- Most Denver residents can access Fiber or DSL from CenturyLink and cable from Xfinity.
- Smaller local providers like ForeThought and WiFiHood bridge the gap in some areas. ForeThought fiber is only available in specific multi-unit buildings.
- Google plans to offer gigabit fixed wireless service through WebPass in Denver in the near future.
Best Residential Internet Providers in Denver
We combed through the fine print and promotional offers to decide which Internet plan offered the best value in Denver. Here’s our top pick and runner-up:
XFINITY from Comcast - Top Pick
- Pricing: $1999 - $8999
- Max Down: 987 Mbps
- Max Up: 35 Mbps
Xfinity is the go-to option in much of the US for cable Internet access. Their network is fast, reliable, and installing service is simple with their self-install kits. Their TV offerings feature sports, HD channels, and hundreds of channels.
CenturyLink - Runner Up
- Pricing: $4500 - $8500
- Max Down: 140 Mbps
- Max Up: 50 Mbps
CenturyLink is the underdog of DSL services in the area, but we found that their service actually delivers some of the best value in the area in terms of cost-to-speed value. Their TV options don’t cut any corners, including all the essentials like premium channels, sports packages, and even international channels.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Denver
As a rule of thumb, fiber offers the best residential Internet, followed by cable and DSL. Fixed wireless is also a common option in the Denver area, and the technology has improved in recent years to make it a real competitor for wired service.
While DSL is usually less preferable than cable, it’s worth pointing out that in Denver specifically, CenturyLink’s DSL service comes without a data cap, while Xfinity caps at a terabyte/month.
Below is a table of every Internet option in Denver currently registered with the FCC.
|$4999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|$1999+|| 98% |
|$4500+|| 87% |
|$9900+|| 77% |
|$2995+|| 54% |
|N/A|| 6% |
|$5500+|| 3% |
|$4500+|| 3% |
Best Business Internet Providers
Business broadband requirements tend to be much higher than a standard residential plan can offer, from static IPs to symmetrical upload/download speeds.
Denver’s booming tech scene has increased availability and competition for business broadband in Denver. Here’s our top pick for best value on a business broadband plan:
XFINITY from Comcast - Business Pick
- Max Down: 987 Mbps
- Max Up: 35 Mbps
Comcast Business is our top pick for business service in the area thanks to their combination of affordable service and scalable features. That scalability makes it a good choice for medium-sized enterprises built for steady growth. Cloud services, VoIP and hosted voice, and business TV are among the options for business clients.
Business Internet Providers Available in Denver
Depending on the neighborhood your offices are located in, options can vary pretty widely outside central Denver.
Sometimes providers will offer plans specific to a neighborhood or building, so be sure to check your address manually with a rep at any of these business broadband providers currently serving Denver.
|N/A|| 100% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|$6995+|| 94% |
|N/A|| 99% |
|$7999+|| 95% |
|N/A|| 88% |
|$6995+|| 64% |
|N/A|| 18% |
|$11000+|| 13% |
|N/A|| 9% |
|N/A|| 4% |
|N/A|| 8% |
|N/A|| 7% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Denver
Denver is decently wired when it comes to broadband, and most neighborhoods at least have the choice between DSL and cable. In more central areas, fiber options from CenturyLink and a few niche providers round out the picture.
Something that makes Denver unique is their large fixed wireless provider count, creating some livable deals for farther-flung neighborhoods that might not have access to the latest cutting-edge wired options.
Provider Competition Map
Denver Internet Speed Overview
Comcast Xfinity recently stepped up their game in response to CenturyLink’s fiber expansion, and has been offering gigabit cable service throughout much of their local network in Denver. That said, gigabit cable comes at a high price compared to true fiber, and the upload speed is usually much lower than the “gigabit” download speed advertised.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|43.25 Mbps||111.82 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within Denver
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Denver
There are a couple important things to understand before choosing an Internet provider in Denver: how cable and DSL work, and how bundling affects your overall price.
Technology: Cable vs DSL in Denver
As explained above, the main options for home Internet in Denver are cable from Xfinity and DSL from CenturyLink. While CenturyLink offers fiber in some areas, it’s not yet a reality for the vast majority of Denver residents.
…But what’s the difference between cable and DSL Internet? The short version is: cable Internet comes from cable TV companies and is delivered over cable lines. DSL Internet comes from phone companies, and is delivered over phone lines.
Cable generally clocks in with faster speeds and more reliability, but loses points for slowing down during peak use times (usually 5–9pm). The cables are usually buried for at least part of their journey, making cable Internet less vulnerable to weather interruption.
DSL is more budget-friendly, but tends to be a bit slower and less reliable since it relies on above-ground copper telephone lines for delivery. However, it can actually outperform cable in some parts of Denver depending on the distance between your specific address and the local CenturyLink office.
It also creates a direct connection for your Internet rather than the “shared” connection common with cable, so it doesn’t slow down when your neighbors start streaming Netflix at the same time.
Denver-Area Double Play and Triple Play bundle deals
Another reason the difference between cable and DSL matters is because of bundling.
Most wired Internet providers in Denver offer TV and phone service in addition to Internet connections. Bundle those services together, and you’ll probably save some cash every month compared to purchasing services separately.
We found Xfinity to have some of the better TV channel packages, although CenturyLink partners with DirecTV to offer good value if you have space for a satellite dish.
Fixed Wireless Options
The arrival of wireless gigabit service from WebPass, which was recently acquired by Google, has brought new attention to the possibility of a wireless revolution in Denver. As you can see in our list of Denver Internet providers above, wireless is a popular and prevalent option, even in areas where wired options like DSL are available. New advances in fixed wireless technology have given hope to neighborhoods that otherwise would be difficult to reach with wired service.
Denver City Government Broadband Initiatives
While Colorado state holds a few municipal broadband network success stories, Denver itself is currently completely privatized so far as Internet infrastructure. While the Denver area historically supports publicly-funded fiber infrastructure, in practice the community has mostly relied on promoting competition between private companies like Comcast and CenturyLink. The plethora of wireless options in Denver makes it possible for customers to choose another provider if they can’t afford price hikes, resulting in decent price-to-speed value compared to other parts of the state.
Broadband Roadblocks in Denver
The biggest issue currently facing Internet access in Denver is the lack of true fiber infrastructure in the last mile. Installing fiber is expensive, so it’s difficult for private companies to justify the expense unless forced to by competition from other providers.
Denver has been considered by Fiber providers like Google Fiber in the past, but the lack of access to dark fiber and patchwork nature of local infrastructure and regulation has stopped it from making the shortlist for citywide Fiber to the Home (FTTH) service from outside providers thus far.
For more information on the future of Internet access in Denver, we’ve reached out to local government staff and tech organizations for commentary. If you are involved in a broadband initiative in Denver that isn’t featured on this page, please let us know so we can include your information.
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.