- Columbus has a strong array of options for home and apartment Internet. Spectrum, AT&T, and WOW! Are the most common options within city limits.
- The average Internet speed in Columbus is 38.74 Mbps, according to speed test data.
- Columbus businesses have even more options than residential, including smaller niche providers specialized in industrial services and custom packages.
Best Residential Internet Providers
Cable and DSL are the main options for home Internet in Columbus. We picked these providers for offering the most value to the average home for daily needs like surfing the web, Facebooking, and streaming video content.
WOW! - Top Pick
- Pricing: $3999 - $12999
- Max Down: 50 Mbps
- Max Up: 5.0 Mbps
WOW! is a well-liked cable provider in the area, and their mix of speed, reliability, and friendly customer service wins them our recommendation to anyone in their service area. Cord cutters will appreciate the unlimited streaming policy. TV fans will appreciate their flexible premium channel lineups.
AT&T Internet - Runner Up
- Pricing: $5000 - $8000
- Max Down: 1,000 Mbps
- Max Up: 1,000 Mbps
AT&T is one of the most prevalent options for Internet in the area, and is a particularly good choice for families who want to bundle in landline phone service with a basic Internet plan. It offers more than enough speed to stream Netflix, video chat, and other heavy bandwidth uses.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Columbus
Columbus has more options than the average metro area. As you can see, some of these providers only serve small parts of the city. Use our zip code search tool to see which are likely to be wired at your specified address.
|$4499+|| 100% |
|$4999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 99% |
|$3999+|| 87% |
|$3900+|| 65% |
|$5200+|| 45% |
|$5000+|| 3% |
Best Business Internet Providers
Here’s our top pick for business broadband in Columbus.
Charter Spectrum - Business Pick
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Charter Spectrum offers one of the strongest networks in the area for business-class reliability, featuring a hybrid fiber-coaxial architecture that’s hard to beat in terms of raw download and upload speeds within the price range of a small or medium-sized business.
Business Internet Providers Available in Columbus
Columbus has an impressive array of options for business broadband, including several small niche operators with small coverage footprints. All the providers listed below currently advertise business services to Columbus zip codes.
|$10999+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 98% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 91% |
|$2999+|| 28% |
|N/A|| 74% |
|$7400+|| 53% |
|N/A|| 11% |
|N/A|| 9% |
|$5900+|| 7% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Columbus
While most areas have at least a couple Internet options, other parts of Columbus get the short end of the stick. In these areas, customers have much less choice, and may be trapped with a single provider and high prices if they require speeds that no one else can offer.
Provider Competition Map
Columbus Internet Speed Overview
The highest speed we’ve recorded on speed tests in Columbus is 97.66 Mbps. The average speed is 38.74 Mbps. While speeds increase dramatically in the few Columbus areas wired with fiber, they often max out around 100–300 Mbps in residential areas.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|38.74 Mbps||97.66 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within Columbus
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Columbus
Early Termination Fees
Contracts that run for a year or more generally offer the best monthly pricing for Internet service, especially when bundled with TV service. The catch here is the fees you’ll owe if you need to break that contract early.
As a rule of thumb, try not to sign a contract that’s longer than your lease. Also be aware of how the monthly bill is calculated for the life of your contract, not just the first few months of “promotional pricing.”
Equipment Rental Fees
Most Internet plans offered in Columbus come with the equipment needed to make your home connection and/or Wi-Fi work. That usually means a modem, router, or combo unit. While the $5–10/month leasing fee for that equipment looks small up front, it adds up to hundreds of dollars if you are a customer for multiple years.
Our recommendation: purchase your own hardware from a third party if you’ll be subscribing for more than a year. Using your own equipment will also make it easier for you to unlock advanced security features and monitoring options for your home network.
As of 2016, Columbus lawmakers were working to create public/private partnerships between the government and local Internet providers. The goal of these arrangements is to make it easier for more providers to offer faster speeds in underserved neighborhoods. 
Broadband Roadblocks in Columbus
100% public-owned options such as municipal broadband have been suggested for Columbus in the past, but ultimately the cost of installing a network like this would be difficult to fit into the tax budget.
Opponents also note that municipal broadband options could potentially create an anti-competitive environment for private providers if technology costs lower enough to foster significant broadband competition down the road.
Low-income Columbus residents can check for subsidized plans and equipment through EveryoneOn. In some cases, basic home access can be installed for as little as $10/month, connecting those in need with critical communication, educational opportunities, and employment search tools.
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.