Best Internet Providers in Charlottesville, Virginia – CNET

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As the home of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville’s internet offerings must meet the needs of scholars and permanent residents alike. All need a reliable internet connection for work, school, streaming and staying connected with friends and family nearby or far away.

CNET recommends Xfinity as the best internet service provider in Charlottesville owing to its plan selection and extensive coverage throughout the area. However, local fiber provider Ting is an excellent choice if you’re looking for gig internet. For a low-cost internet alternative, you may consider T-Mobile’s 5G home internet service, which covers much of Charlottesville with max speeds ranging from 72 to 245Mbps. 

Our methodology

Best internet options in Charlottesville

We think Xfinity is the best internet provider for most Charlottesville residents, but there are other decent options if you’re looking for something else. You’ll find our picks for the best ISPs in Charlottesville below.

Xfinity

Best internet provider in Charlottesville

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Product details


Price range

$20 – $300 per month

Speed range

75 – 6,000Mbps

Connection

Cable

Key Info

Data caps on some plans, lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers

Xfinity is an established provider of cable internet service in Charlottesville and the surrounding area. Xfinity scored two points above the industry average in the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index report and finished above average in three of four regions in the J.D. Power study for 2022.

Availability: Xfinity offers cable internet service to 99% of Charlottesville households, according to the FCC

Plans and pricing: Xfinity offers five different plans in Charlottesville, with various options to suit different needs. The cheapest plan, Xfinity Connect More, offers download speeds up to 200Mbps starting at $25. For $10 more monthly, you can upgrade to the Fast plan, with download speeds up to 400Mbps. Next is the Superfast plan, offering double the download speed potential, 800Mbps, starting at $60 per month. Xfinity has two gigabit plans in Charlottesville: download speeds up to 1Gbps starting at $70 per month or 1.2Gbps starting at $80. 

Xfinity’s cable internet, while reliable, doesn’t perform as well as fiber internet, with upload speeds limited to 35Mbps or below. 

The Connect More plan increases in price after the first year, while most other plans increase after two or three years.

Fees and service details: Contracts are required on some Xfinity plans to get the best rates. Equipment rental starts at $15 per month, but customers can use their own equipment and skip the fee, and Xfinity Mobile customers waive the fee altogether on all but the cheapest plan.

Read our Xfinity Internet review.

. . .

Ting Internet

Best fiber provider in Charlottesville

. . .

Product details


Price range

$19-$89 per month

Speed range

5-1,000Mbps

Connection

Fiber

Key Info

Unlimited data, no contracts

Ting is your best bet for fiber internet in Charlottesville. There’s only one plan available, but the 100% fiber connection’s speed and reliability make it worth checking out.

Availability: Service is available throughout much of the city — nearly 60% of Charlottesville households, per the Federal Communications Commission. Neighborhoods along Water St. and E. High St. will see the best availability. However, those in Locust Grove and around the University of Virginia will likely be serviceable for Ting.

Plans and pricing: Ting offers one plan in the Charlottesville area: Home Gigabit. The plan advertises speeds up to 1,000Mbps upload and download (a significant advantage to fiber internet) starting at $89 per month. 

Fees and service details: Wi-Fi can add $11 or $18 to your monthly bill depending on the level of service you choose, or you can use your own router and skip the fee altogether. There are no data caps or contracts required.

. . .

T-Mobile Home Internet

Best fixed wireless internet in Charlottesville

. . .

Product details


Price range

$50 per month ($30 for eligible mobile customers)

Speed range

72 – 245Mbps

Connection

Fixed wireless

Key Info

Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees

T-Mobile Home Internet offers fast, fixed-wireless internet in Charlottesville. With the highest approval rating of any nonfiber provider in the country according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, T-Mobile is a top choice for home internet in Charlottesville.
Availability: T-Mobile Home Internet is available to more than two-thirds of Charlottesville residences. Serviceability is greatest just outside the city center in the surrounding communities of Belmont and Woolen Hills.
Plans and pricing: T-Mobile offers a single home internet plan for a monthly price of $50 for download speeds ranging from 72 to 245Mbps. By bundling with an eligible T-Mobile mobile plan, customers can save an additional $20 off the monthly rate. Your price is locked in for as long as you remain a customer.
Fees and service details: There are no equipment fees, data caps or contracts.

Read our T-Mobile Home Internet review.

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All available Charlottesville internet providers

The providers listed above may not be your only internet options in Charlottesville. They’re just the ones we’d recommend most and consider first if moving to the area. Brightspeed is another possible choice for fiber internet in Charlottesville, and satellite internet may best serve residents of surrounding rural areas where other connection types are unavailable.

