Beautiful scenery, mild winters, and a great sense of community are just a few things attracting record numbers of people to move to North Carolina. As one of the fastest-growing states in the Union, you’d think that high-speed internet is a given. Right?Wrong. NC is still incredibly rural and outside of the main cities. Your Internet options may be limited. To help you find fast Internet at a competitive price in the Tar Heel state, we’ve brought together 12 Internet providers in North Carolina spanning fiber, cable, cellular, satellite, and DSL options in this concise and helpful guide. 

1. AT&T 

AT&T provides super-fast and contract-free Internet connectivity at affordable prices.

AT&T is the number one broadband internet provider in North Carolina, with 32% coverage statewide, providinh NC residents with DSL and fiber internet. They have a strong presence in the North, Central, and South regions. Their fiber network infrastructure is being expanded throughout North Carolina and can achieve speeds of up to 5 Gbps. AT&T’s packages for DSL and fiber at $55 per month Affordable connectivity options are available for qualifying residents. 

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:Gastonia
Durham
Wilmington
Charlotte
Chapel Hill
Cary
Winston-Salem

2. North State Fiber

Owned by Lumos, North State Fiber is an Internet Service Provider that serves North Carolina and Virginia. Its coverage is currently limited to the Piedmont Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point), serving approximately 334,000 people with fiber broadband internet. This ISP is 29th largest provider of fiber and the 17th largest DSL provider in the US by coverage area.  

Besides internet-only packages, North State also provides DSL, Cable, Wi-Fi equipment, and fiber TV plans. Contract-free plans start at $39.99 for 500 Mpbs speed internet via an uncapped fiber connection. From time to time, they offer incentives like Visa reward cards.   

Base price (monthly)$39.99
Type of connectionCable / Fiber / DSL
Max. download speed2 Gbps (fiber)
Locations available include:Climax
Colfax
Franklinville
Greensboro
High Point
Jamestown
Kernersville
Lexington
Pleasant Garden
Randleman
Sophia

3. Cox

cox communications homepage
Cox Communications customers enjoy stable Internet connections and blazing fast speeds.

Cox Communications is an established telecommunications and cable TV provider throughout the US. It offers 7 residential internet-only plans to North Carolina customers via fiber or cable. Prices start at $49.99 for 1 Gbps fiber broadband. You can also opt for Cox’s pay-as-you-go internet, StraightUp Prepaid Internet. For a flat fee of $50 per month, you get 100 Mbps speed internet, equipment, installation, and taxes with no credit check required.  Cox offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can cancel your service at no charge. 

Base price (monthly)$49.99 
Type of connectionCable / Fiber
Max. download speed100 Mbps to 1 Gbps (cable) 
Locations available include:Knotts IslandCharlotte

4. Frontier

Frontier is a notable cable and fiber internet provider in NC It has 9% coverage in North Carolina with predominantly suburban and rural coverage. Fiber speeds are understandably much faster than their DSL provision but their DSL availability is greater. 

Frontier’s data packages are diverse and vary between areas. The cheapest plan is the Frontier Basic, with 6 Mbps for $27.99 /month. Offers include lower introductory pricing, the latest Wi-Fi 6E, free voice line calls, and discounts on activation fees. Existing customers can negotiate a better deal by calling the cancellation team when their initial contract ends. 

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:FranklinDurhamSylvaGlenvilleMarion

5. Ultra Home Internet

Ultra Home Internet delivers 4G and 5G mobile internet connectivity using the T-mobile cellular network. The company achieves statewide coverage by using the cellular network with a high local availability and easy installation. 

A fantastic choice for households in rural areas, Ultra Home Internet is much cheaper than satellite internet and performs just as well as DSL. Ultra’s 4G connectivity is slower than fiber or cable but with T-Mobile’s 5G rollout, customers will soon be able to take advantage of 5G mobile broadband. 

Ultra Home Internet plans start at $59.99 per month for 25GB of data. Their plans are super affordable considering the average American household uses over 500GB of data per month. However, the company uses speed throttling. You need to hire a cellular router to get Wi-Fi coverage in your home.

