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AT&T vs. Spectrum

Compare AT&T and Spectrum internet, TV and bundle services.

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Is AT&T or Charter Spectrum better for you?

AT&T and Spectrum offer comparable internet, TV and home phone services and plans in areas where both services are available. If your address is serviceable for AT&T and Spectrum, take a look at what each has to offer to determine which is the better provider for your home.

  • Spectrum internet is available in more states (46 to AT&T’s 21), but AT&T internet is available to more households (40% U.S. coverage to Spectrum’s 33%)
  • Both providers offer gigabit internet with download speeds up to 940 Mbps, but AT&T Fiber boasts much faster upload speeds than Spectrum internet.
  • AT&T offers more bundle options and greater discounts for bundling.
  • AT&T ranks higher than Spectrum for internet and TV customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

AT&T vs. Spectrum quick comparison

  • Available in 21 states for internet
  • Internet and TV bundles starting at $84.99/mo.*
  • Standalone internet starting at $35.00mo.**
  • Internet download speeds range 5 to 940 Mbps
  • AT&T TV channels range 65+ to 140+
  • No internet contract required, two-year TV contract required
  • Available in 21 states for internet
  • Internet and TV bundles starting at $84.99/mo.*
  • Standalone internet starting at $35.00mo.**
  • Internet download speeds range 5 to 940 Mbps
  • AT&T TV channels range 65+ to 140+
  • No internet contract required, two-year TV contract required

Click the category below to learn more about what sets these two providers apart.

AT&T vs. Spectrum bundles

AT&T and Spectrum offer bundle packages with varying combinations of internet, TV and home phone services. Here are the lowest-priced bundles from each provider:

Spectrum bundles feature at most three internet speed tiers and three TV package options in most areas.

AT&T bundles offer more options overall with three AT&T Fiber speed tiers and numerous package options from TV services AT&T TV and DIRECTV. If your address is only eligible for AT&T DSL, however, look to Spectrum for more internet options and faster speeds.

AT&T vs. Spectrum internet

AT&T offers DSL and fiber optic internet in select areas. Spectrum delivers internet over a cable network. The difference in internet type results in a few key differences, including availability, pricing and speeds.

AT&T vs. Spectrum internet costs

AT&T internet has a lower starting price than Spectrum ($35/mo. for AT&T Fiber, $45/mo. for AT&T DSL compared to $49.99/mo. for Spectrum). 

If you’re in an area serviceable for AT&T Fiber, you’re likely to get more speed for your money with AT&T compared to Spectrum. For example, AT&T Fiber 300 starts at $45/mo. for speeds up to 300 Mbps whereas Spectrum’s lowest-priced plan starts at $49.99/mo. for speeds up to 200 Mbps. Areas only eligible for AT&T DSL, however, will likely find Spectrum internet to be the better deal.

As for equipment costs, AT&T internet requires a wireless gateway router rental with all internet plans for $10/mo. Spectrum includes your modem at no extra cost and the router rental fee is only $5/mo., or you can use your own equipment.

AT&T vs. Spectrum internet speeds

AT&T Fiber speed tiers

  • 100 Mbps
  • 300 Mbps
  • 940 Mbps

Spectrum internet speed tiers

  • 200 Mbps
  • 400 Mbps
  • 940 Mbps

AT&T Fiber and Spectrum have similar download speeds. In some locations, they’ll be exactly the same as Spectrum’s two lowest plans may only be available in speeds of 100 and 300 Mbps. That said, you’ll get faster upload speeds, which are important for video-conferencing and uploading homework, with AT&T Fiber compared to Spectrum. 

While AT&T Fiber and Spectrum speeds are similar, Spectrum has a speed advantage over AT&T’s DSL service, which only offers max download speeds of 75 Mbps.

AT&T vs. Spectrum data caps

AT&T applies a monthly data cap of 1 TB on their DSL service, but all AT&T Fiber plans come with unlimited data. Spectrum includes unlimited data on all of their internet plans.

AT&T vs. Spectrum contracts

AT&T internet comes with no contract, however you will incur an early termination fee (up to $180) if your new service is canceled after the first 30 days of service. Spectrum internet plans are offered month-to-month, allowing subscribers to cancel service at any time without penalty. Potential Spectrum customers can also take advantage of their $500 contract buyout from a previous provider.  Learn more about the fees you’ll see on your monthly bill with each provider.