Provider Monthly price range Download speed (Mbps) Internet technology CNET review score
Brightspeed $50-$59 20-940 DSL, fiber N/A
HughesNet $50-$150 15-50 Satellite 5.7
Starlink $120 25-220 Low-orbit satellite N/A
Ting Internet $89 1,000 Fiber N/A
T-Mobile Home Internet $50 72-245 5G wireless 7.4
Viasat $65-$250 25-150 Satellite 6.1
Xfinity $25-$80 200-1,200 Cable 7

Show more (3 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Brightspeed: Brightspeed recently took over operations from CenturyLink in the Charlottesville area. Its services are available to about 5% of Charlottesville households, with its slower and less desirable DSL offering making up most of that and its fiber service covering the rest.

Fiber internet starts at $59 per month, lower than Ting, so it’s worth checking to see if your address is serviceable. Locations where fiber is unavailable may still be serviceable for Brightspeed’s DSL service, which starts at $50 per month for the fastest speeds available, up to 100Mbps.

Satellite internet: HughesNet, Viasat and satellite internet newcomer Starlink are available throughout Charlottesville and surrounding areas. However, other faster and more budget-friendly options should be considered before turning to satellite internet. 

Charlottesville broadband at a glance

All Charlottesville residents can access broadband speeds of 25Mbps down, 3Mbps up and higher. Faster speeds, up to 250Mbps down and 25Mbps up, are also available to nearly every Charlottesville household. Many will also have access to gigabit speeds, with providers such as Brightspeed, Xfinity and Ting offering speeds up to 1,000Mbps or higher. 

Directional sign on the pedestrian mall in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Joel Carillet/Getty Images

Charlottesville internet pricing

Xfinity offers the cheapest internet service, starting at $25 per month for speeds up to 200Mbps, followed by T-Mobile Home Internet, which starts at $50 per month (or $30 per month if you use the mobile bundle discount). Brightspeed has the best deal on gigabit service, featuring symmetrical download and upload speeds for $79 per month, but again, availability is highly limited in Charlottesville.

Cheapest internet plans in Charlottesville

Provider/plan Starting monthly price Max download speed (Mbps) Monthly equipment fee
Xfinity Connect More $25 200 $15 (optional)
T-Mobile Home Internet $30 (with qualifying discount) 245 None
Brightspeed Internet $50 100 $15

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Internet for low-income households in Charlottesville

Residents of low-income households and students seeking low-cost home internet service will want to consider applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program. Through this federal subsidy, qualifying households can receive $30 per month ($75 on tribal lands) for home internet costs. 

Xfinity offers two separate internet plans for qualifying low-income households that are available for a net cost of $0 per month when combined with the ACP credit. Internet Essentials comes with download speeds up to 50Mbps starting at $10 per month, while the faster Internet Essentials Plus plan offers up to 100Mbps starting at $30.

How fast is broadband in Charlottesville?

Median download speeds in Charlottesville are around 172Mbps, according to the most recent Ookla speed test data. That’s below the national average of 210Mbps and the state average (205Mbps), but it’s worth noting plans with faster max speeds are available from various providers in Charlottesville. 

Fastest internet plans in Charlottesville

Provider/Plan Max download speed (Mbps) Max upload speed (Mbps) Starting monthly price Data cap
Xfinity Gigabit Extra 1,200 35 $80 None
Ting Internet 1,000 1,000 $89 None
Brightspeed Fiber 1,000 1,000 $79 None
T-Mobile Home Internet 72-245 15-31 $50 None

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Charlottesville

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every internet service provider in a given city. So what’s our approach? For starters, we tap into a proprietary database of pricing, availability and speed information that draws from our own historical ISP data, partner data and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at FCC.gov. 

This guide leverages an in-house artificial intelligence tool called RAMP, which is trained on our own writing and uses our database to generate content about specific internet service providers that our writers can use in determining and presenting our picks for a given guide. Check CNET’s AI policy for more information about how our teams use (and don’t use) AI tools. 

Because our database is not exhaustive, we go to the FCC’s website to check the primary data for ourselves and make sure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. Plans and prices also vary by location, so we input local addresses on provider websites to find the specific options available to residents. We look at sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power, to evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of the time of our pre-publication fact-check.

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions: 

  1. Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds? 
  2. Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying? 
  3. Are customers happy with their service? 

While the answer to those questions is often layered and complex, the providers who come closest to “yes” on all three are the ones we recommend. To explore our process in more depth, you can visit our How we test ISPs page.

Internet in Charlottesville recap

Many Charlottesville residents will find Xfinity to be the area’s best ISP in terms of availability and plan selection. The provider’s cable service can’t quite deliver the upload speed of a fiber-optic connection, however, which is where regional providers Ting and Brightspeed may have an advantage. Those looking to “cut the cord” for a possibly cheaper internet connection with fewer hassles and fees should check to see if T-Mobile Home Internet is available.

Internet providers in Charlottesville FAQs

Which is the best internet service provider in Charlottesville?

Is fiber internet available in Charlottesville?

Which is the cheapest internet provider in Charlottesville?

Which internet provider in Charlottesville offers the fastest plan?

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