Top 12 Internet Providers in California

Starlink vs Dish internet

Top 12 Internet Providers in California

Key Points

  • Providers in California consists of: AT&T, Xfinity, and Cox Cable.
  • High-speed internet isn’t always available everywhere.
  • Frontier is a leading provider of cable and fiber internet in California.

True, California is the state that brought us Silicon Valley, but high-speed internet isn’t everywhere. Th State faces big challenges in providing its residents with affordable broadband internet, with over 893,000 residents having no home internet. 

While over 137 internet service providers (ISPs) service this State, residents can only access internet from a single provider.

Let’s look at the top 12 internet providers in California for cable, DSL and fiber internet, including their speeds and prices.

1. AT&T 

AT&T 5G logo on an service van

ATT delivers internet through a hybrid fiber or copper network.

©Tada Images/Shutterstock.com

AT&T is California’s largest broadband provider, with 71% coverage across the State. It is prevalent in California’s North, Central, and South areas. They are rapidly rolling out AT&T Fiber, which can deliver broadband speeds of up to 5 Gbps and currently serves 17% of California households.

AT&T offers DSL and unlimited fiber packages starting at $55 per month for its Internet 25 DSL package. 300 Mbps fiber also starts at $55, with prices rising to $80 per month. Their plans are contract-free, so you can cancel anytime. 

Base price (monthly)$55 (DSL) / $55 (fiber)
Type of connectionDSL / Fiber 
Max. download speed25 Mbps (DSL) / 300 Mbps to 5 Gbps (fiber)
Locations available include:AnaheimAndersonAngels CampAntiochApplegateArnoldBerkeleyBerry CreekBethel IslandDelanoDelhiDenairLASan FranciscoSan DeigoSan JoseSacramentoYountvilleYrekaYuba City

2. Xfinity

Xfinity is owned by Comcast, one of California’s largest cable providers. This ISP is the largest cable broadband provider in the US by coverage area. Over a third of connected households are Xfinity customers, with their coverage mainly in Northern California. 

Xfinity over a range of plans, including Gigabit Internet. Promotions are primarily for new customers with new plans starting at $29.99. Wi-Fi equipment is included with most packages. Most plans have a 1.2 terabyte cap, so no plan is truly unlimited!

Base price (monthly)$29.99 (cable) / $299.99 (fiber)
Type of connectionCable / Fiber 
Max. download speed300 Mbps to 1.2 Gbps (cable) / up to 6 Gbps (fiber)
Locations available include:BrentwoodChicoCitrus HeightsClovisConcordDaly CityDavisDublinFresnoPalo AltoRancho CordovaSacramento‎San Francisco‎San Jose‎Union City

3. Cox Cable

cox communications homepage

Cox Communications fiber based network is known for its speed and reliability.


Cox Cable is the third-largest cable internet provider by coverage in California after AT&T and  Xfinity. One of ten California households uses its cable internet.  Cox also offers fiber connectivity but faces high competition from Google and AT&T.

New customers can benefit from various promotions, including Gigablast gigabit cable, at a competitive promotional rate that increases after 12 months. Prices start at $20 for internet-only cable. Existing customers usually cut costs by negotiating subsequent contracts and removing Wi-Fi fees from their bills. 

COX also offers pay-as-you-go internet, called StraightUp Prepaid Internet. It costs $50 per month and includes 100 Mbps speed internet, equipment, installation and taxes with no credit check. 

Base price (monthly)$20 (cable) 
Type of connectionCable 
Max. download speed100 Mbps to 1 Gbps (cable) 
Locations available include:Alpine, Bonita, Bonsall, Campo, Capistrano Beach, Carpinteria, Chula Vista, Dana Point, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, Mission Viejo, National City, Newport Beach, Orange County, San Diego, Trabuco Canyon, Tustin, Valley Center, Vista

4. Frontier Fios

Frontier is a leading provider of cable and fiber internet in California. It bought out Verizon’s Fios network in 2015 and now has a 24% share of California households. The company serves approximately 17% of the state. In 2020, Frontier Fios started bankruptcy proceedings, with a large sell-off of their fiber network to Ziply Fiber. Currently, the California network is unaffected. 

