Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber offer supremely fast internet speeds on 99.9 percent reliable fiber-optic systems. But this competition goes beyond the speeds. In the country’s expansive broadband market, transparency, customer satisfaction, and added benefits are drastically changing the rules of the game.
Stick with us on this journey to uncover the best fiber internet provider: Google Fiber vs. AT&T Fiber.
Lauded as first-class internet providers, AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber have some good things going for them—namely, no data caps, no contracts, and the fastest speeds in the region. But these things alone do not present the full picture. There are some key differences between Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber, that make them unique and preferable to their customers.
Below, we have outlined the main differences between Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber to help you choose an internet provider that perfectly meets your needs.
Google Fiber, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (yes, the parent company of Google), entered the fiber internet world in the early 2010s. It was a bold move, venturing into a domain dominated by longstanding players. It is known for high-quality service rather than low costs. The service is expanding. New areas include Lakewood, Colorado, and the suburbs of North Carolina. Yet, it serves less than 1% of US households, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data. But the growth is steady, reaching beyond big cities.
Google Fiber is introducing faster plans. These include 5 Gbps and 8 Gbps options in select areas. The company aims to bring these to more cities soon. Its entry-level plan with speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps stands out among the base plans offered by renowned providers. Google Fiber’s starting gigabit speeds are no match for other providers’ 300 Mbps and 500 Mbps base tiers.
In some cities, it uses Webpass technology. This tech wirelessly connects high-occupancy buildings to a central hub and delivers uninterrupted high-speed internet access.
The starting price of Google Fiber plans is $70 per month. This price gives users up to a gig of symmetrical upload and download speeds. Users also enjoy free equipment and unlimited data. Many believe this offers the best value among major ISPs.
If you value speed and are willing to pay for it, Google Fiber is worth considering. It promises reliability and unmatched value in the ISP market.
AT&T Fiber is making notable strides, steadfastly working towards its goal to offer the best fixed-broadband service. The company has deep roots, going back to the invention of the telephone. Today, it owns big names like DirecTV and WarnerMedia (previously known as Time Warner).
As of 2020, AT&T Fiber catered to 15.38 million customers, offering various services, including high-speed broadband and fiber-optic internet. Last year, AT&T Fiber expanded significantly. It launched new multi-gig plans in over 100 cities. This move increased its reach to over 7 million customers. This initiative is part of a larger vision, with the company setting a target to expand its fiber service to more than 30 million customer locations by 2025.
The service is currently accessible in 21 states, primarily in the southern and midwestern regions of the US. The company also introduced a 5G home internet service, AT&T Internet Air, in 16 states. It is pertinent to note that the fiber service is not available widely in all of AT&T’s service areas.
While AT&T Fiber has made remarkable progress in terms of its hyperfast offerings, its availability remains spotty across the 21-state fiber footprint.
As we move more in-depth into the offerings of AT&T and Google Fiber, it becomes imperative to scrutinize the plans they offer and the speeds that come with them. Let’s kick off this exploration with a detailed look at what AT&T Fiber has in store for its customers.
AT&T offers a range of plans, including fully fiber and fiber + DSL hybrid options. However, for this discussion, we will focus solely on the fiber plans.
Generally, AT&T Fiber plans are accessible in large cities. The speed range is wide. It starts from 300 Mbps and goes up to 5,000 Mbps. This means there is something for everyone, whether for work, school, or home use. A big plus is the symmetrical speed. This means your upload speed matches your download speed. It is great for video calls and online gaming.
You also get unlimited data. This is perfect for heavy internet users. The pricing is fair for the speeds you get.
