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Fiber-Optic Internet in the United States

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Provider Types

Providers Offering Fiber Service

We've found 1717 providers offering Fiber service in the US. Below are stats on their coverage and speeds.

AT&T Fiber 54,434,192 21 5000 mbps
Verizon Fios 38,193,059 10 940 mbps
EarthLink Fiber 33,369,566 21 940 mbps
Frontier 16,179,905 21 2000 mbps
CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit 12,170,375 20 1000 mbps
Optimum by Altice 6,565,107 5 5000 mbps
Astound Business Solutions Powered by RCN 6,094,128 9 1000 mbps
Google Fiber 4,063,770 10 2000 mbps
Windstream 3,281,102 17 2200 mbps
Metronet 3,107,126 10 10000 mbps
Xfinity 2,747,315 46 10000 mbps
Consolidated Communications 2,286,939 19 2000 mbps
Astound Broadband Powered by Wave 2,231,640 3 1000 mbps
Ziply Fiber 2,225,923 4 5000 mbps
C Spire Fiber 1,897,923 3 1000 mbps
altafiber 1,848,841 3 2000 mbps
Cox Communications 1,765,319 16 2000 mbps
TDS Telecom 1,397,707 28 2000 mbps
Armstrong 1,170,874 6 1000 mbps
ACDnet 1,124,171 1 1000 mbps
Astound Broadband Powered by Grande 1,120,350 1 1000 mbps
Sonic 1,108,789 1 10000 mbps
Claro Internet 1,085,391 1 1000 mbps
WiFast 864,263 1 75 mbps
Hawaiian Telcom 855,287 1 1000 mbps
Hotwire Communications 753,279 11 10000 mbps
Ezee Fiber 749,712 1 1000 mbps
Zito Media 738,572 21 1000 mbps
FirstDigital Telecom 729,188 1 10000 mbps
SUMOFIBER 680,878 1 1000 mbps
SenaWave 632,875 1 1000 mbps
Point Broadband 595,705 10 1000 mbps
WOW! 560,614 6 10000 mbps
123NET 560,148 1 10000 mbps
GoNetspeed 557,345 2 1000 mbps
Vexus 551,118 2 1000 mbps
Socket Telecom 491,674 3 10000 mbps
Great Plains Communications 474,985 5 1000 mbps
Allo Communications 473,662 2 2300 mbps
SmartCom Telephone 466,612 1 10000 mbps
Lumos Networks 453,712 9 10000 mbps
Astound Broadband Powered by En-Touch 449,858 1 1000 mbps
Shentel 445,692 4 2000 mbps
Packard Fiber 443,066 1 10000 mbps
Clear Rate Communications 434,254 2 10000 mbps
Liberty Cablevision 394,655 1 1000 mbps
EPB 371,931 2 10000 mbps
Ritter Communications 357,405 3 1024 mbps
i3 Broadband 352,434 2 1000 mbps
Horry Telephone Cooperative 329,724 1 1000 mbps
Campus Communications Group 323,616 8 2000 mbps
Optico Fiber 321,400 1 2000 mbps
Ting 320,158 7 1000 mbps
Direct Communications 306,803 3 1000 mbps
Breezeline 291,967 12 1000 mbps
Beehive Broadband 285,245 2 1000 mbps
OEC Fiber 277,449 1 1000 mbps
Sparklight 265,361 8 1000 mbps
Comporium Communications 260,755 2 1000 mbps
REV 253,466 1 1000 mbps
US Internet 246,266 2 10000 mbps
Peoples Telephone Cooperative 242,603 1 1000 mbps
OzarksGo 219,981 3 1000 mbps
Mainstream Fiber Networks 211,780 1 1000 mbps
United Communications 207,140 1 2000 mbps
Tachus Fiber Internet 202,463 1 1000 mbps
Skywire Networks 196,464 2 2000 mbps
Starry Internet 194,575 9 1000 mbps
Plateau 190,374 2 1000 mbps
Fybercom 182,637 1 101 mbps
LocalTel Communications 177,236 1 100 mbps
CarolinaConnect 176,326 1 1000 mbps
North Georgia Network 175,745 1 1000 mbps
Massillon Cable TV 175,630 2 1000 mbps
GVTC Communications 170,025 1 1000 mbps
Empire Access 169,888 1 1000 mbps
Summit Broadband 166,957 1 5000 mbps
Surf Internet 166,519 3 1000 mbps
MaxxSouth 163,953 2 10000 mbps
CDE Lightband 158,663 1 1000 mbps
West Carolina Tel 158,619 2 1000 mbps
509FIBER 158,110 1 1000 mbps
SECOM 155,117 1 500 mbps
Douglas Fast Net 147,321 1 1000 mbps
Etex 142,830 1 1000 mbps
LUS Fiber 142,421 1 1024 mbps
Fort Collins Connexion 139,279 1 1000 mbps
Midwest Connections 137,892 3 1000 mbps
Salsgiver 132,046 1 10000 mbps
Roll-Call Security & Communications 130,043 1 300 mbps
Dobson Fiber 129,918 2 10000 mbps
Arvig 128,657 1 1000 mbps
Mercury Wireless 126,904 1 1000 mbps
Cumberland Connect 126,548 2 1000 mbps
Twin Lakes Telephone 125,249 2 1000 mbps
ImOn Communications 122,859 1 10000 mbps
Brandenburg Telecom 122,064 1 1000 mbps
North Central Telephone Cooperative 116,056 2 1000 mbps
United Services 112,402 2 1000 mbps
Viser 112,223 1 1000 mbps

