How much internet speed do you need? That depends on how you plan on using your internet connection.
< 25 Mbps basic internet for checking e-mail, google searches 25-99 Mbps will handle streaming Netflix, FaceTime, Zoom calls 100-499 Mbps fast downloads, gaming online, streaming UHD on multiple screens 500-1,000 Mbps blazing fast for just about anything
Internet Providers in Santa Cruz, California
Most Popular Internet Providers in Santa Cruz, California:
Showing 1 to 11 Providers
Internet Access in Santa Cruz, California
Data below is calculated based on the FCC's bi-annual coverage reports. Our data also includes direct provider reports to further validate and enhance the information. Plan and pricing information is aggregated by our research team. Locally, we've analyzed and verified 477 broadband plans in Santa Cruz in the past few years. Average speed data discussed here is calculated from 57,752 local speed tests and intended for general provider comparison purposes, not to indicate maximum Internet speedsin the area.
Viasat Internet and HughesNet are the main Internet choices in Santa Cruz.
Broadband competition in Santa Cruz is overall high. The average resident has about 7 providers available in their area. Access isn't distributed fairly — a surprising 11.1 percent of the population still have only one option for true broadband service.
XFINITY from Comcast is another commonly available broadband choice in Santa Cruz. They offer Cable connections available to 92 percent of the area. Etheric Networks is another alternative wireless service to near one hundred percent of the local area. Keep in mind this option needs roof access and line of site with a Etheric Networks access point.
So, looking at the big picture, Santa Cruz's broadband Internet infrastructure conforms with a similar pattern to other US cities: strong coverage for bundled cable and DSL, with the problem being that a majority of residences are limited to only one company for subscribing to either type of Internet service. The cable/DSL pattern has a simple reason. Broadband Internet outfits started as cable TV and landline phone companies. So, they use these conveniently pre-built infrastructures for delivering broadband Internet service. Fiber network access is expanding as a third option. While some "Fiber" plans aren't actually 100% "Fiber to the Home" connections, 55.32 percent of the population has access to fiber reaching at least as far as the street outside. The local average downstream speed is 87.00 percent ahead of the California average, accounting for all cities. Take a look at the download speed test results directly below for insights on how major Internet providers compare over time.
- There are 18 internet providers in Santa Cruz with 11 of those offering residential service
- Santa Cruz is the 174th most connected city in California ahead of Soquel and Felton, but behind Aptos, Capitola, and Scotts Valley.
- Explore internet access for communities within Santa Cruz: Bonny Doon
- The fastest zip code in Santa Cruz for July 2021 is 95062. (see all below).
Internet Statistics 2021
11.1% of consumers in Santa Cruz10,000 People Only have access to 1 or fewer wired internet providers available at their address.
This data is calculated from FCC datasets which providers are legally required to supply twice a year. We further validate this data for accuracy.
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Summary Of Fastest Internet Providers In Santa Cruz, California
|Provider||Speed||Type||Time To Download 1 GB||Availability|
|XFINITY from Comcast||1,200 Mbps||Cable||6s||92.2%|
|AT&T Internet||940 Mbps||IPBB and Fiber and Fixed Wireless||8s||87.7%|
|EarthLink||1,000 Mbps||DSL and Fiber||8s||80.2%|
|Viasat Internet||100 Mbps||Satellite||1m 21s||100.0%|
|Sonic||80 Mbps||DSL||1m 42s||58.3%|
|HughesNet||25 Mbps||Satellite||5m 27s||100.0%|
|South Valley Internet||1.5 Mbps||DSL||1h 31m 1s||0.2%|
Internet Providers in Nearby Cities
The “Connected” metric is a citywide average based on FCC data showing the density of broadband options at the census block level.
This statistic is drawn from the population in census blocks not served by at least one wired broadband provider.
Fiber coverage data is sourced from FCC Form 477 filings and cross-validated through BroadbandNow with private datasets and direct provider reporting.
This coverage statistic is based on a mix of FCC and private provider reporting in the past two quarters.
Zip-based speed averages are calculated from M-Labs consumer speed tests run by IP addresses in the area.
25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload is the minimum speed for an Internet connection to be classified as “Broadband” by the FCC.
Broadband Access for Education in Santa Cruz
University Of California-Santa Cruz and Five Branches University are the largest universities in Santa Cruz. For the 18,237 combined students living in the area, strong broadband access is a must for obtaining educational materials and conducting research. University Of California-Santa Cruz residential buildings have 3-4 ISPs servicing the area on average, while Five Branches University has closer to 5-6. University Of California-Santa Cruz students that live near campus can expect to get download speeds of around 101.4 Mbps, according to speed test data in the University Of California-Santa Cruz zip. Speeds surrounding Five Branches University average out to 223.98 Mbps over 24,386 tests run in the past year.
FCC and US Government reports often cite the need to better internet service availability for college and high school students. There is a positive correlation between increased high-speed internet service access and increased education/employment opportunities, especially in small cities and rural areas.
Data Cap Issues in Santa Cruz
Data collected by our research team suggests that popular ISPs in Santa Cruz use data caps for their residential Internet packages. Data caps are a public issue because consumers view caps as a strategy to stop streaming, while providers explain caps are a necessary strategy for managing network congestion. In either case, the issue is the same: over-the-top streaming, which easily uses one to seven Gigabytes per hour.
Compare Santa Cruz to the 5 largest cities in the US
|City||Average Download Speed||Number of Providers||Average Cost per Mbps|
|Santa Cruz||226.8 Mbps||14||$0.28 ( + $0.00 )|
|New York||534.4 Mbps ( +307.6 Mbps )||17 ( +3 )||$0.41 ( + $0.00 )|
|Los Angeles||148.8 Mbps ( -78 Mbps )||17 ( +3 )||$0.22 ( $0.00 )|
|Chicago||160.6 Mbps ( -66.2 Mbps )||15 ( +1 )||$0.25 ( $0.00 )|
|Houston||169.5 Mbps ( -57.3 Mbps )||23 ( +9 )||$0.24 ( $0.00 )|
|Philadelphia||162.1 Mbps ( -64.7 Mbps )||8 ( -6 )||$0.30 ( + $0.00 )|