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Which companies provide the fastest internet in the U.S. by region

Posted by Kanika Sinha

October 15, 2021    |     4-minute read (693 words)

With an increasing number of people now dependent on their home internet service to power their productivity for remote work, access to fast internet has become essential. 

From collaborating and communicating with the team to developing relationships with colleagues and peers, seemingly everything is now done online. This makes a too-slow internet connection a real hindrance.

But how do you know which providers offer the fastest internet speeds in your locality? 

To find out, HighSpeedInternet.com, a firm that helps consumers find and compare internet service providers, recently conducted research into differences among companies that offer internet services in the U.S.

Research

The team at HighSpeedInternet.com analyzed more than 3.6 million speed tests using its speed test tool between July 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021. They then ranked U.S. internet providers using download speed as the main base of comparison between providers, on the assumption that internet speed is what users depend on the most.

The Top 5 contenders in the study and their average speeds: Google Fiber – 160.5 Mbps; Verizon Fios (fiber) – 138.0 Mbps; MetroNet (fiber) – 135.2 Mbps; Cox – 134.5 Mbps (cable); Xfinity (cable) – 131.6 Mbps.

Note: Average speeds in the study reflect what customers get from the internet plans they purchased. Advertised speeds refer to the maximum speed that a provider’s internet can potentially reach, usually for its most expensive plan.

Key findings

  • Fiber-optic internet is the clear winner: Across the U.S., fiber internet providers ranked highest in the speed comparisons. 
  • Google Fiber is the fastest internet provider: With an average download speed of 160.5 Mbps and maximum advertised speeds of 2,000 Mbps, Google Fiber was found to be the fastest internet provider overall. It’s monthly Wi-fi plan price ranges between $70.00–$100.00.
  • Cable internet also performed very well: Cable internet also made a good showing among the fastest internet service providers in the U.S., offering speeds similar to fiber of up to 1,000 Mbps.
  • EarthLink tops customer satisfaction: EarthLink is considered the best internet provider in terms of customer satisfaction.
  • Xfinity has the broadest nationwide cable availability: Monthly packages cost $24.00-$299.95.
  • Verizon Fios has the widest fiber availability. Prices of its internet plans range from $24.99-$299.95 per month.
Regional variations and providers 

The study breaks the data set into four regional areas with the following outcomes:

Northeast: With notably higher average upload speeds, Verizon Fios (fiber) took the top speed spot in the northeast region of the U.S. This is followed by Xfinity and Cox, both of which are cable internet providers offering 1,000 Mbps (or close) internet speeds.

Region comprises: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Midwest: Regional and local internet providers dominate the Midwest region of the U.S. Allo Communications and MetroNet are ranked as the top two providers for speed. Despite providing the fastest speeds, local providers don’t have the widest availability in the region. Allo Communications is available only throughout Nebraska; MetroNet is available in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. Offering a bit of both — fast speeds and wide coverage — Xfinity holds the third position in the list for the Midwest.

Region comprises: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

South: In this region, a relatively unknown internet provider called Ting offered the fastest speeds. Ting offers fiber service, but only in a smattering of small cities across the U.S., the majority of which are in Virginia and North Carolina.

Google Fiber and Verizon (fiber) ranked second and third in the list of fastest internet providers in the South. 

Region comprises: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia.

West: Regional internet provider Sonic beats out Google Fiber for fastest internet in the West. The other two top internet providers in the region include Google Fiber and Xfinity (cable).

Region comprises: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

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