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What is fiber internet?

Fiber internet uses cables made of thin glass or plastic fibers to transfer data as light signals. This type of internet connection can support faster speeds compared to DSL and cable internet services. Fiber internet is one of the best internet types, but is also one of the least available.

Fiber internet connection types and how they work

All fiber internet connections are not the same. Depending on where you live, you may have access to FTTN, FTTH or FTTC networks.

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Who offers fiber internet?

Homeowners and renters have growing fiber internet options. If available, you may be able to choose an internet plan from one of the providers below.

According to the FCC, nearly 33% of the U.S. population is eligible for fiber internet service. As providers expand their fiber internet networks, more people will be able to enjoy high-speed fiber internet options.

Most fiber internet providers offer a range of speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. Click the button below to check for available plans and speeds in your area.

Fiber internet providers in your area

ProviderStarting monthly price*Download speeds up to
AT&T Logo
$49.991,000 Mbps

$65.001,000 Mbps
Cox Logo
$119.991,000 Mbps
Frontier Logo
Frontier FiOS
$29.99940 Mbps
Mediacom Logo
$119.991,000 Mbps
$84.991,000 Mbps

Verizon Fios
$39.99940 Mbps
Windstream Logo
$36.001,000 Mbps

Fiber technology is relatively new, and most providers are still working to expand their fiber networks to more areas. Providers such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Cox, Frontier, Mediacom, Suddenlink, Verizon and Windstream currently offer residential fiber internet connections in select areas.Here are some areas that fiber internet might be available near you.

AT&T fiber internet availability

AT&T offers fiber internet across select cities in California, Texas, the Midwest and most of the Southeast. AT&T continues to build its fiber internet network in the U.S., so more residents in these regions will soon have access to high-speed fiber internet. In December 2018, AT&T announced new fiber expansions that will include Gainesville, FL, Waco, TX, and other cities.

CenturyLink fiber internet availability

CenturyLink fiber internet offers speeds up to 1,000 Mbps in 11 major metro areas in the U.S. CenturyLink gig speeds are available in cities such as Denver, CO, Las Vegas, NV, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Omaha, NE, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, and others.

Cox fiber internet availability

Cox Gigablast internet is available in most Cox service areas. Primary service areas include Phoenix, AZ, San Diego, CA, New Orleans, LA, Oklahoma City, OK, Omaha, NE, Providence, RI, and Virginia Beach, VA.

Frontier fiber internet availability

Frontier Communications offers two types of fiber internet. Frontier FiOS is a FTTH connection available in areas of California, Florida and Texas. Frontier Vantage is a FTTN connection available in select cities across the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast.

Google fiber internet availability

Google, one of the first fiber internet providers, has fiber-optic networks in select cities across the U.S. Right now, Google does not intend to expand fiber internet markets. You can find Google Fiber in parts of cities such as Atlanta, GA, Kansas City, KS, Austin, TX and Salt Lake City, UT. Where available, Google Fiber plans start at $50/mo. and offer speeds ranging from 100 to 1,000 Mbps.

Suddenlink fiber internet availability

Suddenlink offers gigabit internet in 50 metro areas across the country, but mainly serves cities across Texas. Towns where Suddenlink fiber internet is available include Lake Charles, LA, Rocky Mount, NC, Amarillo, TX, and Canyon, TX.

Verizon fiber internet availability

Verizon’s fiber-optic TV and internet, Verizon Fios, is available in select cities across the East Coast. Verizon offers fiber across New Jersey, throughout Pennsylvania, in select cities in Virginia and in other major metro areas across the coast.

Windstream fiber internet availability

Windstream’s fiber internet service, Windstream Kinetic Gig Internet, is available across 16 states. Cities and towns where Windstream fiber internet is available include Huron, MO, Concord, NC, Avon, OH and Wake Village, TX.

Is there fiber internet near you? Check availability for fiber providers in your area.

How does fiber internet compare to cable and DSL?

If you live in an area with fiber internet, you probably also have cable and DSL internet options. The type of internet you choose for your home can make a difference in available speeds and overall quality of service.

