Best Fiber Internet Provider of 2023
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You’ve probably heard the buzz about fiber internet. Teachers, remote workers, gamers, presidents, and CEOs are all talking about fiber. In all walks of life, people know that fiber internet is going to change our digital world forever.
Fiber gives you a whole new level of superfast internet, far above the speed of all previous internet types. Even better, fiber often costs less than other internet connections.
Internet service providers are rushing to build fiber infrastructure as fast as they can. If you’re lucky, you may already have more than one choice for fiber internet in your neighborhood.
In this article, we will explore the best fiber internet providers of 2023. We’ll also show you why fiber internet is a game-changer, and how to choose the best fiber internet plan for your needs.
What is Fiber Internet?
Fiber internet offers unprecedented internet speed and data capacity. If you have fiber internet, you will get much faster uploads, downloads, and streaming compared to older internet technologies like DSL or cable. And fiber internet will prepare you for a near future of even more digital innovations that will need massive bandwidth.
Pros & Cons of Fixed Wireless Internet
Lightning-fast, symmetrical speeds: Fiber internet can deliver symmetrical download and upload speeds up to 5000 Mbps (5 Gigs). Some fiber ISPs are introducing 10 Gigs.
Low latency and high reliability: Fiber has the lowest latency of any internet connection and is least affected by weather or network congestion.
Lower pricing than other internet types: First-tier internet plans often seem to have similar pricing, but fiber will give you much better performance for your dollar. Lately, fiber internet providers have even been offering lower pricing than the first-tier cable internet plans.
Building fiber infrastructure is expensive: Fiber internet is so fast because it uses fiber-optic lines to carry data. Laying these lines/cables underground is an expensive process and requires big investments. That’s why fiber is not available to more homes despite its clear advantages. Fortunately, the federal government and many fiber ISPs are partnering to build out fiber infrastructure as quickly as possible.
Less available in rural and remote areas: Rural and remote locations are harder to reach with fiber lines. Sometimes, mountains or water get in the way. Have fewer customers in a rural or remote area means it’s less profitable for ISPs to invest in infrastructure.
Benefits of Fiber Internet
Internet at Lightspeed
Fiber internet sends data at unbelievably fast speeds. It’s not quite the full speed of light, but even 69% of lightspeed is still lightning-fast! At that speed, you can circle the earth five times in one second. Downloading large files, streaming HD or 4K videos, and online gaming become seamless experiences.
Fiber internet is immune to signal interference from electromagnetic sources, unlike most other internet types. In other words, your microwave or your neighbor’s router will not disrupt your internet connection. Fiber internet also does not experience weather-related disruption from storms, which can be an issue for satellite internet and fixed wireless internet.
Unlike other types of internet connections, fiber internet provides equally fast upload and download speeds. We can’t overstate how important this advance is. There’s a major difference between getting a speed called “200 Mbps” from cable internet or from fiber internet. You will get 200 Mbps download speed from both, but you will often get only about 10-15 Mbps upload from cable internet. Fiber will instead give you the full 200 Mbps for your upload speed. Symmetrical speeds are crucial for activities like video conferencing, cloud backups, and large file uploads with graphics or video.
Future-Forward Fiber Technology
Fiber-optic internet supplies the huge bandwidth needed by emerging technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT). As the internet continues to develop and offer new opportunities, everyone will eventually want fiber in order to keep up with the necessary speeds.
Top Fiber Internet Providers
When you have the option of fiber internet, you will usually find it superior to your other internet technology options. So, if any of the ISPs below is the only fiber internet provider in your area, it’s always a good idea to go with fiber service.
One more important note as you review fiber providers. Be aware that a number of these ISPs offer DSL or cable in addition to their fiber service. If your goal is to get all-fiber service, remember to look carefully at the plans that are available at your specific home address to make sure you are getting a fiber plan.
Best Fiber Internet Provider of 2023
AT&T Fiber offers industry-leading speeds of 5000 Mbps, with a mind-boggling 10,000 Mbps on the way. The company is known for a very reliable network and widespread coverage in many areas across the United States. AT&T Fiber provides excellent customer service and offers bundled services such as TV and phone options. In addition, their prices are competitive, and they do not charge surprise fees or equipment fees. With the added bonus of no data caps and no required annual contracts, it’s hard to beat AT&T Fiber. Like other providers, they are building out their fiber network rapidly, so AT&T Fiber will soon be available in even more areas. Their goal is a total of 30 million homes by the end of 2025.