Base price (monthly)$59.99
Type of connectionCellular
Max. download speedUp to 115 Mbps
Locations available include:Cellular coverage throughout North Carolina

6. Spectrum

Spectrum Internet is owned by Charter Communications and provides cable internet coverage throughout North Carolina, but mostly LA and Southern California. 

You can choose from three internet tiers: Standard, Ultra, and GIG. Monthly plans are inclusive of a home Wi-Fi router. Internet-only plans start at, $49.99 with the most expensive package, offering 1 Gbps speeds, costing $89.99. Prices increase after 12 months but you can renegotiate a new contract with a better rate after the initial contract period. 

Base price (monthly)$49.99
Type of connectionCable
Max. download speed300 Mbps to 1 Gbps
Locations available include:Hertford County
Kitty Hawk
Pembroke Pine Wild
Cleavland County
Coats
Avery County
Bailey
Seagrove

7. T Mobile Home Internet

T-Mobile Internet home
T-Mobile customers can expect download speeds between 33-182Mbps, which is great for home working, streaming and video conferencing.

T-Mobile Home internet is a great option for households in remote or rural areas who can’t access fiber, cable, or DSL connectivity. The company uses T-Mobile’s 4G/LTE and 5G cellular network to deliver cellular internet at speeds of up to 115 Mbps. Their 4G and 5G mobile internet are reliable, affordable and faster than satellite internet. Best of all their no throttling or data caps. While they have zero installation fee, you have to use their cellular router for connectivity.  For $50 per month, you will receive speeds of up to 182 Mbps. Wi-Fi gateway fee is included. 

Base price (monthly)$50
Type of connectionCellular 
Max. download speed182 Mbps 
Locations available include:Cellular coverage throughout North Carolina

8. Optimum Internet 

Optimum provides affordable fiber cable internet in NC’s western metropolitan areas. Their unlimited and contract-free data plans vary by location but typically include equipment fees.

The basic package, with a download speed of 100 Mbps, starts at $40 per month. Fiber connectivity speeds of up to 5 Gbps costs $180 per month. 

Base price (monthly)$19.99
Type of connectionDSL/Cable/Fiber
Max. download speed300 Mbps (Cable) 5 Gbps (Fiber)
Locations available include:Ayden
Chocowinity
Enfield
Greenville
Grimesland
Kinston
La Grange
Nashville
New Bern
Rocky Mount
Scotland Neck
Tarboro
Washington
Williamston
Winterville
EarthLink offers a range of fiber internet plans with speeds up to 5 Gigs.

Atlanta-based EarthLink provides cable, fiber, and VDSL internet to North Carolina homes. Its coverage is extensive, and customers can choose from at least seven internet-only plans that start at $54.95. 

Payment is upfront and fixed. So you don’t have to worry about annual increases that competitors implement. Not to mention, their plans are contract-free and have no data caps or throttling. 

EarthLink achieves its expansive coverage by using the infrastructure of other ISPS, including AT&T and Frontier. Customers typically pay a one-time $80 installation fee. 

Base price (monthly)$ $54.95
Type of connectionDSL/Fiber/VDSL
Max. download speed5 Gbps
Locations available include:Asheville
Burlington
Cary
Chapel Hill
Charlotte
Concord
Durham
Fayetteville
Gastonia
Greensboro
Greenville
High Point
Huntersville
Jacksonville
Kannapolis
Raleigh
Rocky Mount
Wilmington
Wilson
Winston-salem

10. Windstream

Windstream is another option for internet connectivity in the remote or rural parts of North Carolina. It is a specialist in rural internet options with variable speeds and coverage. Though the company serves NC, you’ll have to contact them directly to see if they can provide a solution for your area. 

Their internet connectivity options include DSL, fiber, and satellite. Windstream can be expensive compared to competitors because of its low data caps. Monthly data plans start at $39.99.

Base price (monthly)$39.99
Type of connectionDSL/Fiber/Satellite/ VDSL
Max. download speed50 Mbps to 1 Gbps
Locations available include:Asheville
Burlington
Cary
Chapel Hill
Charlotte
Concord
Durham
Fayetteville
High Point
Huntersville
Jacksonville
Kannapolis
Raleigh
Rocky Mount
Wilmington
Wilson

11. King Street Wireless

Virginia-based King Street Wireless is a leading provider of 4G/LTE Internet and serves rural and remote parts of North Carolina. Their connectivity solutions are suitable for residential and commercial customers, with coverage over the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and South. 