Fiber internet vs. cable internet

Speeds: Fiber internet offers starting speeds similar to cable internet, with download speeds in the 50 to 100 Mbps range. However, fiber’s fastest speeds are higher than most cable connections, with speeds up 940 Mbps or higher. You’re also likely to get faster upload speeds and more consistent speeds.

Pricing: Starting prices for fiber internet plans are comparable to cable internet and may even be cheaper, depending on the provider and plan.

Availability: This is where fiber-optic and cable internet differ the most. Fiber internet is available to a third of the U.S. population, while cable is available to more than 88%. Fiber internet is typically available in metro areas, whereas cable is likely available in metro areas and surrounding suburban communities.

Fiber internet vs. DSL internet

Speeds: Fiber internet can deliver download and upload speeds much higher than DSL internet. The speeds you get with fiber internet can support streaming in HD or 4K, gaming online and more on multiple devices. DSL internet speeds are typically better suited for lighter internet activities, such as streaming in SD, browsing the internet and sending emails. 

Pricing: Plans are likely to be cheaper with DSL service. DSL starting prices average about $20 to $40 per month, whereas fiber internet monthly price usually starts at $40/mo. or higher. 

Availability: DSL is the second most available internet type, covering 95% of the U.S., while fiber internet covers about a third of the country.

Pros and cons of fiber internet

Fiber internet gives you a reliable connection capable of delivering some of the fastest internet speeds available, but there are also some potential disadvantages.

Advantages of fiber internet

  • Quality: Since fiber’s main conductor is glass, it’s more resistant to interference. This provides a connection known for superior performance, reliability and high speeds.
  • Speed: Internet speeds can reach up to 1,000 Mbps or higher in select areas.
  • Value: Because fiber-optic networks cost less to maintain, the price for service is expected to become more affordable over time.

Disadvantages of fiber internet

  • Availability: Fiber internet is only available in select areas, mostly cities.
  • Initial costs: Fiber-optic networks cost more than other internet connection types to construct, which can lead to higher initial costs for providers and customers.
  • Home installation:  Most homes have existing phone lines or cable connections for DSL and cable internet. Since fiber technology is newer, a provider may need to set up new lines in your home.
David Anders David Anders
David Anders

Staff Writer



David joined the Allconnect team in 2017, specializing in broadband and TV providers. He is our transactional content lead and responsible for the most popular post in our Resource Center… Read more

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Fiber internet frequently asked questions

Is fiber internet available in my area?

Fiber internet is available to about 33% of the U.S. population. Large metro areas are the most common service areas for fiber-optic providers. Actual availability may be limited to certain ZIP codes or neighborhoods within a city.

How much does fiber internet cost?

Fiber internet prices vary by provider and plan. Depending on what’s available in your area, you could get fiber-optic internet for around $40/mo. Gigabit internet plans can cost over $100/mo. for service.

Does fiber internet require a special modem?

You will likely need a new modem for fiber internet service as traditional cable and DSL modems are not compatible. Fortunately, fiber internet providers either include a modem or offer one to rent or purchase with their internet plans.

Does fiber internet require a phone line?

No. Fiber internet uses thin glass or plastic wires to transmit data so no phone line is required. The exception is FTTN connections that use a DSL connection from the node to your home.

What speeds can you get with fiber internet?

Speeds can range from 50 to 1,000 Mbps depending on the provider and plan. With a fiber-optic connection, you are likely to experience greater speed consistency, even during “peak” usage times, and speeds that are near or above your plan’s advertised speeds.

Who is fiber internet good for?

Fiber internet is ideal for users who want fast, consistent internet speeds and don’t mind paying a little extra for service. Fiber internet gives you the bandwidth to stream, game online, browse social media, and more, across multiple devices at once.

Though it is a great internet service type, fiber internet isn’t for everyone. If you’re shopping for the cheapest internet service, fiber internet likely will not offer the cheapest plans in your area. Also, if you just need an internet connection for browsing the web and streaming, you likely won’t need the faster speeds that come with fiber internet.

Compare internet plans near you

Moving or looking for a new deal? Let Allconnect help you find the right internet plan for your needs. Call now to start comparing providers, prices and speeds in your local area.

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