If AT&T Fiber is available in your area, it is a good choice. It offers speed and reliability, promising a smooth internet experience.
|Plans||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Price|
|AT&T Fiber 300||300 Mbps||300 Mbps||$55/mo.|
|AT&T Fiber 500||500 Mbps||500 Mbps||$65/mo.|
|AT&T Fiber 1000||1,000 Mbps||1,000 Mbps||$80/mo.|
|AT&T Fiber 2 GIG||2,000 Mbps||2,000 Mbps||$150/mo.|
|AT&T Fiber 5 GIG||5,000 Mbps||5,000 Mbps||$250/mo.|
AT&T Fiber requires specific equipment, including a modem and router. The company usually provides this with the service. Some plans include the equipment cost, while others have a monthly fee. It is best to check the exact details of your chosen plan.
Installation is a key step in setting up your AT&T Fiber internet service. AT&T offers both professional installation and self-installation options. The professional installation might come with a one-time fee, which can vary based on your location, but the standard charge is $99 per visit.
On the other hand, opting for self-installation can potentially save you on the installation charges, as AT&T provides a detailed guide to assist you in setting up the service yourself.
AT&T Fiber plans come without binding contracts, offering a month-to-month service agreement. This means that you have the flexibility to cancel the service at any time without a penalty.
But be cautious; promotional offers might require a commitment period. Ending the service prematurely might affect the benefits associated with the offer.
Google Fiber has two types of plans: Fiber and Webpass.
Recently, Google Fiber introduced super-fast plans with speeds of up to 8,000 Mbps. Both their 1 Gig and 2 Gig plans are competitively priced and offer unlimited data. These speeds are suitable for large families, homes with roommates, or small businesses. Even their 5,000 Mbps and 8,000 Mbps plans are reasonably priced for the incredible speed they provide.
Currently, Google Fiber offers between two to four plan options, including the newly introduced 5 Gbps and 8 Gbps plans. These high-speed plans are in the initial stages of rollout, available in select areas with the promise of extending to all markets later in the year.
In addition to the Fiber plans, Google offers Webpass in select cities including Chicago, Denver, Miami, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Oakland, California. Webpass is a high-speed fixed wireless internet service, offering a singular gigabit service plan for a monthly fee of $70. Please note that the speeds on Google Webpass connection vary between 100 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps on the building’s infrastructure and network potential.
When considering Google Fiber, first check what plans are available in your area to match your internet speed needs and budget.
|Plans||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Price|
|1 Gig||1,000 Mbps||1,000 Mbps||$70/mo.|
|2 Gig||2,000 Mbps||2,000 Mbps||$100/mo.|
|5 Gig||5,000 Mbps||5,000 Mbps||$125/mo.|
|8 Gig||8,000 Mbps||8,000 Mbps||$150/mo.|
When you opt for a Google Fiber internet plan, you are in for a treat as the company does not charge any additional fees for the equipment. The 1 Gig plan offers a Wi-Fi router and up to two access points, covering around 3,000 square feet of your home. If you need more coverage, you can purchase additional access points for $100 each. Moreover, the 2 Gig plan comes with a Multi-Gig Wi-Fi 6 router. This plan also includes Wi-Fi extenders if necessary to guarantee whole-home Wi-Fi coverage. But with the 2 Gig plan, using your own equipment is not an option.
The installation process involves a series of steps where a dedicated team of technicians ensures that the fiber-optic line is securely installed.
Now, one might assume that such a comprehensive installation process comes with hefty charges, but Google Fiber does not charge an installation fee. Yes, you read that right; the installation is done free of charge. The company adopts a customer-friendly approach, choosing not to levy any installation fees on the users.
Google Fiber promotes flexibility with its no-contract policy. Enjoy the service without fearing early termination fees. This user-friendly approach, coupled with unlimited data, highlights Google Fiber’s dedication to value and convenience. Moreover, the company maintains transparency by avoiding hidden fees, a move that has been well-received by its customer base.
More perks, more flexibility. Both ISPs aim to provide benefits to their customers. Currently, Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber offer different perks that gain the attention of the ISP market. Let’s look at them!