Their cellular internet is expensive, with prices starting at $50 for just 2GB per month with a download speed of 12 Mbps. The unlimited plan, with similar speeds, costs $70/month. 

Base price (monthly)$50
Type of connection4G/LTE
Max. download speed12 Mbps
Locations available include:Burlington
Chatham 
Mount Hermon  
Gretna 
Henry’s Mill
Fayetteville
Hope Mills 
Wadesboro
Norwood
Ansonville 
Mount Gilead

12. HughesNet

HughesNet homepage
HughesNet satellite Internet plans offer 25 Mbps download speed and feature the latest in Wi-Fi standards and technology.

HughesNet offers satellite-based rural internet solutions that can reach the most remote parts of North Carolina. They are more competitively priced than some of the other satellite and cellular internet options available. However, their speeds are noticeably slower than other types of home internet. Monthly data allocation is equally low compared to average household use. 15GB of data costs $54.99 and has a download speed of 25 Mbps. 

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

Summary of the Top 12 Internet Providers in California

RankISP
#1AT&T
#2North State
#3Cox Cable
#4Frontier Fios 
#5Ultra Home Internet
#6Spectrum
#7T-Mobile Home Internet
#8Optimum Internet
#9EarthLink
#10Windstream
#11Kings Street Wireless
#12HughesNet

Top 12 Internet Providers in North Carolina FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What percentage of North Carolina residents have access to fiber internet?

33% of North Carolina residents have fiber internet coverage. This makes NC the 18th best state for fiber broadband coverage. However, fiber broadband infrastructure is only in the major metropolitan areas of North Carolina.

What percentage of North Carlina Households don’t have internet access?

15% of North Carolina households have no internet access. Demographic attributes of these households include:

  • 7% of households in NC without internet access are 18 years.
  • 7% of households in NC without internet access are 18 to 64 years.
  • 8% of households in NC without internet access are 65+ years.
  • 6% of households without internet in NC are in employment and 8% are unemployed.

Which companies provide internet in Raleigh?

In Raleigh, NC, AT&T, Spectrum and Frontier are leading ISPs. The average Raleigh resident can choose from three to four internet service providers.

What is VDSL?

VSDL stands for Very high-speed Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL) is a successor technology to the asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) and provides faster data transmission over twisted pair copper wire. VDSL  can achieve speeds of 52 Mbit/s downstream and 16 Mbit/s upstream and can be used for simultaneous HDTV, VoIP, and internet access.

What is fiber internet?

Fiber broadband is a next-generation access (NGA) technology that uses optical fiber as a transmission medium. Manufacturers make optical fiber cables from bundles of extremely thin strands of glass through which high-frequency pulsations of infrared light pass. Fiber broadband routinely delivers multi-gigabit internet speeds and will soon become the standard for broadband access.

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  • Broadband Now Available here: https://broadbandnow.com/North-Carolina
  • Spectrum Available here: https://www.spectrum.com/internet-service/north-carolina
  • AT&T Available here: https://www.att.com/local/internet/north-carolina/charlotte
  • Cox Available here: https://www.cox.com/local/residential/nc
  • Lumos Fiber Available here: https://www.lumosfiber.com
  • Carolina Public Press Available here: https://carolinapublicpress.org/52976/what-governments-are-doing-to-bring-high-speed-fiber-internet-to-rural-nc
  • CNET Available here: https://www.cnet.com/home/internet/t-mobile-5g-home-internet-review/
  • CNET Available here: https://www.cnet.com/home/internet/optimum-internet-review
  • EarthLink Available here: https://www.earthlink.net/internet-near-me/north-carolina/
  • Optimum (1970) https://www.optimum.com/services/north-carolina
  • WhistleOut (1970) https://www.whistleout.com/Internet/Providers/EarthLink/United-States/North-Carolina
  • HughesNet Available here: https://www.hughesnetinternet.net/local/North-Carolina/
  • King Street Wireless (1970) https://www.kingstreetwireless.com/
  • Router Switch (1970) https://www.router-switch.com/faq/adsl-vs-vdsl.html