version of the map released in March 2023. 

“We’ve come a long way in the short time since that November release,” said Rosenworcel in a press release, noting that their mapping team processed challenges to availability data for over 4 million locations.

Joe Supan

Written by:

Joe Supan

Principal Writer, Broadband Content

Joe is a senior writer for CNET covering home technology and broadband. Prior to joining CNET, Joe led MYMOVE’s moving coverage and reported on broadband policy, the digital divide, and privacy issues for the br… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband Content

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