Fiber Internet in the United States

43% Fiber COVERAGE

Fiber internet service is the gold standard of wired residential internet connections.

The biggest benefit of fiber is that it offers much faster speeds over much longer distances than traditional copper-based technologies such as digital subscriber line (DSL) internet and cable internet. A fiber internet connection easily can be 10 times as fast as a standard cable connection.

Fiber is the fastest home internet option by far, but its availability is scattered. Due to the high cost of installing fiber service directly to homes, even major cities are still predominantly served by cable. Only 21 percent of internet customers in Chicago, for example, have fiber available as of 2020. In Dallas, fiber internet is available to about 61 percent of residents, and that qualifies as high availability compared to other major metros in the United States. Overall, 43 percent of U.S. households have access to fiber, according to the Fiber Broadband Association.

Below, we’ll lay out everything consumers should know about fiber internet. For more details on the fiber internet market in the U.S., including the number of fiber optic providers and which communities they serve, see our list of every provider offering fiber optic internet service in the United States. We’ve also developed a ranking of cities with the most “fiber to the home” (FTTH) infrastructure, a metric that essentially measures how fiber-friendly a city is.

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What Is Fiber Broadband? Understanding Fiber-Optic Technology and Fiber Internet Service

At its most basic, the internet is a huge web of connections that allow information to be transmitted back and forth between users. On the internet, everything is data. From your favorite website to the show you’re watching on Netflix, everything you view on the internet must be transferred to your device before it is turned into the images you see on your screen.

How fast that happens depends on the infrastructure that handles the task. The bulk of the journey is handled by the high-capacity connections that stretch between cities and across the oceans — what we might call the “backbone” of the internet — but residential consumers also rely on the more intricate infrastructure that connects neighborhoods and individual homes to that backbone. These finer connections are called “last mile” connections.

Fiber broadband connections bridge the “last mile” between the mainstream Internet “backbone” and customer residences.

For consumers, this is where fiber-optic internet connections come in. Fiber broadband is the fastest method of delivering high-speed internet to residences and businesses. Similar to DSL, cable, and fixed wireless, fiber broadband connections bridge the “last mile” between the mainstream internet backbone and customer residences.

How Fast Is Fiber Internet?

DSL and cable connections use existing phone and TV infrastructure to transmit data as frequency vibrations over copper wires, but fiber networks transmit data using light over specialized cables packed with glass fibers.

Frequencies over airwaves vs Frequencies over copper vs Light over fiber-optic cable

Light moves very fast (186,000 miles per second, to be specific), enabling speeds of up to 1,000 megabits (one gigabit) per second on fiber-optic networks — almost 100 times faster than the current U.S. broadband average of 11.7 megabits per second.

Consumers think of fiber as a new technology, but the internet backbone network connecting cities and countries has been built with fiber-optic cables since the dawn of the internet. The first submarine fiber-optic cable connected the U.S. to France and Britain back in 1988, and hundreds currently crisscross the ocean floor all around the world.

