Best Fiber Internet Service Providers of 2023 – CNET

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AT&T Fiber – Best fiber internet provider overall

  • Prices from $55 – $180 per month
  • Speeds from 300 – 5,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

CenturyLink – Best fiber internet coverage

  • Prices from $30 – $70 per month
  • Speeds from 200 – 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Frontier Fiber – Best low-cost fiber plan

  • Prices from $50 – $155 per month
  • Speeds from 500 – 5,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Google Fiber – Best fiber internet gig plans

  • Prices from $70 – $100 per month
  • Speeds from 1,000 – 2,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Verizon Fios – Best signup bonuses

  • Prices from $50 – $120 per month
  • Speeds from 300 – 2,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Windstream Kinetic – Best for fiber in rural areas

  • Prices from $40 – $70 per month
  • Speeds from 100 – 1,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Ziply Fiber – Fastest fiber internet provider

  • Prices from $20 – $300 per month
  • Speeds from 50 – 10,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Your internet speeds, reliability and overall experience don’t depend solely on the internet provider you choose. The technology it uses to run service to your home makes a big difference as well.

If I could recommend any internet connection type above all the rest, that’d be fiber. My fiber internet speeds, upload and download, are fast and consistent, even during peak usage times or inclement weather. The standard monthly rate of fiber internet services, while not the cheapest service among internet providers in my area, is still a great value considering the speeds I get. 

My experience with fiber internet isn’t unique, but not all fiber ISPs are the same. You’ll find that prices, speed tiers and terms of service vary among providers – and that’s why certain fiber ISPs rise above the rest. 

Each of the best internet providers listed below uses a fiber-to-the-home network, which all but guarantees the best connection quality, speed and reliability. Additionally, these providers stand out for their exceptional pricing, availability, customer satisfaction and other factors. We update this list periodically.

Sarah Tew/CNET

AT&T Fiber

Best fiber internet provider overall

Product details


Price range

$55 – $180 per month

Speed range

300 – 5,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included

CenturyLink logo on a phone against pink background
Sarah Tew/CNET

CenturyLink

Best fiber internet coverage

Product details


Price range

$30 – $70 per month

Speed range

200 – 940Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included with gigabit tier

Though AT&T Fiber and Verizon Fios are available to more people, CenturyLink’s fiber network covers more areas, with fiber service that spans an impressive 25 states. CenturyLink also operates primarily in suburban and rural areas, bringing high-speed fiber connections to areas that may not otherwise have access to them. 

However, people living in CenturyLink fiber service areas only have two plan options: 100 or 200Mbps starting at $30 a month, or gigabit service starting at $70 a month. While more plan options would be nice, CenturyLink’s gigabit speed plan is still a pretty good deal. At $70 a month for speeds up to 940Mbps and no equipment fees, CenturyLink is one of the cheapest fiber providers for gigabit service.

Frontier
Sarah Tew/CNET

Frontier Fiber

Best low-cost fiber plan

Product details


Price range

$50 – $155 per month

Speed range

500 – 5,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, no equipment fee

Frontier Communications recently expanded its fiber internet coverage to 19 states and then rolled out a new multigig service to the entire footprint all at once, becoming the first major ISP to do so.

Frontier’s new multigig plans are priced competitively at $100 a month for speeds up to 2,000Mbps and $155 monthly for the 5 Gig plan. Even if you don’t need all that speed, the lower tiers — 500Mbps starting at $50 per month and gig service starting at $70 monthly — are as good a value as you’ll find from any major provider.

Like AT&T and Verizon Fios, Frontier Fiber plans come with unlimited data and require no contract. Unlike many other providers, Frontier includes the equipment cost with the price, so other than taxes, Frontier plan pricing is very much “what you see is what you pay.” 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google Fiber

Best fiber internet gig plans

Product details


Price range

$70 – $100 per month

Speed range

1,000 – 2,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included

Google Fiber is still around and resuming expansion after a multiyear hiatus. Where available, Google Fiber offers fiber internet service starting at $70 a month and a 2Gbps plan starting at $100 a month. Both come with equipment included at no extra cost, no data caps and no contracts. 

There’s also the newly introduced 5 gig and 8 gig plans for $125 and $150 per month, respectively. Availability is currently limited, but a Google Fiber spokesperson confirmed with CNET that the provider aims to extend the plans to all service areas later this year.

Fios logo
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Verizon Fios

Best signup bonuses

Product details


Price range

$50 – $120 per month

Speed range

300 – 2,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment with gig service

Verizon Fios is a close second to AT&T in terms of speed, pricing and service terms, but it lacks the same breadth of coverage. Though available to nearly the same number of potential customers as AT&T Fiber, Verizon Fios primarily serves the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. 

