How does Cincinnati Bell compare to Spectrum internet?

Whether you enjoy gaming, social media, streaming movies, or browsing online, an internet plan from Cincinnati Bell or Spectrum can meet your needs. Before you decide which company is best for you and your family, it’s a good idea to consider the differences between Cincinnati Bell and Spectrum. We’ve researched and compared these internet service providers (ISPs) to help you make the best choice.

Who Cincinnati Bell and Spectrum internet are for

When considering internet options, it’s a good idea to assess your household size, budget, and speed requirements. Then, you can narrow down your choices by taking a look at available plans.

Cincinnati Bell is an excellent choice for people who want fast speeds and reliable service for low prices. Despite its name, Cincinnati Bell offers internet service in 28 states but its largest coverage areas are in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

Internet service from Cincinnati Bell starts at $44.99/month for 250Mbps, and you can add basic cable TV for only $4.99/month more. If you have a large family that needs more bandwidth, you may want to opt for the 1000Mbps plan for $69.99/month. Regardless of which plan you choose, the first month of internet service is also free.

Spectrum also offers reliable, fast internet service at reasonable prices. Its cheapest plan is $49.99/month for 200Mbps and for those with heavier speed requirements, you can get 1000Mbps for $89.99/month. Spectrum internet is available in more than 7,000 cities and suburban areas across 44 states in the US. However, those in rural areas may have limited access to Spectrum internet offerings.*

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Key considerations

Before you decide between Cincinnati Bell and Spectrum internet, it’s a good idea to think about additional fees, charges and contract requirements.

Installation fees

Cincinnati Bell users can skip the installation fee if they use their own modem. Otherwise, they may have to pay up to $125. Spectrum charges $49.99 for installation, but you can lower that to $9.99 by choosing their self-installation option.

Modem fees

Cincinnati Bell charges $9.99/month to rent a modem or wireless gateway but you can use your own compatible device at no extra charge. Spectrum includes a free modem, but the router has a $5/month rental fee. However, you can save on this monthly cost by using your own router.

Data overage fees

All Cincinnati Bell and Spectrum plans come with unlimited data. You won’t get hit by data overage fees or throttled speeds after you download or transmit a specific amount of data.

Early termination fees

Internet plans from Spectrum and Cincinnati Bell have no contracts and no early termination fees.

Non-return equipment fees

Cincinnati Bell charges customers for the value of rented equipment if they don’t return it within 30 days of termination, and this fee can range from $100 to $300. Spectrum also has a non-return fee, which is around $200 for most modems.

Prices after 12 months

Cincinnati Bell guarantees prices for all its plans for at least 12 months. With the 1 Gig internet plan, the price stays the same for three years. Spectrum prices may or may not change after the first 12 months. For both companies, rates can vary depending on your location.*

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What others say about Cincinnati Bell and Spectrum internet

Cincinnati Bell

In a 2022 review of the best providers in Cincinnati, U.S. World & News Report recommended Cincinnati Bell for its advanced fiberoptic network, affordable starting rates, and unlimited data.


Spectrum’s internet services received high scores on the J.D. Power 2021 Customer Satisfaction Survey. The overall rating across the 44 states where Spectrum operates ranged between 676 and 725 out of 1,000.

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How do Cincinnati Bell and Spectrum internet packages compare?

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*Pricing varies by location and availability. Speeds may vary. All prices subject to change; for current pricing and availability visit our internet service page. Prices as of 3/3/22.

Disclosure | Updater articles are based on our own data and research, independent from partner relationships. We are not compensated by partners for information and opinions presented here. Our Editorial Terms of Service can be found here.