Frontier offers new customers various packages and incentives, including the latest Wi-Fi 6E system to rent, free voice line calls, and discounted activation fees. Frontier’s cheapest package, Frontier Basic Internet, has a maximum speed of 6 Mbps for $27.99 per month. Low-income option starts at $14.99 per month with a $5 Wi-Fi fee. When your plan expires, you can call their support to cancel your plan.

Base price (monthly)$27.99 (cable) / $44.99 (fiber)
Type of connectionCable / Fiber 
Max. download speedUp to 90 Mbps (cable) / up to 940 Mbps (fiber)
Locations available include:LA, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego

5. Mediacom / Xtream

Mediacom is the company behind Xtream. This midsize ISP offers relatively fast cable internet with a theoretical gigabit download speed with extensive coverage in California. They also offer TiVo-powered cable TV,

Xtream offers four main plans with prices between $20 and $60 per month as a promotional rate for the first year. Cable internet speeds available range from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. Prices increase significantly after customers have completed the first contract unless you renegotiate your plan. 

Xtream internet also has data caps on all its plan. The entry-level data plan has a cap of only 200 GB, which is roughly half of the consumption of an average household. Its most expensive plan has a 6-terabyte cap which is probably enterprise-level data consumption in a single month! 

Base price (monthly)$20
Type of connectionCable
Max. download speedUp to 1 Gbps
Locations available include:Clearlake, Soda Bay, Inyokern, Indian Wells, Glenn, Lakeport, Castle Rock, Gunnison, Crested Butte

6. Spectrum

Spectrum website


Owned by Charter Communications, Spectrum provides cable internet to approximately half of all Californian households, with at least 250,000 customers in the state. Most of their coverage is in LA and Southern California. 

Spectrum offers three tiers of internet access, with pricing that includes a rented router. Prices for internet-only plans start at $49.99 and climb to at least $89.99. Like many internet providers, the tiered plans, Standard, Ultra, and GIG, increase in price after the first 12 months. However, they can be renegotiated at the end of the initial contract period. Contracts can only be canceled by phone or in person. 

Base price (monthly)$49.99
Type of connectionCable
Max. download speed300 Mbps to 1 Gbps
Locations available include:Anaheim, Bakersfield, LA, Lakewood, Long Beach, Riverside, Thousand Oaks

7. Viasat

As a satellite-based internet provider, Viasat internet is ideal for California residents in rural areas and the most remote parts of CA, with no cable or fiber internet. The only downside is the slower speeds because of the distance the satellite signal has to travel to your property. .e of the

Viasat offers a variety of bundles and services and security add-ons. The fastest plan can achieve speeds of 100 Mbps Prices are competitive, with plans starting at $19.99 per month for the first six months.

Base price (monthly)$19.99
Type of connectionSatellite
Max. download speed100 Mbps 
Locations available include:California-wide (especially remote and rural areas)

8. Optimum Internet 

Optimum Internet is a competitively priced cable internet provider servicing specific areas in California. It offers a variety of benefits, including unlimited data and no contracts. Equipment costs are included in their monthly fee. 

Base price (monthly)$19.99
Type of connectionDSL/Cable/Fiber
Max. download speed300 Mbps (Cable) 5 Gbps (Fiber)
Locations available include:Arcata, Auburn, Bishop, Blythe. Earp Eureka, Foresthill, Fortuna, Grass Valley Mammoth Lakes, McKinleyville, Seaside, Trinidad

EarthLink is an Atlanta-based company that provides cable, DSL, fiber, and satellite-based internet in California. They have extensive coverage in California and a wide range of packages. Prices start at $54.95. EarthLink uses a range of other providers, including AT&T and Frontier, to provide greater coverage and speeds. 