Those lucky enough to live in a Verizon Fios service area will likely find the fiber internet service is hard to beat, especially for those looking for a low-cost connection. Starting at just $50 a month, the lowest-price Fios internet plan comes with concurrent download and upload speeds of up to 300Mbps. The next speed tier is also a decent value — $70 a month for up to 500Mbps — but at $90 per month, gigabit service is priced the same or a touch higher than you’ll find with other fiber providers. 

Whichever Fios plan you sign up for, expect some enticing extras with your order, like free streaming subscriptions, electronics, gift cards or other promotional offers.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Windstream Kinetic

Best for fiber in rural areas

Product details


Price range

$40 – $70 per month

Speed range

100 – 1,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts

One disadvantage of fiber internet is that it’s typically only available in select neighborhoods of larger cities. If you’re living in the suburbs or a rural area, then your best chance to get fiber internet is likely Kinetic by Windstream. Roughly a third of Windstream’s network — which spans rural and suburban areas across 18 states — is fiber optic.

Windstream is one of the best rural internet providers, bringing high-speed connections to places likely underserved by cable or by other fiber internet providers. Those in a Kinetic service area will also appreciate the low pricing — $37 a month for speeds of up to 200Mbps where available, and gigabit service for only $67 a month — along with unlimited data and no contract requirements.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Ziply Fiber

Fastest fiber internet provider

Product details


Price range

$20 – $300 per month

Speed range

50 – 10,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Highlights

Unlimited data, no contracts, fast rural internet connection

Ziply Fiber recently rolled out a 10Gbps plan, effectively making it the fastest major ISP across its Northwest footprint in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington — if not the fastest provider nationwide. 

As streaming, online gaming and remote working and learning have become more commonplace, faster internet speeds are in high demand. Still, 10Gbps is more than the average household will need. For everyone else, Ziply Fiber offers a range of other speed tiers from 100 to 5,000Mbps.

Read our Ziply Fiber review.

Fiber internet honorable mentions

  • EarthLink: EarthLink makes use of the fiber networks installed by other providers or municipal fiber-optic networks, which means available speeds and service quality can vary widely from one region to the next. In select areas, EarthLink offers fiber service with speeds of up to 1 gigabit for around $100 a month.
  • Optimum: Optimum is primarily a cable internet provider, but it does have a growing fiber network, particularly in the greater NYC area. Approximately 1.6 million households are available for fiber service in the area. Fiber plans are priced the same as Optimum’s cable internet service.
  • Xfinity: Comcast Xfinity’s fiber service is also somewhat limited in availability and offers an impressive max speed of up to 6,000Mbps. The catch? The plan comes with an equally jaw-dropping price of $300 a month.

Let’s sum it up

If fiber internet service is available in your area, it’s probably worth getting, especially if any of the providers listed above is an option. AT&T is easiest to recommend thanks to its high availability, low costs and favorable service terms, but Verizon Fios is a close second with low pricing, high customer satisfaction and lots of perks for signing up. Google Fiber, Frontier Fiber, Windstream, CenturyLink and Ziply Fiber round out the list of ideal options while providers like EarthLink, Optimum and others are worth a look, too, if available in your area.

Close up of fiber optic cables

Andrew Brookes/Getty Images

Fiber internet FAQs

What is fiber internet?

Fiber-optic internet sends internet signals via thin glass wires either straight to the home, aka FTTH, or to a node just outside the home, aka FTTN. The technology allows higher bandwidth and faster data transmission than any other connection type, and has the unique capability of delivering symmetrical or near-symmetrical download and upload speeds. Fiber internet uses a different type of modem than DSL or the DOCSIS equipment used for cable. In fact, fiber technically doesn’t use a modem at all, but an optical network terminal that performs the same function.

Is fiber the best internet to get?

Yes. Fiber-optic internet offers speeds and reliability that other internet connection types simply cannot, and you can get it for around the same monthly price as cable internet or DSL service. The one drawback is availability: Fiber-optic service is only available to about 36% of US residents, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Is fiber internet expensive?

Starting prices for fiber internet plans typically range from $30 to $50 a month, with gigabit service ranging from $60 to $80 a month. While there are cheaper plans available with cable or DSL internet service in select areas, fiber service is likely to come with better speed and connection quality for the price.

When will fiber be available near me?

If fiber hasn’t reached your address yet, I’m sorry to say you’ll just have to be patient, as providers are actively expanding their fiber networks across the US. You’re more likely to see fiber come to your neighborhood if you live in a city or densely populated area, but providers like Windstream and CenturyLink show that fiber access in suburban and rural areas is also obtainable.

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