Fiber infrastructure has long connected the internet’s backbone, connecting major cities across land and (as seen above) underwater. Last-mile connections that bridge the gap between this backbone and individual homes, however, have not typically been fiber-optic.

What is relatively new about fiber-optic connections, however, is their availability to consumers as a solution to the last-mile problem. Fiber-optic connections can make a huge difference in this area by replacing less impressive alternatives like DSL and cable.

The Growth of Fiber Internet in the United States

Using fiber-optic connections for last-mile internet service can make a huge difference to residential and commercial internet users. It isn’t easy, however, to roll out fiber-optic technology to areas that have traditionally relied on other forms of broadband — to say nothing of the challenges involved in bringing fiber-optic connections to areas with no current broadband access.

Unlike some alternative technologies that use existing infrastructure (DSL, for example, uses phone lines), fiber-optic connections require the installation of new fiber-optic cables. Creating this sort of fiber-optic network — called “fiber to the home,” or FTTH, infrastructure — isn’t cheap.

Some of the first FTTH networks were installed by incumbent providers such as Verizon Fios, which started building out consumer fiber service in the early 2000s and expanded into markets including Baltimore and Boston at the turn of the decade. AT&T’s fiber internet options are an expansion of the company’s longtime presence in the cable and DSL internet markets.

High costs keep many would-be competitors out of this space, affording some time for established internet service providers to roll out new fiber networks of their own in areas they already serve with older broadband infrastructure. Even high-profile exceptions such as Google Fiber — which is backed, of course, by tech giant Alphabet rather than an established ISP — prove the rule: Google Fiber’s network expansion was projected to cost $3,000 to $8,000 per home served. Google Fiber’s efforts also were frequently foiled by lawsuits and logistical problems, and the company has largely abandoned its network-building efforts to focus instead on partnering with municipalities building their own publicly funded fiber networks.

As the FCC itself has said, cable-laying cost is a “substantial barrier” to the expansion of fiber access.

How Fiber-Optic Cables Work — and Why Fiber Is Faster

Like other types of internet connections, fiber-optic cables have one basic job: transmit data from one place to another. But what form does that data take?

Imagine trying to communicate with a neighbor using a flashlight in your window. You would only be able to do two things: shine a lit flashlight or keep the flashlight off. By repeatedly turning your flashlight on and off, you may be able to communicate by code.

On a very basic level, this is how fiber-optic cables work. Fiber-optic cables — and other types of cables — transmit binary data, which we typically see represented by ones and zeros. Computers on each end of these transmissions can unpack all the data, decoding those ones and zeros into more complex codes and, eventually, into the words and images we see on a website. But for the data to go over a wire, it needs to be stretched out into that most basic binary shape — a one or a zero, an “on” or an “off.”

Fiber-optic cables transmit that stream of binary data via light pulses, so it’s just about as straightforward as our flashlight experiment. A pulse of light means one, while no pulse means zero.

Well, maybe it’s not quite as straightforward. To really replicate the fiber-optic experience, your flashlight would need multiple bulbs, each of a different color. Each optical fiber within a fiber-optic cable can actually send more than one set of binary data at the same time by using different wavelengths of light.

Our little flashlight communication system is quickly getting impractical, but fiber-optic cables are just getting started. To match a cable, we’d need to be handling a lot more than one flashlight at a time. The inside of a fiber-optic cable is packed with optical fibers made of glass, each about as thick as a human hair. Light particles that enter one end of an individual fiber exit at the other side. This is part of what makes these cables so fast: Each fiber is working to send its own data! Like adding lanes to a highway, packing more fibers into fiber-optic cables allows for faster travel.

Fiber-optic cables are designed to transmit these pulses quickly over long distances. A transmitter at one end of the fiber transmits light pulses as ultra-fast LED or laser pulses. A single flash can travel as far as 60 miles before it begins to degrade.

Total internal reflection within an optical fiber

That impressive 60-mile range is possible because of a light phenomenon called “total internal reflection.” Below a critical angle, light particles bounce within the fiber like a marble dropped down a long pipe. Each fiber is wrapped in a layer of glass or plastic cladding that has a lower optical density than the core fiber, causing total internal reflection to occur where they meet. (Amplifiers along the cable are there to boost the signal when it does finally start to fade.)

All of this is important, because — as you may imagine — it takes an awful lot of ones and zeroes to encode your favorite website or the latest Marvel Studios movie.