A stable and fast internet connection is the backbone of a smooth gaming experience. The choice between Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber hinges on individual needs, service availability, and budget. Both offer symmetrical high-speed, low-latency connections, with AT&T Fiber taking the lead in the overall experience.
Google Fiber shines with superior speeds and notable customer satisfaction but falls short in widespread availability. So, the perks become somewhat limited if the service isn’t accessible in your locality.
Contrastingly, AT&T Fiber excels in several aspects, including impressive customer satisfaction scores, offering speeds of up to 5 Gbps – sufficient for all kinds of heavy gaming, and broader coverage.
Choosing the right ISP depends on its coverage area, which refers to the geographical locations where the company’s internet services are accessible. Let’s delve into the coverage specifics of AT&T Fiber and Google Fiber to expedite your decision-making process.
AT&T Fiber boasts a considerable reach, offering services in approximately 21 U.S. states. However, it is important to highlight that some remote regions and certain states only have access to plans with speeds less than 1 Gbps. AT&T is actively broadening its network to encompass all major urban areas, envisioning a future with even wider coverage.
Below is a detailed breakdown of the states serviced by AT&T Fiber:
|AT&T Fiber Coverage States|
When looking at the flip side, Google Fiber has a narrower footprint, currently serving around 30 metro areas. Even with its limited scope, it has managed to acquire a substantial market share with its innovative fiber-based internet plans. It is actively working to increase its presence in new cities, albeit currently serving less than 1% of the U.S. populace. The areas served by Google Fiber benefit from high-speed internet and transparent pricing, fostering a loyal customer base.
Here is a list of cities where Google Fiber is available:
|Google Fiber Coverage Cities|
|Atlanta, GA||Kansas City, MO||Pocatello, ID|
|Austin, TX||Lakewood, CO||Provo, UT|
|Chandler, AZ||Logan, UT||Salt Lake Valley, UT|
|Charlotte, NC||Mesa, AZ||San Antonio, TX|
|Chicago, IL||Murfreesboro, TN||San Diego, CA|
|Council Bluffs, IA||Miami, FL||San Francisco, CA|
|Denver, CO||Nashville, TN||Seattle, WA|
|Des Moines, IA||Oakland, CA||The Triangle, NC|
|Huntsville, AL||Omaha, NE||West Des Moines, IA|
|Kansas City, KS||Orange County, CA||Westminster, CO|
Google Fiber and AT&T Fiber are working hard to offer premium services to their customers, with a focus on high-speed internet and customer satisfaction. They both have high scores in customer care, indicating a strong commitment to serving their customers well. However, AT&T Fiber takes a slight lead in customer satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Let’s check in detail!
Google Fiber holds a customer care score of 7/10, according to CNET. The ACSI gave them a thumbs up with a score of 76 out of 100, a point above the category average. The company maintains a clean record with minimal complaints filed against it. From pricing to installation guidelines, everything is kept simple and transparent.
AT&T Fiber, on the other hand, has a slightly higher customer care score of 7.4/10 on CNET. In the ACSI rankings, AT&T Fiber topped the list with a score of 80 out of 100, showcasing strong customer satisfaction. They are constantly working to reach more people by expanding their fiber network.
|AT&T Fiber or Google Fiber ACSI 2023 Rating|
After an all-around review of Google Fiber vs. AT&T Fiber, it is time to settle the debate on which service deserves the title of Best Fiber Internet Provider.
In general, the best choice largely depends on individual preferences and the unique circumstances of the user, such as their location and internet usage.
But as we decide, for those who prioritize fast speeds and are willing to pay a premium, Google Fiber is a solid choice, offering speeds of up to 8 Gbps. But do we really need such super-fast speeds when a 5 Gbps connection can handle the most important tasks efficiently?
This brings us to why AT&T Fiber appears to be a strong competitor in this space, excelling in numerous areas including high customer satisfaction ratings and extensive coverage. So, AT&T’s case is strong when presented against Google Fiber’s.