- Spectrum is the largest cable provider in Buffalo, alongside DSL and fiber “FiOS” service from Verizon.
- Business broadband options include even more choice, with specialized fiber and wireless options serving Buffalo industries.
- The average broadband speed recorded in Buffalo is 16.75 Mbps.
Best Residential Internet Providers
Buffalo offers decent competition compared to other cities of its size. Most residents have a choice between cable, DSL, and around half even have fiber access. Here are our top picks after comparing and contrasting every local plan and company.
Charter Spectrum - Top Pick
- Pricing: $4499 - $12997
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Charter Spectrum’s plans in the area are notable more for what they lack than what they have: no data caps, no confusing marketing jargon, and no compromise on TV services. These qualities combined with the high download speeds makes it a commonly recommended choice for home Internet and TV.
Verizon Fios - Runner Up
- Pricing: $3999 - $7999
- Max Down: 940 Mbps
- Max Up: 880 Mbps
Verizon Fios is our top-rated provider for two big reasons: speed and pricing. While the plans aren’t always as flexible as cable and DSL options, they deliver several times the performance for a marginally higher price point. Their TV offerings are great for ultra-high-def screens.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Buffalo
Buffalo Internet providers also come in the form of wireless options like fixed wireless.
|$4499+|| 100% |
|$4999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|$2499+|| 87% |
|$3999+|| 49% |
|$5000+|| 4% |
Best Business Internet Providers
Here’s our top pick for business broadband in Buffalo.
Charter Spectrum - Business Pick
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Charter Business is one of the most commonly available connectivity options for small and medium-sized businesses in the area. They win our recommendation by combining excellent reliability and features like Static IPs and cloud backup with budget-friendly pricing.
Business Internet Providers Available in Buffalo
The business Internet market in Buffalo is robust considering the population density. While the average mid-sized business picks cable for price-to-speed value, there are several other options, including DSL, fiber, and fixed wireless service. All providers listed here offer dedicated IP, business-class support, and everything else you’d expect from business service. While the list below includes all publicly listed business plans, keep in mind that some residential providers will be able to offer business broadband service if you call and ask, depending on wiring at your location.
|$5999+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|$6499+|| 84% |
|N/A|| 39% |
|N/A|| 47% |
|N/A|| 14% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Buffalo
Buffalo stacks up well compared to similar cities, so far as Internet options are concerned. As you can see in the map below most residents have at least a few options for true broadband (25/3 Mbps, as defined by the FCC.)
Provider Competition Map
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Buffalo
Modem Rental Fees
If you opt to buy your own modem or route, be sure to double-check that the monthly leasing fee is removed from your bill. Some Buffalo residents have reported issues with getting add-on fees like equipment rentals removed from their bill, particularly if they upgrade to their own equipment in the middle of a contract.
Technology Options in Buffalo
Home Internet in Buffalo generally comes in three flavors: fiber, cable, and DSL. Other options like wireless and satellite aren’t usually as fast and affordable for residential connections.
Choosing the technology that makes most sense for you is actually pretty easy: if fiber is available, take it. If not, consider cable. Finally, opt for DSL if it’s your only wired option.
High Speeds for All by 2018?
Buffalo is involved in a government initiative throughout Western New York state aimed at providing “broadband for all by 2018.” While the plan is ambitious, participating areas have provided $4.2 million in grants for participating local providers including Charter Communications.
In a statement on the grant program, Buffalo mayor Byron Brown reiterated the city’s commitment to making sure “those who have been left behind have the tools they need to succeed in the 21st century.”
Will Buffalo Get Google Fiber?
Buffalo isn’t currently a strong contender for startup-style fiber service from Google Fiber or a similar company. Regardless of that fact, Google has been slowing down fiber expansion recently, and refocusing on wireless options. It’s expected that if Google comes to town in the future, it’ll be with millimeter-wave fixed wireless technology rather than true fiber networks.
Broadband Roadblocks in Buffalo
Municipal broadband is not currently an option for Buffalo residents. Although state laws in New York are not as harsh as some other parts of the country, the cost-to-benefit analysis is hard to support in Buffalo. Like any public utilities project, installing municipal broadband would be pricy and likely time-consuming, and possibly create a bad environment for future private competition in the area.
References and Footnotes
Ana De Castro
Ana De Castro cut her teeth as a SAP consultant for Deloitte during the original tech boom, and now works in a communications role in the telecom industry. When she isn’t explaining technical concepts to confused consumers, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two rambunctious kids.
James Webb is a tech and gadgets expert with a focus on educational content development. He draws on his background in the startup world to make complicated technologies and topics easy to understand for normal folks.