It’s hard to go wrong with the performance of fiber internet. Fiber is going to beat all its competitors for speed and reliability, including cable, DSL, satellite, and fixed wireless. So, if you don’t yet have AT&T Fiber in your area, you’ll still get great internet access with one of these national or regional fiber providers.
Kinetic is available in 18 states, with the widest coverage in Georgia, Iowa, and Kentucky. Their multi-billion-dollar fiber investment plan claims that by 2027, fiber will be available to 50% of its customers. The good news is that many of those customers live in rural areas, so Kinetic will be expanding fiber service to more U.S. households. Kinetic offers great promotional rates and no data caps, but there will be a significant price increase after the first year at the promotional rate. Kinetic does charge an equipment rental fee in addition to the monthly plan.
Brightspeed Fiber is a brand-new provider in the fiber market, The company started with the purchase of a large copper network covering 20 states, which makes Brightspeed already the 12th-largest internet provider in the nation. Brightspeed’s mission is to transform that copper network to build fiber in underserved areas. If you live in a rural area in one of their coverage states, you may get your first chance at fiber internet access from Brightspeed. They prioritize customer satisfaction and offer simple, competitive pricing with no hidden fees, no data caps, and no equipment fees.
Quantum Fiber provides fiber internet with good speed and reliability. In addition, this provider is known for having one of the best plan prices for their first-tier internet. However, their plan speeds do not reach the heights of some other ISP’s. They currently offer a top speed of up to 940 Mbps. Still, a symmetrical speed of 940 Mbps will be more than enough for most average households, as you will be able to stream in HD on multiple devices. Quantum/CenturyLink will require an equipment rental fee, but you can also use your own modem/router if it is compatible.
Frontier Fiber offers fiber internet services to over 16.2 million people, making it one of the largest fiber ISPs. Though most of that fiber access is currently concentrated in California, Florida, and Texas, Frontier has recently expanded fiber access into a total of 15 states. Frontier Fiber is known for good plan pricing for the speeds offered. With no data caps and no equipment fees, their pricing is also simple enough to avoid any confusion. Plan speeds range from 500 Mbps to an impressive 5 Gigs (5000 Mbps). Though Frontier scores below average in the JD Power U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study, those customer responses are often based on Frontier’s DSL service. Frontier Fiber’s better speeds and reliability may be the reason that Frontier’s scores improved in 2022.
Like other top providers on this list, Ziply Fiber offers you freedom from data caps and annual contracts. Ziply is primarily based in the Northwest states and is popular for its low promotional prices. Even after those promotional rates expire, Ziply’s prices are still competitive. Their lowest-priced plans offer lower speeds than usual for fiber internet (50 Mbps), but the speeds are still symmetrical. If you want to pay more than the rock-bottom rate, Ziply can take you all the way up to 10,000 Mbps in some areas. Ziply is also committed to bringing fiber to rural areas, which is a plus for digital opportunity.
Fidium is another very new fiber internet provider that launched in late 2021. Fidium Fiber is currently available in 8 states: California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont. Prices are good for all plans, with the lowest-priced plan starting at 50 Mbps. Maximum speeds go up to 2 Gigs at monthly prices that are very competitive for that level of speed. A Wi-Fi 6 gateway rental is included with the monthly fee, and Fidium requires no contracts or data caps.
Earthlink Fiber provides lightning-fast speeds and dependable connectivity. You will pay more for Earthlink Fiber than for some other ISPs because Earthlink is a third-party seller. The internet service they sell you is actually provided through infrastructure from another major fiber provider. The reason many people are willing to pay that extra third-party fee is because Earthlink has always placed a premium on customer service. So, if customer service is your top priority, Earthlink may be your preferred fiber internet option.
Metronet Fiber serves 16 states. They have a reliable network and a reputation for excellent customer support. Metronet provides unlimited data with no data caps and does not require contracts. Equipment is included in the monthly plan fee. Metronet is known for good prices. The ISP does not offer quite the fiber speed levels of some of its competitors, with many households only going up to 1 Gig. But those speeds are symmetrical, and 2 Gig speeds are starting to roll out in select areas.
Though Lumos (formerly NorthState) only offers service in North Carolina and Virginia, the ISP gets good reviews for its speeds, prices, and customer service. Very low promotional rates for the first year will increase to higher prices later. But overall, Lumos is still a good deal for the symmetrical, fast speeds of all-fiber internet. Lumos has no data caps or annual contracts, but this provider does charge a monthly equipment rental fee.
