Wondering where you can get fiber internet? Moving to a major fiber city takes most of the guess work out of finding a place to live with high-speed internet.
Cities with fiber optic internet are cities with gigabit internet — which offer the fastest speeds available. Those cities have the best internet. It’s that simple.
Whether you’re looking to work from home, stream, game, learn, or play, fiber internet offers you faster speeds and security than any other form of internet connection, including cable. Unlimited data is also a great perk when you’re constantly streaming and gaming.
With the highest speeds, expanding availability, and most reliable service, it can’t be beaten. Let’s take a deep dive into why fiber internet is better and what cities offer some of the best access.
Why are cities moving to fiber?
If you live in a major city, chances are you’ve seen signs around town or received advertisements in the mail that fiber is coming or now available in your area. Why the sudden change to fiber, and why the rise in fiber optic cities?
Upload speeds are becoming more important than ever because of large file attachments and video conferencing. Fiber internet boasts symmetrical speeds, meaning your upload and download speeds are the same. That’s as good as it gets. Cable internet has asymmetrical speed, where your upload speeds are significantly less than your download speeds. That disparity can be frustrating during video calls — when you can still see your friends, but they can’t see or hear you.
Fiber internet also runs on a dedicated line, so your household is the only one using that access point. Cable internet lines are often shared between multiple homes or an entire neighborhood, leading to network congestion and lowered speeds when lots of folks are using the internet at the same time. That congestion is why you may notice it takes longer for Netflix to load in the evenings, or why you can’t connect to Zoom while your roommates are also on calls.
Fiber’s dedicated line means you’re getting the fastest possible speed every time.
Think of it like having a fast pass for the express toll lanes — you get to cruise by the most congested part of the information superhighway.
Fiber internet service providers are making major headway to retire old cable lines and bring new, fast fiber into high-density cities and places. The more people that live in your city, the more internet congestion, and the more congestion, the bigger the need for a solution like fiber internet. Some local governments have even started advocating for the laying of fiber cables in order to attract new residents and young professionals to their neighborhoods. Fiber is a huge incentive when you’re looking for a place to live if it’s already available; it can take years to make a city fiber friendly.
Why is Fiber Internet Faster?
So what makes fiber internet light years ahead of cable? A few things.
First, it doesn’t use electricity. Fiber internet wires are made up of extremely thin glass strands, which, unlike the copper wires used for cable internet, do not conduct electricity. As a bonus, the strands are smaller, so more can fit in a designated area. Instead of sending your data via electricity, fiber sends it using light signals, so it reaches its destination a lot faster.
Using light instead of electricity also makes fiber internet less prone to fires and more durable.
The equipment on either end can be easily upgraded and replaced without having to dig up and rebury the entire line. This makes fiber a more sustainable — and more affordable — long-term alternative to cable internet.
In fact, the only downside to fiber internet is that it’s not yet available everywhere.
Where to Live for the Best Fiber Internet Access
We’ve rounded up the top ten cities with the best internet in the U.S., making them great for remote workers who need a reliable way to do everything from home. They might not be the metro areas you’d expect.
Looking for the best states for fiber internet? Check out our list of the top ten states with the best internet in the U.S. here.
The financial and technology center of the South, Atlanta is a large city situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. What does that mean for you? You get the benefits of a cosmopolitan area with stunning natural areas within close driving distance. As a bonus, it’s far enough south you can enjoy warmer temperatures and sunshine without completely giving up seasons. In a recent study, Atlanta was ranked as the No. 1 best U.S. city for Gen Zers based on the city’s high affordability, low unemployment and education among generation Z, in addition high internet speeds.
Charlotte is best known for being a business and financial hub, but it’s also a college town as home to a University of North Carolina campus. The city has a wide variety of sports — NFL, NBA, and MLS teams, plus NASCAR and a range of minor league teams — so you can catch a game in any season. It also claims the title as the city with the most millennial growth from 2005–2015. The city was recently recognized as one of the top 25 cities in the country with the highest number of tech job listings.