While not the cheapest internet option in California, EarthLink doesn’t hike rates annually as some competitors do. Other benefits of EarthLink include that it is contract-free, offers unlimited data, and never throttles your speeds. However, new customers pay $80 upfront in installation fees, one of the highest in California. 

Base price (monthly)$60
Type of connectionDSL/Fiber/Satellite/Cable
Max. download speed100 Mbps to 5 Gbps
Locations available include:SF Bay Area, Half-Moon Bay, Newark, Fremont, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, San Jose

10. Windstream

Windstream provides internet connectivity in rural areas of California. All their plans include unlimited data and competitive prices. Coverage is limited in California, so you need to contact Windstream directly to see if they are available in your area. 

Their internet is predominantly DSL, but fiber internet and satellite coverage are available in certain districts. Connection speeds vary depending on plans and are quoted as ‘up to’ rather than the actual speed. 

Windstream internet is contract-free, but most advertised prices are promotional and rise after the first 12 months. The cheapest plans offer a maximum of 50 Mbps and start at $39.99.

Base price (monthly)$39.99
Type of connectionDSL/Fiber/Satellite/
Max. download speed50 Mbps to 1 Gbps
Locations available include:La Mirada, San Marcos, Hawthorne, Rancho Cucamonga. Winchester, Emeryville, Poway, West Hollywood, El Segundo, Porter Ranch, Tustin

11. Sonic Internet

Sonic internet is a super hyper-local internet provider whose services focus on San Francisco and the Bay Area. It has built a positive reputation for providing relatively high speeds while charging low monthly fees of $20. 

Sonic Internet’s coverage is community-focused, with Sonic serving only 2% of Californian households. Its internet coverage is fiber or DSL. Sonic’s internet is unlimited, uncapped and contract-free. They also re-sell AT&T fiber broadband as one of their packages.

Base price (monthly)$20
Type of connectionDSL/Fiber
Max. download speed100 Mbps (DSLr) 10 Gbps (fiber)
Locations available include:San Francisco Bay Area, Half-Moon Bay, Newark, Fremont, Santa Rosa, Berkeley, San Francisco, San Jose

12. HughesNet

HughesNet homepage
While not as fast as Viasat, Hughesnet satellite internet is still a decent option for those in rural areas.


HughesNet is another option for satellite internet. If you live in rural California or cannot access DSL, fiber, or cable. However, the speeds for HughesNet are slower than most competitor options, and a monthly full-speed data allocation means that you may end up with a less than satisfactory service.

The stringent data caps make HughesNet very expensive. Just 15GB of data costs $54.99 and has a download speed of just 25 Mbps. 

Base price (monthly)$54.99
Type of connectionSatellite
Max. download speed25 Mbps
Locations available include:California-wide (especially remote and rural areas)

Summary of the Top 12 Internet Providers in California

Here is a list of the top internet providers in California:

#3Cox Cable
#4Frontier Fios 
#8Optimum Internet

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Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of Californian residents have access to fiber internet?

Only 25% of Californians have fiber internet coverage. In 2021, the California legislature approved a state-funded, middle-mile open source fiber network with funding for last-mile coverage across the state.

Which companies provide internet in Los Angeles?

In LA, the main ISPs are AT&T Fiber and Spectrum. Almost 40% of LA residents have access to fiber internet and there are multiple cable providers to choose from.

Which companies provide internet in San Francisco?

In San Francisco, Xfinity and AT&T are the main ISPs. However, the Bay Area has a range of smaller, independent providers like Sonic, that provide competitively priced internet and there are several low-income programs available to disadvantaged residents.

What is DSL?

Digital Subscriber Line or DSL is internet connectivity that is delivered through a copper telephone line using a modem. It is the most widely available form of broadband internet and can ISP providers can provide it wherever a property has a landline.

What is fiber internet?

Fiber internet uses optical fiber as its transmission medium. High-frequency pulsations of infrared light transmit data at high-speed down the optical fiber for multi-gigabit internet speeds. Optical fiber is a next-generation access (NGA) technology that will soon become the standard for broadband access.

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