What’s the Best Fiber Internet Provider?
Is your internet speed slowing you down? If so, you may be looking to upgrade to fiber optic internet, which offers the fastest and most reliable internet connection available. Although availability is limited, if you can get fiber internet in your area it’s worth taking a look at what the top internet service providers (ISPs) have to offer.
Based on a thorough review of available data, AT&T Fiber, Google Fiber, and CenturyLink stand out as three of the best fiber ISPs in the marketplace. What are the pros and cons of each? Which ISP offers the best gigabit internet package? We’ve done the research to bring you the answers to these questions and more.
Who this is for
If you want the speed and reliability of fiber internet for a reasonable monthly price, you’ll find some good options available from AT&T. At $55/month, AT&T’s entry-level 300Mbps package works well for families that want to connect up to ten devices at once to watch movies, play games, watch videos online, and more.
Are you a remote worker, streamer, avid gamer, or just want super-fast internet speeds? All three ISPs offer plans that can meet your needs, with gigabit fiber internet prices varying between $60 and $80/month. If you find yourself in need of something even faster than gigabit internet, Google Fiber offers a 2000Mbps plan for $100/month, which is a good choice for large households with heavy internet usage. AT&T offers a 2000Mbps plan as well for $110/month, along with an ultra-fast 5000Mbps plan for $180/month.
What else do you need to know when considering a fiber internet provider?
All three ISPs offer well-rounded gigabit internet plans, with AT&T offering lower-speed packages and Google Fiber offering some of the fastest speeds.
AT&T offers three fiber internet plans: a 300Mbps plan starting at $55/month, a 500Mbps plan starting at $60/month, and a gigabit plan starting at $80/month for 12 months, along with two premium packages a 2000Mbps plan for $110/month and a 5000Mbps plan for $180/month.
Google Fiber offers two packages: a gigabit speed internet plan starting at $70/month and a 2000Mbps plan starting at $100/month. Google Fiber’s 2000Mbps plan offers faster download speed than any other fiber internet provider.
CenturyLink offers a 940Mbps fiber internet plan for $65/month.
AT&T and CenturyLink both charge $99 for installation, but installation is free for many Google Fiber customers. However, depending on where you sign up for service, you may need to pay a $300 construction fee for Google Fiber. If you do end up needing to pay for construction, Google Fiber will let you know before you sign up for service and allow you to pay $25/month for 12 months instead of paying the fee all at once.
Google Fiber doesn’t charge you an equipment fee, while AT&T charges $10/month, and CenturyLink charges $15/month. With CenturyLink, you can purchase a modem for $200 to save on monthly equipment costs. AT&T lets you bring your own modem, but even if you do so you’ll still need to pay the $10 monthly equipment fee.
Contracts and early termination fees
AT&T, Google Fiber, and CenturyLink are all contract-free services. That means you won’t pay any termination fees upon cancellation of your fiber internet service.
Data caps and overage fees
AT&T, Google Fiber, and CenturyLink offer unlimited data, which means you won’t have to pay any data overage fees. Plus, all three ISPs offer no throttling, so you’ll get consistently fast speeds no matter how much data you use.
Equipment non-return fees
If you cancel service but fail to return the equipment, you’ll end up paying a non-return fee with all three ISPs. Google Fiber has the lowest fee at $70 per device, followed by AT&T with a $150 fee, and CenturyLink charges a $200 fee.*
What others are saying
AT&T earned a rating as the best overall fiber internet provider from CNET. With fiber services available to more than 36 million homes in 21 states, AT&T serves the most fiber customers the US. What’s more, AT&T offers the cheapest gigabit fiber internet plan, and its lower-tier packages give families the power of fiber at a price that won’t break the bank.
On the customer service front, AT&T tied with Verizon as the #1 internet provider with a score of 71 out of 100 from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI). J.D. Power placed AT&T in the top spot in the North Central and South regions.
CNET reports that CenturyLink has the biggest geographic footprint — reaching 25 states. Another benefit is that CenturyLink operates primarily in suburban and rural areas, bringing fiber internet options to areas that other providers may not reach.
CenturyLink also offers symmetrical upload and download speeds, according to U.S. News & World Report. Although not a dealbreaker for most people, symmetrical internet is great for anyone who uploads large files regularly.
With its blazing-fast 2000Mbps plan, Google Fiber offers faster download speeds than any other fiber ISP. According to CNET, that’s one big plus for Google Fiber, along with Its lack of data caps, equipment fees, or contracts.
Although Google Fiber isn’t the cheapest ISP around, its price per Mbps is reasonable. Google Fiber isn’t as widely available as some competitors, but its reach has more than doubled in the last four years.
Fiber internet provider FAQs
Which ISPs offer low-cost fiber internet plans?
AT&T offers fiber internet plans starting at $55/month, and its gigabit internet is the lowest price around at $60/month. At $65/month, CenturyLink is another lower-cost fiber internet option, and Google Fiber’s $70/month plan is competitive.
Who is the fastest fiber internet provider?
AT&T wins the race for the fastest fiber internet speeds with its 5000Mbps plan.
Who has the biggest fiber internet coverage area?
CenturyLink has the biggest fiber internet reach in the US, with a presence in 25 states. The company reports that fiber is available to approximately 50% of the households it serves and their fiber coverage is growing. However, AT&T and rival Verizon Fios both have more customers using fiber internet services when compared with CenturyLink.
*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 2/3/22.