Fiber internet providers in your areaCheck Availability
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What is fiber internet?
Fiber-optic internet sends data via streams of light through glass fibers. It’s very popular among consumers because of its speed and reliability, but not every American has access to it. The FCC reports that about 19 million Americans (or 6% of the population) still do not have access to high-speed internet in general, but when it comes to fiber-optic internet that number jumps to 67%.
Theoretically, fiber can reach speeds of up to a terabyte per second, but consumers can pay to reach speeds of about a gigabyte per second. Even the cheapest fiber internet achieves speeds of 100 Mbps, which is enough for four people to stream in 4K at the same time.
If you rely on the internet for your livelihood, or you have a large family who is online every day, fiber internet is the best internet currently available — whether it’s available to you, however, is another matter. Though many internet service providers (ISPs) have plans to enlarge their network, it’s not going to happen overnight.
Who uses fiber-optic internet?
Fiber-optic internet is a great internet choice for just about anyone. High bandwidth-users obviously benefit the most from it because of its minimal to zero lag. Because it’s so reliable, gamers, HD streamers, and remote workers often choose fiber internet even if it means paying a higher monthly service fee.
Currently, only about 33% of U.S. homes are wired for fiber optic internet. It hasn’t reached a larger percentage yet because ISPs have to physically wire each and every home to the network. This takes time and a lot of manual labor, but many ISPs have plans to expand their networks in the near future.
Explore fiber options available in your area by entering your zip code below:
Which companies offer fiber internet?
|Provider||Download Speeds||Features||Installation||Starting Price||Availability|
|AT&T Fiber||100, 300, or 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)||Free AT&T Smart Home Manager; McAfee anti-virus software||Professional installation included with select plans||$49.99/mo.||Check Availability|
|Frontier Fiber||Up to 940 Mbps||Bundle with TV and phone services to save||Installation fees apply||$29.99/mo.||Check Availability|
|Google Fiber||Up to 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps)||Unlimited data and 1TB of free cloud storage||Free installation and no contracts||$50.00/mo.||Check Availability|
|Optimum Fiber||Up to 200 Mbps||Access to over 2 million WiFi hotspots||Free installation when ordering online; no contracts||$44.99/mo.||Check Availability|
|Verizon Fiber||Three plans with either 100, 300, or 1,000 Mbps||All new customers get a free year of Disney+||Installation fees apply||$39.99/mo.||Check Availability|
How does fiber compare to other types?
Fiber-optic internet vs. DSL internet
Like fiber-optic internet, Digital Subscriber Line (or DSL) internet is a type of broadband connection. However, DSL transmits data through existing telephone lines rather than through fiber-optic cables. Speed may be determined by how close you are to your phone company’s nearest facility.
Fiber-optic internet vs. wireless internet
Wireless broadband provides you with an internet connection through a radio link, not a physical cable. It’s frequently used in rural areas, unlike fiber-optic internet which is far less common.
Fiber-optic internet vs. satellite internet
With satellite internet, your online connection is forged based on signals from a satellite orbiting in space. Weather can impact the strength of your signal and both download and upload speeds are substantially slower than what you’d get with fiber.
Fiber-optic internet vs. cable modem internet
Another internet option is a cable modem connection which uses your cable line and has similar speeds to DSL, although nowhere near as fast as fiber-optic.
Pros and cons of fiber internet
- Can be much faster than DSL and cable
- More reliable when compared to other internet delivery methods
- Families and businesses can connect multiple devices to the internet at the same time
- No data caps unlike some other internet methods, there are no over-usage fees
- More expensive compared to other options
- Not available nationwide
- Installation fees vary by provider
All residential fiber optic providers
Sorted by overall footprint for business and residential service, or % USA coverage.
|ISP||Residents Covered||Customers||% USA Coverage|
|Verizon||34993944||Business and Residential||10.7%|
|Crown Castle Fiber||0||Business Only||6.3%|
|Frontier Communications||11347475||Business and Residential||3.5%|
|Monmouth Telecom||0||Business Only||2.6%|
|CenturyLink||4759612||Business and Residential||2.3%|
|Spectrum||61340||Business and Residential||1.8%|
|Cox Communications||1213929||Business and Residential||1.2%|
|Unite Private Networks||0||Business Only||1.1%|
|Centennial Broadband||0||Business Only||0.9%|
|Google Fiber||2130080||Business and Residential||0.7%|
|PenTeleData||2042397||Business and Residential||0.6%|
|Windstream||659960||Business and Residential||0.6%|
|Stealth Communications||0||Business Only||0.5%|
|Harbor Communications||1459040||Business and Residential||0.4%|
|Cincinnati Bell||1303719||Business and Residential||0.4%|
|Telepak Networks||1096167||Business and Residential||0.4%|
|Atlantic Broadband||22204||Business and Residential||0.4%|
|Lightpath by Cablevision||0||Business Only||0.3%|
|Consolidated Communications||684814||Business and Residential||0.3%|
|RCN||706027||Business and Residential||0.2%|
|Metronet||674573||Business and Residential||0.2%|
|Hawaiian Telcom||653493||Business and Residential||0.2%|
|enTouch||650415||Business and Residential||0.2%|
|Ultimate Internet Access||532550||Business and Residential||0.2%|
|Shentel||30857||Business and Residential||0.2%|
|TDS||479350||Business and Residential||0.2%|
|Veracity Networks||430982||Business and Residential||0.1%|
|FirstLight Fiber||136718||Business and Residential||0.1%|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is fiber internet?
Fiber internet uses fiber-optic technology to transmit data by converting electric signals to light, which then goes through glass fibers. The end result is a super-fast speed that outperforms both DSL and cable modems.
Who should use fiber internet?
There are a number of scenarios that are ideal for fiber internet. Telemedicine is a great example, where doctors can connect with rural patients to discuss medical issues, test results and more without having to travel.
It’s also great for distance learning for online colleges. Everyday use for consumers includes streaming movies, music and online games without any interruptions.
What equipment and installation is needed for fiber internet?
As long as your area is already connected to fiber-optic cables, your internet service provider should provide you with the necessary equipment and send a technician for installation. The two primary pieces of equipment they’ll include are an optical network terminal and a router.
Does fiber-optic internet use a phone line?
No, fiber-optic is a type of broadband internet that doesn’t require a phone line.
How much does fiber internet cost?
Fiber internet costs vary between each provider. To get the best deal, the FTC recommends asking a series of questions before choosing an ISP. These include:
- Is there a discount for bundling services with your company?
- Do you have any current promotions?
- Are there any cancellation fees?
How fast is fiber internet?
Fiber internet is the fastest type of internet available today. At a maximum, it can currently reach speeds of 10,000 Mbps (10 Gbps).