AT&T vs. Spectrum cheapest internet plans

If you’re looking for cheap internet plans in your area, AT&T and Spectrum both have plans starting at less than $50 per month. Here’s a look at the cheapest AT&T DSL and fiber plans compared to Spectrum’s cheapest internet plan.

AT&T vs. Spectrum TV service

While AT&T and Spectrum offer comparable internet services, TV service is one category where AT&T has the clear advantage. AT&T offers AT&T TV and DIRECTV across all 50 states. Here’s how AT&T TV compares to Spectrum TV service:

  • AT&T TV package options: Four
  • Channel range: 65+ to 140+
  • Starting price range: $59.99 to $134.99/mo.*
  • DVR service: Included
  • DVR recordings: Up to five shows at once
  • DVR equipment cost: One device free, then starting at $7/mo. each*
  • Contract: Two years
  • Main TV package options: Three
  • Channel range: 125 to 200+
  • Starting price range: $44.99 to $104.99/mo.*
  • DVR service: Starting at $12.99/mo.*
  • DVR recordings: Up to two shows at once
  • DVR equipment cost: Starting at $6.99/mo. each*
  • Contract: None

Use our AT&T TV review, as well as our Spectrum channel guide and AT&T TV channel guide to find the channel and plan you need.

What about AT&T U-verse TV vs. Spectrum?

After acquiring DIRECTV in 2015 and launching their new streaming service, AT&T TV, in February 2020, AT&T has largely curtailed AT&T U-verse TV service. Consequently, AT&T U-verse TV is no longer available to new customers.

U-verse TV is an IPTV service, meaning that TV signals come to the home via the internet, opposed to Spectrum’s traditional cable TV service which uses a coaxial cable. Customers who currently have AT&T U-verse TV will find the service to offer similar pricing, channel lineups and DVR capabilities to that of Spectrum TV.

AT&T vs. Spectrum customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is another category where AT&T consistently outshines Spectrum. Here are their most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index scores based on a scale from 1-100, for both internet and TV services.

AT&T vs. Spectrum availability

Much of AT&T’s internet coverage spans 21 states, with service primarily in the southern states, areas of the Midwest and select areas of California and Nevada. Spectrum’s availability includes select areas of 46 states, making it the second-largest cable internet provider in the U.S. Top service areas for each provider include:

AT&T vs. Spectrum recap

Spectrum is a nice balance of price and speed, but may not present as many options as AT&T. If you want to bundle AT&T TV or DIRECTV, or if your family is big into streaming or gaming and requires faster speeds, AT&T is the only way to go.

  • Pricing: Plan-for-plan, AT&T is cheaper than Spectrum.
  • TV + internet bundles: Thanks to AT&T TV and DIRECTV, AT&T offers more bundle options with better savings than Spectrum.
  • Speed: Spectrum and AT&T’s download speeds max out at 940 Mbps, but AT&T Fiber has faster upload speeds than Spectrum.
  • Customer service: AT&T internet and TV rank higher than Spectrum, but telco customer service is never pretty.

AT&T vs. Spectrum FAQs

Is AT&T cable?

AT&T delivers internet either over phone lines (DSL) or fiber optic cables. No traditional copper cables are used, unlike with Spectrum internet, which uses copper cables to deliver service.

In areas where Spectrum internet and AT&T’s DSL internet are available, Spectrum internet is typically faster. However, AT&T Fiber, where available, has faster internet than Spectrum in most areas.

No, NFL SUNDAY TICKET is only available with DIRECTV. You can get the next season of NFL SUNDAY TICKET included with your order when ordering the CHOICE package or above.

No. AT&T and Spectrum are different providers and offer services independent of one another in unique coverage areas.

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Taylor Gadsden

Written by:

Taylor Gadsden

Writer, Broadband & Wireless Content

Taylor is a veteran member of the Allconnect content team and has spearheaded a number of projects, including a data piece on the top fiber cities in the U.S. and a troubleshooting guide on how to connect your p… Read more

Robin Layton

Edited by:

Robin Layton

Editor, Broadband & Wireless Content

Read bio