Find fiber optic internet in your area
Fiber optic internet is the best home internet connection type available, often boasting better speeds and reliability than cable, DSL and satellite internet services. Learn more about fiber internet and find providers and plans near you.
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What is fiber internet and how does it work?
Fiber optic internet, also known as “fiber internet” or just “fiber,” uses thin cables made of glass or plastic fibers to transfer data as light signals. This type of internet connection can support faster, more reliable download and upload speeds compared to DSL and cable internet networks. As a relatively new internet technology, fiber optic service is quickly growing in popularity and availability.
Most gigabit internet providers use a fiber optic network, but not all fiber internet connections are the same. Depending on where you live, you may have access to FTTN, FTTH or FTTC networks.
FTTN – fiber to the node
Fiber to the node (FTTN) connections use fiber optic cables to carry data to a hub close to your home. From this point, DSL or coaxial cables carry the data the rest of the way.
FTTN connections can also be referred to as “hybrid fiber coaxial network” or HFC, and are common connection types from cable internet providers. Since this type of connection isn’t pure fiber, the connection is not as reliable or fast when it comes to upload speeds.
FTTC – fiber to the curb
Fiber to the curb (FTTC) connections carry the fiber optic signals further than FTTN connections, stopping just short of your house, or at the “curb.”
FTTC does still use a DSL or coaxial cable to bridge the gap between your home and the street, which can leave your connection susceptible to signal interference just like with FTTN.
FTTH – fiber to the home
Fiber to the home (FTTH) connections employ fiber optic cables all the way to your home. Also known as “fiber to the premises,” FTTH offers the best in bandwidth, reliability and speed consistency.
AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier FiberOptic and Verizon Fios claim to offer a 100% fiber network in select areas.
Regardless of your fiber connection type, fiber optic speeds can reach up to 1,000 Mbps, or 1 Gig. This puts fiber connections far ahead of other internet types, such as DSL that averages under 100 Mbps, or cable internet that averages around 150 Mbps.
Top fiber internet providers
According to the FCC, nearly 41% of the U.S. population is eligible for fiber internet service. The providers listed below make up the majority of fiber optic coverage across the U.S. Some cable providers, such as Cox and Xfinity, use a hybrid network of both coaxial and fiber lines to reach speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps or more.
- AT&T – Low-priced gigabit speeds
- CenturyLink – True fiber-to-the-home
- Cox – Great value when bundled with TV
- Frontier – Symmetrical upload/download speeds
- Kinetic by Windstream – Unlimited data
- Optimum – Great value for lower-tier plans
- Suddenlink – Whole home Wi-Fi
- Verizon – No-contract plans
- Xfinity – Fastest fiber speeds available (up to 2,000 Mbps)
Compare fiber optic internet providers
Many of the internet providers listed also have more plan options using a cable or DSL network. Additionally, some providers, including Frontier, Verizon and Kinetic by Windstream, have multiple fiber plans available, so the lowest-priced plan does not necessarily come with the provider’s max fastest speeds.
Check to see how fiber internet connections differ from top internet service providers, compare costs and check to see which providers are available at your home.
|Provider||Number of fiber plans||Price range||Download speed range|
|3||$35.00-$60.00/mo.*||300 – 940 Mbps|
|1||$49.00 – $65.00/mo.**||20 – 1,000 Mbps|
|1||$29.00 – $99.99/mo.*||10 – 940 Mbps|
|3||$49.99 – $199.99/mo.*||50 – 940 Mbps|
|3||$45.00 – $80.00/mo.*||300 – 940 Mbps|
|3||$35.00 – $75.00/mo.*||100 – 1,000 Mbps|
|3||$39.99 – $79.99/mo.*||200 – 940 Mbps|
|1||$25.00 – $67.00/mo.*||15 – 1,000 Mbps|
|Xfinity||1||$24.99 – $299.99/mo.*||50 – 2,000 Mbps|
*Pricing per month plus taxes for length of contract. Additional fees and terms may apply. Pricing varies by location and availability. All prices subject to change at any time. May or may not be available based on service address. Speeds may vary. As of 04/18/21.
**Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.
What is fiber optic internet good for?
Compared to other internet types, such as cable and DSL, fiber optic internet is perfect for many uses, including some of the more demanding online tasks.
- Streaming TV – Fiber’s high speeds and connection quality make it ideal for streaming with little to no buffering, even in HD or 4K.