Verizon Fios is the premium all-fiber internet service that Verizon offers to its customers. The all-fiber network of Verizon Fios is popular in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and Verizon is the 4th largest internet service provider in the nation. Verizon Fios offers superfast, symmetrical speeds up to 2 Gigs in select areas, and also ranks high in customer satisfaction surveys. Offering a choice of several plans and attractive, low prices with no data caps, Verizon Fios is one of the best internet providers serving the market.
How to Choose the Best Fiber Internet Provider
Ready to choose a fiber internet provider? Keep in mind these five factors that we also use when we make our recommendations.
It’s simple but unavoidable that you can only get fiber internet if the infrastructure has reached your area. Type in your zip code to see which options may be available. And if you don’t have fiber access yet, keep checking in for updates!
Speed and Packages
Look at our detailed information on speed options and packages offered by each provider. Consider your internet activities and choose a plan that suits your needs. Most important are these two questions: 1) How many devices will be using the internet at once? 2) How many of those devices will be streaming, videoconferencing or gaming? You will need greater speeds if you have more devices streaming at once.
Consider the provider’s reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction. Read customer reviews and our staff ratings to gauge the quality of their service.
Compare the pricing of different providers and consider any additional fees or contract requirements.
Look for a provider that offers excellent customer support, including prompt technical help when needed. Providers with friendly, knowledgeable support reps in billing and ordering will also make your life much easier.
But How Does Fiber Internet Work, Really?
- When you send a request or access a website, your device transforms the information into data packets, which are small units of data that travel well over a network.
- Optical transmitters then convert those data packets to light signals using lasers or LEDs. The light signals travel through the fiber-optic cables.
- At the destination, optical receivers convert the light signals back into electrical signals so your digital device can show you the requested information.
What to Expect from Your Fiber Internet Installation
- Site Survey: A technician visits your location to assess the feasibility of installing fiber optic cables and determines the best routing options.
- Fiber Cable Installation: The technician installs the fiber optic cables either by aerial installation (on utility poles) or underground burial.
- Optical Network Terminal (ONT) Installation: The ONT, a device that connects your home network to the fiber optic cable, is installed. It may be placed inside or outside your premises.
- Connection Setup: The technician connects the ONT to your router or directly to your devices, ensuring proper configuration and testing.
Summary: Fiber Internet Connection vs. Other Internet Connections
Here’s a reference list of all the improvements you can expect with your fiber internet service.
Speed: Fiber internet offers the fastest speeds among all consumer-grade internet options, much faster than DSL internet, cable internet, satellite internet, and fixed wireless internet connections.
Reliability: Fiber internet is highly reliable and less prone to disruptions caused by weather conditions (satellite or wireless) or network congestion (cable).
Stable Connection: Fiber optic cables are resistant to interference, providing a stable and consistent internet connection. That’s a big departure from cable internet.
Low Latency: Fiber internet offers low latency, reducing delays during online gaming, video conferencing, or real-time communication. Satellite internet, fixed wireless internet, and DSL are all known to suffer from high latency under some conditions.
Multiple Device Support: Fiber internet can support multiple devices simultaneously without glitches, freezing, or slow speeds.
Symmetrical Speeds: Unlike any other form of internet connection, fiber internet provides symmetrical upload and download speeds. As more and more people begin to need to upload video or use videoconferencing, having a fast upload speed is crucial.
Can I Get Fiber Internet in My Area?
Even the federal government has recognized the need for equal access to high-speed internet. The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund dedicates over $20 billion to assisting buildouts in rural areas. A great deal of that buildout will be fiber. And federal BEAD funding will add more investment to that pot.
Conclusion: Fiber Internet for the Future
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does fiber internet cost?
How can I find out if fiber internet is available in my area?
Can I use my existing modem or router with fiber internet?
Is fiber internet more secure than other types of connections?
 Wired Magazine. “Brits Approach True Speed of Light Over Fiber Cable.”
 NASA. “How Fast is The Speed of Light?”
 Fierce Telecom. “AT&T says its fiber build is pricier than expected.”
 Fierce Telecom. “Windstream hit 300K new passings in 2022.”
 J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction Study
 Fierce Telecom: “FBA Report: 43% of U.S. Households Now Have Access to Fiber”
 Rural Digital Opportunity Fund
 Pew Trusts. “What States Need to Know About Federal BEAD Funding.”
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