Components of a Fiber-Optic Network

A diagram of a fiber-optic network
  • Fiber-optic cable: A cable that transmits data in the form of light pulses.
  • Transmitter: A device that translates a digital signal into light pulses for transmission via a fiber-optic cable. Some transmitters can send multiple signals simultaneously using different wavelengths (colors) of light, multiplying the capacity of a single optical fiber. This technique is called wavelength division multiplexing (WDM).
  • Receiver: A device that translates light pulses into a digital signal for delivery to a digital device. When WDM is used, the receiver is designed to translate multiple wavelengths from a single optical fiber.
  • Amplifier: A device that amplifies light signals within a fiber-optic network. Amplifiers are used when the cable is too long for a single pulse to reach the other end undiminished — for example, connections between cities or submarine cables connecting continents.

Transmitters and receivers are often contained in a single product called a transceiver, because data can move in both directions at once within a type of fiber-optic cable called “simplex” (more on that distinction in a moment).

Anatomy of a Fiber-Optic Cable

Let’s get a closer look at the pieces that make up a typical fiber-optic cable.

Inside a fiber-optic cable, individual optical fibers are surrounded by several layers of material that strengthen, protect, and keep light from escaping.

A single optical fiber. This fiber would be one of many in a fiber-optic cable.

A typical fiber-optic cable is packed with dozens to hundreds of individual optical fibers, allowing a high volume of data to travel over a single connection.

All fiber-optic cables contain multiple optical fibers, but there are a few different forms of fiber-optic cable to consider.

Single Mode vs. Multimode

There are two types of optical fiber: single mode and multimode.

Single mode has a smaller core and carries laser diode transmissions over large distances. Multimode transmits LED light through a bigger core, where light “bounces” in multiple paths over shorter distances.

Single mode fiber vs. multimode fiber. Remember, a fiber-optic cable can have dozens (or even hundreds) of these!

Multimode is significantly cheaper than single mode, making it common for shorter distances within city networks.

To keep track of these different types of fibers, a simple color-coding system is used.

Color coded fiber-optic cables

When all the fibers within a cable are the same type, the cable’s outer layer will be color-coded accordingly. Some cables contain more than one type of fiber, though, which means color coding has to happen inside the cable. In these cases, individual bundles of fiber within the cable are color-coded so installers can identify which interior bundles to connect when splicing cables together.

Cable Construction: Ribbon vs. Loose Tube

Complete fiber-optic cables come in two basic varieties: ribbon and loose tube.

A ribbon cable packs its fibers more closely, while a loose tube cable offers more padding and protection against the elements. Why use ribbon? Simple: It’s cheaper!

A ribbon cable packs lots of optical fibers together. There’s not much space to spare!
A loose tube offers more shielding relative to the number of fibers.

Simplex vs. Duplex

Internet connections need to go two ways. After all, you can’t receive the data you need to display a website until you send information about which website you’re trying to view. Fiber-optic networks therefore need to be able to work in all directions. There are two ways of handling this: simplex cables and duplex cables.

Duplex cables include two separate fiber-optic cables connected by the outer coating, with one entry and one exit point on each end. Data flows in only one direction on either cable, almost like a divided highway. Simplex cables, on the other hand, just use one cable for both directions.

Simplex vs. Duplex

In many cases, simplex cables will work just fine. Home internet users, for example, tend to need more download bandwidth than upload bandwidth, so simplex cables are sufficient. When necessary, there will typically be enough fibers to spare a few for the return trip.

When traffic is high in both directions — as is often the case with connections like backbone ports, fiber switches and servers — a duplex cable may make more sense.

What’s Next for Fiber in the U.S.? Implementation Challenges and Opportunities

Fiber-optic networks have grown largely through private investment, particularly on the parts of established ISPs. But the government has a significant role in encouraging growth — and, in some cases, municipalities are creating fiber networks of their own. Fiber is a common choice for cities that want to invest in municipal public broadband infrastructure.

Unfortunately, complex state laws — many created under pressure from telecom lobbyists — often prohibit cities from installing their own fiber, on the grounds that it puts them in competition with private businesses. That’s a major roadblock to fiber broadband growth.

That’s not to say the government isn’t working to improve the situation. Fiber broadband access is one focus of the Biden administration’s major infrastructure bill.