Kansas City, MO, straddles the border on the western edge of Missouri and the eastern edge of Kansas. KCMO is the more populous Kansas City (as compared to KCK, or Kansas City, KS) and is known for barbeque, jazz, professional sports, and its fountains. Topeka, KS, about an hour outside of Kansas City, MO, has been offering a relocation bonus of up to $15,000 for remote or on-site workers and also enjoys great fiber internet access. While Topeka is smaller than Kansas City, it boasts housing prices below the national average and a range of neighborhoods to fit any style preference or household size.
If you love outdoor activities, Salt Lake City (also referred to as SLC) might be the place for you. SLC boasts hiking and biking in local canyons and is only a day’s drive from nearby national parks (Utah has five). Whether you like winter or summer outdoor activities, you’ll be able to find them here in plentiful supply. And thanks to a new initiative, Connecting Utah, the state has received more than $15 million in federal funding to bring or improve internet access across 70,000 homes.
Ready to make the switch to fiber internet? Check your availability and get the best fiber optic internet near you!
Austin may be the capital of Texas, but it’s also known as the Live Musical Capital of the World. The city is well-known for its small, unique local businesses and has become a center for business and technology since the 1990s. The internationally known SXSW Festival is held here annually boasting the latest in film, music, and tech. Austin is experiencing the highest job growth in the country, and expects a 12% increase in jobs over the next five years. No state income tax and mild winters certainly don’t hurt.
What can we say, Texas is a big state with more than a handful of tech-oriented cities. San Antonio is headquarters to four Fortune 500 companies, but many large companies have branch offices here. Worried about walkability? Enter The River Walk, which connects 2,020 acres of public land with a river running through it. This area is pedestrian-only and features restaurants, bars, shops, museums, and more. Fiber is widely available and, of course, there’s no state income tax.
What happens in Vegas doesn’t have to stay in Vegas if you’ve got fiber high-speed internet — sharing fun videos, photos, and facetime calls is easy. While the bright lights of the casinos may immediately come to mind, Vegas offers a hometown feel, too. While the majority of employment in the Entertainment Capital of the World revolves around the hospitality industry, there are also museums, an art district, and three major league professional sports teams. Similar to Salt Lake City, Las Vegas also offers nearby hiking, cycling, and boating for the outdoors-inclined. As an added bonus, Vegas is looking to attract more remote workers to the area, including tech startups and pilot programs.
Pennsylvania’s second-largest city, Pittsburgh is known for its steel and petroleum manufacturing as well as its role in electronics and automotive industries. While the city still recalls its more industrial history with great pride, it’s also become a hub for health care, education, and technology, and is home to several large universities. Duolingo is headquartered here, and Zoom has even expanded into the Steel City. Due to its tech job opportunities and fiber internet, Pittsburgh is a great place to plug in.
Previously known as an oil and gas industry hub, today Tulsa’s biggest economic sectors are finance, aviation, telecommunications, and technology. Tulsa’s remote work sector is growing, largely with the help of their Tulsa Remote initiative which gives employees cash, a coworking space, and other perks. The cost of living here is roughly 13% below the national average, making it an ideal spot for young professionals who are getting started in life. Plus, with less road congestion and plentiful parking, you can easily explore the city in your downtime.
Seattle, the northernmost big city in the U.S., often springs to mind when talking about corporate HQs, coffee, rainy weather, or the Space Needle. But it’s also a major software, biotechnology, and technical services hub. The city is home to large names in the internet space, including Amazon, Redfin, Turbo, and Zillow. Microsoft is headquartered just outside the city limits in Redmond, Washington. Worried about leaving your four-legged friends behind if you relocate? Don’t be. Seattle is considered the most dog-friendly city in the country.
States with the best fiber internet
Maybe you’re not looking to move to these fiber internet cities, but there are certainly states that are more fiber friendly than others. Wondering what states have fiber optic internet? Check out our post here.
Looking for new internet services? Want to start surfing without data caps? EarthLink Fiber has the fast speeds you need for working from home, online gaming, remote learning, connecting with friends and family, streaming, and so much more. Reach speeds up to 5 Gigs and find an internet plan that matches your needs and budget.
Call today and we’ll help find the best fiber optic internet in your area. 866-618-0397