- Downloading shows/movies/games – The gigabit speeds available from most fiber internet providers cut download times for large files such as movies or games significantly. For example, you could download a 4 GB show in around 35 seconds with 1,000 Mbps, compared to nearly an hour with typical speeds from a DSL connection.
- Gaming online – With fiber optic internet, data travels up to 70% the speed of light, making for extremely low lag, which is perfect for gamers.
- Video conferencing – Fiber internet has fast upload speeds compared to cable and DSL internet, which are needed for video conferencing as well as uploading pictures and videos to social media.
Fiber internet availability in your area
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 Kinetic by Windstream currently offer residential fiber internet connections in select areas. Here are some areas that fiber internet might be available near you.
Is a fiber connection available at your address?
Find out if fiber internet is available at your home by checking your address now.
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. Click here for a full list of cities that currently offer AT&T fiber.
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 their fiber service, Frontier FiberOptic, in select areas of California, Florida, Indiana and Texas.
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.
Optimum and Suddenlink fiber internet availability
Both divisions of Altice, Optimum and Suddenlink have implemented fiber optic networks in select areas. Optimum primarily serves the greater NYC area. Suddenlink offers gigabit internet in 50 metro areas across the country, but mainly serves cities across Texas.
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 connections across New Jersey, throughout Pennsylvania, in select cities in Virginia and in other major metro areas along the coast.
Kinetic by Windstream fiber internet availability
Kinetic by 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.
Xfinity fiber internet availability
Xfinity offers the Gigabit plan (up to 1,000 Mbps) throughout all of its regions. The Gigabit Pro plan (up to 2,000 Mbps), however, is not available everywhere, but you can currently find it in cities such as Fresno, CA; Modesto, CA; Atlanta, GA; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Elhart, IN; Nashville, TN and more.
Fiber internet outperforms cable and DSL
If you live in an area with fiber internet, you probably also have cable and DSL internet options. What’s the difference when matching up fiber vs. cable? Does it matter if you go with fiber or DSL? 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 vs. DSL internet
How does fiber internet stack up against cable and DSL overall? Compare the general price and speed ranges between internet connection types below.
|Internet type||Price range||Download speed range||Upload speed range||Nationwide availability|
|Fiber||$25.00 – $150.00/mo.||10 – 1,000 Mbps||10 – 1,000 Mbps||41%|
|Cable||$20.00 – $299.95/mo.||10 – 2,000 Mbps||3 – 30 Mbps||89%|
|DSL||$27.99 – $49.99/mo.||1 – 140 Mbps||1 – 10 Mbps||88%|
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
- Resistant to interference — Since fiber’s main conductor is glass, it provides a connection known for superior performance, reliability and high speeds.
- Fastest speeds available — Internet speeds can reach up to 1,000 Mbps (gigabit) or higher in select areas.
- Becoming more affordable — Because more providers are now offering fiber internet and fiber optic networks cost less to maintain, prices for fiber internet have been getting more competitive over the last several years.
Disadvantages of fiber internet
- Not typically available in rural areas — Fiber internet is still available mainly in metro and suburban areas.
- Higher start-up costs — Fiber optic networks cost more than other internet connection types to construct, which can lead to higher initial costs for providers and customers.
- More complex installation — Since fiber technology is newer, a provider may need to set up new lines to your home, and professional installation is typically required.
Our take on fiber internet
Fiber internet is popular for its fast, consistent download and upload speeds. While generally not the cheapest internet service available, the speeds and reliability that come with fiber internet can offer more value than you’d get with other internet types.
The one significant downside to fiber internet is availability. More than half of U.S. residents do not have access to fiber internet service. That said, if fiber internet is available in your area, it’s definitely worth considering as the speed potential and connection quality are unmatched.
Fiber internet FAQs
Fiber internet is available to about 41% of the U.S. population. Large metro areas are the most common service areas for fiber optic connections. Actual availability may be limited to certain ZIP codes or neighborhoods within a city.
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.
Gigabit internet is an internet service that delivers speeds up to 1 gig or 1,000 Mbps. Gigabit internet is typically offered by fiber internet providers, however, cable internet providers are also to provide the service using a hybrid coaxial cable connection.
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.
Last updated 04/02/21.
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Written by:David Anders
Senior Writer, Broadband Content
David joined the Allconnect team in 2017, specializing in broadband and TV content. His work has been referenced by a variety of sources, including ArcGIS, DIRECTV and more. As a Senior Writer, David is motivate… Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband & Wireless Content
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