Largest Fiber Providers

  1. AT&T Fiber
    16.81% Coverage
    > 16.81
  2. Verizon Fios
    11.80% Coverage
    > 11.80
  3. EarthLink Fiber
    10.31% Coverage
    > 10.31
  4. Frontier
    5.00% Coverage
    > 5.00
  5. CenturyLink Fiber Gigabit
    3.76% Coverage
    > 3.76
  6. Spectrum
    3.31% Coverage
    > 3.31
  7. Silver Star Telecom
    2.08% Coverage
    > 2.08

States with the most Fiber coverage

  1. Rhode Island
    84.1% Coverage
  2. District of Columbia
    83.6% Coverage
  3. New Jersey
    74.5% Coverage
  4. Mississippi
    74.1% Coverage
  5. New York
    69.4% Coverage
  6. Maryland
    66.0% Coverage
  7. Connecticut
    64.3% Coverage

Fiber Providers: Availability by State

Alabama 2,225,253 44.3% 46 Fiber Providers
Alaska 113,309 15.5% 18 Fiber Providers
Arizona 1,365,222 19.1% 36 Fiber Providers
Arkansas 1,299,171 43.1% 55 Fiber Providers
California 18,654,134 47.2% 70 Fiber Providers
Colorado 2,136,274 37.0% 76 Fiber Providers
Connecticut 2,317,540 64.3% 14 Fiber Providers
Delaware 573,972 58.0% 10 Fiber Providers
District of Columbia 576,115 83.6% 13 Fiber Providers
Florida 10,454,636 48.5% 57 Fiber Providers
Georgia 6,209,693 58.0% 79 Fiber Providers
Hawaii 860,502 59.1% 6 Fiber Providers
Idaho 784,747 42.7% 42 Fiber Providers
Illinois 3,654,127 28.5% 84 Fiber Providers
Indiana 3,383,943 49.9% 80 Fiber Providers
Iowa 1,711,314 53.6% 185 Fiber Providers
Kansas 1,597,619 54.4% 68 Fiber Providers
Kentucky 2,672,411 59.3% 59 Fiber Providers
Louisiana 1,764,824 37.9% 25 Fiber Providers
Maine 303,261 22.3% 19 Fiber Providers
Maryland 4,080,056 66.1% 33 Fiber Providers
Massachusetts 3,564,871 50.7% 24 Fiber Providers
Michigan 2,488,093 24.7% 71 Fiber Providers
Minnesota 1,894,556 33.2% 97 Fiber Providers
Mississippi 2,194,308 74.1% 43 Fiber Providers
Missouri 2,753,093 44.7% 94 Fiber Providers
Montana 253,275 23.4% 37 Fiber Providers
Nebraska 1,244,967 63.5% 52 Fiber Providers
Nevada 856,253 27.6% 28 Fiber Providers
New Hampshire 798,829 58.0% 16 Fiber Providers
New Jersey 6,924,016 74.5% 22 Fiber Providers
New Mexico 411,646 19.4% 31 Fiber Providers
New York 14,027,747 69.4% 58 Fiber Providers
North Carolina 4,710,252 45.1% 55 Fiber Providers
North Dakota 416,504 53.5% 36 Fiber Providers
Ohio 4,842,493 41.0% 77 Fiber Providers
Oklahoma 1,776,958 44.9% 71 Fiber Providers
Oregon 2,314,389 54.6% 60 Fiber Providers
Pennsylvania 6,814,715 52.4% 59 Fiber Providers
Rhode Island 922,457 84.1% 6 Fiber Providers
South Carolina 2,434,835 47.6% 38 Fiber Providers
South Dakota 353,957 39.9% 46 Fiber Providers
Tennessee 4,139,593 59.9% 69 Fiber Providers
Texas 17,720,467 60.8% 139 Fiber Providers
Utah 1,541,913 47.1% 31 Fiber Providers
Vermont 242,762 37.8% 18 Fiber Providers
Virginia 5,225,445 60.5% 59 Fiber Providers
Washington 3,431,162 44.5% 66 Fiber Providers
West Virginia 367,532 20.5% 26 Fiber Providers
Wisconsin 2,026,850 34.4% 76 Fiber Providers
Wyoming 121,773 21.1% 24 Fiber Providers

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