- Cincinnati Bell and Charter Spectrum are the most widely available wired broadband options in Cincinnati. Cincinnati Bell offers fiber and DSL service, while Spectrum is a cable provider.
- Neither of these providers uses data caps in Cincinnati, making life easier for “cord cutters.” However, Spectrum offers some compelling TV/Internet bundles, particularly for sports fans.
- Cincinnati businesses have a wide range of options when it comes to business broadband, including smaller specialist providers.
Best Residential Internet Providers
Speeds available for home and apartment Internet in Cincinnati can vary somewhat depending on neighborhood or building. Overall, we found these providers to offer the best bang for your buck. Both of these providers frequently offer sign-up promotions for new customers, as well as reduced pricing for TV/Internet bundle plans.
Cincinnati Bell - Top Pick
- Pricing: $3999 - $12999
- Max Down: 1,000 Mbps
- Max Up: 250 Mbps
Cincinnati Bell is a well-liked smaller provider and offers about the best speed-to-price value available in city limits. For customers with fiber access, they have gigabit speed plans, but their DSL budget plans are also a good value. They get solid ratings on customers service and small-business-style technical support.
Charter Spectrum - Runner Up
- Pricing: $4499 - $10499
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Charter Spectrum makes a strong contender for our top pick both as an Internet-only provider and as a bundled TV/Internet option. They don’t currently have data caps, which is good news for cord cutters and streamers. On the flip side, their TV bundle options have everything you could want from HD to sports to family packages, at normal prices in the cable TV market.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Cincinnati
Cincinnati has a decent array of options, although you should keep in mind that some of these only have limited availability within city limits. Check your address using our Internet search tool before bothering to read up on providers.
|$4499+|| 100% |
|$4999+|| 100% |
|$3000+|| 100% |
|$3999+|| 82% |
|$8995+|| 8% |
|N/A|| 8% |
|$5000+|| 2% |
Best Business Internet Providers
We selected this company for offering the most appealing business broadband services out of all the plans and providers available in Cincinnati.
Charter Spectrum - Business Pick
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Charter Business services includes all the core features like SIP trunking, hosted voice, and basics like business TV plans. It’s a good fit for small and medium-sized businesses that want a provider that combines affordability with scalability for future rapid growth.
Business Internet Providers Available in Cincinnati
Cincinnati has a variety of business-focused Internet providers. Here’s a full listing according to the latest data from the FCC.
|$5999+|| 100% |
|$6999+|| 100% |
|$9999+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 77% |
|N/A|| 49% |
|N/A|| 25% |
|$9995+|| 12% |
|N/A|| 6% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Cincinnati
For a granular view of how individual neighborhoods compare in terms of Internet options, navigate to your area of interest using the interactive mapping tool below.
Provider Competition Map
Cincinnati Internet Speed Overview
We found the average speed in Cincinnati to be around 32.64 Mbps. This figure is supported by localized speed test data. The 90th percentile top speed average in the city is 86.95 Mbps. Thanks to fiber competition from Cincinnati Bell (known as “Cincy Bell” to locals), we expect to see speed test data continue to trend upwards in coming years.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|32.64 Mbps||86.95 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within Cincinnati
Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Cincinnati
Cincinnati is lucky to be largely free of data caps, making it a great area for streamers with a Netflix/Hulu/Twitch habit. That said, there are still a few issues that newcomers should be aware of before selecting a local plan.
Limited-Time Promotional Pricing
If you’re signing a multi-year contract for Internet and/or TV service, make sure you’ve read the fine print and understand exactly how your monthly pricing can change over the service period. Is it locked in, or will it change after the first few months? It’s common for Cincinnati providers to tempt customers with ultra-low-cost “signup offers” that cut monthly bills by as much as half for the first part of your contract, but then jump up again for the remainder of the time. Ultimately, you’ll have to figure out the average monthly price to actually compare plans like this to other options.
Router Rental Fees
Equipment rentals are the standard option for most providers in Cincinnati. If you want to get around the $5–10 monthly fee and save a few hundred dollars in the long run, consider purchasing your own modem, router, or combo gateway device. Each provider serving the area should be able to provide information on compatible equipment makes and models via their phone support or website.
Cincinnati Smart City Initiative
As of 2017, Cincinnati’s local government was seeking proposals from developers who could introduce advanced “smart grid” technology to the area. If this plan pans out, residents can expect to see a rapid expansion in affordable gigabit services through public/private partnerships. Free or tiered Wi-Fi and other wireless Internet options are also part of the mayor’s proposed plan to transform Cincinnati into a “smart city.”
What About Google Fiber?
Google Fiber has paused their expansion plan as of this report. However, the company is doubling down on fixed wireless gigabit service, rolling out high speed service to multi-unit buildings in several cities. If Google comes to Cincinnati in the future — and that’s a big “if” — it will probably be with fixed wireless service, not a FTTH (Fiber to the Home) service model.
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.