Top fiber internet providers of 2021
David Anders Last updated: September 17, 2021
According to the FCC, nearly 41% of the U.S. population has access to 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.
Compare fiber optic internet providers
|Provider||Best for||Allconnect score|
|Cheap gig speeds||4.05/5|
|TV and internet bundles||3.13/5|
|No equipment fees||3.79/5|
|Google Fiber||Fastest fiber speeds (2,000 Mbps)||4.50/5|
|Great value for lower speed plans||3.61/5|
|Whole home Wi-Fi||3.28/5|
|Home security add-on||3.94/5|
|Xfinity||Fastest hybrid speeds (2,000 Mbps)||3.53/5|
Allconnect’s top fiber optic internet provider: Verizon Fios
For most people, Verizon Fios is the best internet provider available. It offers all the speed you’ll ever need at a price that won’t break the bank, has great customer satisfaction scores and you won’t have to worry about contracts, price increases or hidden fees.
How we score internet providers
We evaluate broadband providers in four categories: affordability, performance, value and customer satisfaction. Each category contains multiple sub-factors, all of which are weighted differently to impact the provider’s overall score.
For each sub-factor, we score all providers on a continuous scale of 1 to 5, relative to the industry as a whole. Because the average download speed in America is currently 180 Mbps, for example, we assigned all plans with download speeds between 100 and 299 Mbps a score between 3 and 4. Xfinity’s 200 Mbps plan received a 3.50 score for download speed, while Spectrum’s 400 Mbps plan got a 4.16.
We only considered standardized data points in our scoring system. More abstract data like consistency of service and brand reputation is still part of our analysis, but we opted to let our writers address them in the context of each review.Learn more about our methodology
What is fiber internet?
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.
What we like
Fastest internet type — Fiber optic internet is as good as it gets when it comes to internet, offering maximum speeds ten times DSL.
Symmetrical speeds — Fiber internet plans provide the same upload and download speeds, where DSL and cable internet usually have much lower upload speeds.
Reliability — You won’t have to worry about outages or traffic congestion on a fiber network.
Things to consider
Expensive — Fiber internet plans are generally pricier than cable or DSL.
Availability — Fiber internet is still available to less than half of the U.S. population, while cable and DSL are available virtually everywhere.
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.
Shop internet plans near you
Unlimited data allowance
AT&T consumer home internet or Fixed Wireless Internet customers can use unlimited internet data through September 30, 2020.
Self-installation is the default installation option when available for customers.
Temporary speed upgrade
Get a temporary speed upgrade to 50 Mbps when you order Cox 10 & 30 Mbps internet plans. Offers valid through June 30, 2020.
Self-installation encouraged. Select your desired installation date, and a Cox representative will call to confirm or reschedule your appointment.
Safety-first Installation: A Frontier technician will perform your installation with appropriate safety protocols including wearing protective equipment and maintaining social distancing. In taking these precautions, it’s recommended that Frontier customers wear a face mask or face covering for the safety of technicians.
New TV plan
Introducing a new “Local 50” video plan to support contactless installation.
Contactless installation: Mediacom will send an installation kit and a technician to set up a single high-speed data connection, phone, or one local TV channel plan with the help of someone in your home.
Self-installation is encouraged. For professional installation, contact-free delivery is available for work done outside of the home. For customers moving more than 7 days from the date the order is placed, professional installation is available.
Free Contactless Delivery: An Xfinity technician will drop-off your equipment with installation instructions, then perform any outside work. Get your installation fees back in a customer credit for a no-charge installation.
All available fiber internet providers
Many of the internet providers listed below 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 – $65.00/mo.||300 – 940 Mbps|
|2||$49.00 – $65.00/mo.||20 – 940 Mbps|
|1||$19.99 – $99.99/mo.||10 – 940 Mbps|
|3||$37.99 – $79.99/mo.||50 – 940 Mbps|
|Google Fiber||2||$70.00 – $100.00/mo.||1,000 – 2,000 Mbps|
|2||$35.00 – $55.00/mo.||300 – 940 Mbps|
|1||$30.00 – $70.00/mo.||200 – 940 Mbps|
|3||$39.99 – $89.990/mo.||200 – 940 Mbps|
|4||$37.00 – $67.00/mo.||200 – 1000 Mbps|
|Xfinity||3||$29.99 – $299.95/mo.||25 – 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 09/17/21.
Fiber internet availability in your area
If you find yourself asking “is there fiber internet near me?” wonder no more. 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 wifi connections in select areas. Here are some areas that fiber internet might be available near you.
Find yourself asking “is there fiber internet near me?” wonder no more. 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 wifi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi 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.
What is fiber internet good for and how does it work?
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.
That said, “fiber internet” means different things to different providers. Here are a few types of fiber internet that are commonly available:
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.
Best fiber internet customer satisfaction ratings
Overall, fiber internet providers tend to rate higher in customer satisfaction than cable or internet providers. AT&T and Verizon received the top two scores overall in 2021 from the American Customer Satisfaction Indec (ASCI) — two providers that primarily offer fiber optic service.
|Provider||2021 ACSI score||2020 ACSI score||2019 ACSI score||Avg past 3 years|
Fiber vs Cable vs 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?
In general, if you have access to fiber, you should get it. Your internet speeds will be significantly faster and more reliable than cable and DSL, and the price is usually only slightly more expensive. Unfortunately, fiber internet still only covers about half the area that cable does.
Cable – 89%
DSL – 88%
Fiber – 41%
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. Your Internet service provider should provide you with all equipment for set up amazon does offer fiber internet cable as well.
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.
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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 Content
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