- CenturyLink, Cox, and a variety of fixed wireless providers offer Internet coverage in Phoenix, Arizona.
- The average speed accounting for all speed tests we’ve observed within city limits is 32.67 Mbps.
- Phoenix residents often only have one or two options to choose from for true wired broadband (cable, DSL, and fiber.)
Best Residential Internet Providers
After comparing every plan and company currently on offer in the area, we picked these Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for providing the best “one size fits all” residential Internet service in Phoenix.
Cox Communications - Top Pick
- Pricing: $2999 - $8999
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 30 Mbps
Cox wins our approval in this area thanks to their strong combination of high download speeds and comprehensive TV offerings. Self-install is simple even for non-techies and the flexible TV plans offer good value for sports fans and family homes.
CenturyLink - Runner Up
- Pricing: $4500 - $16499
- Max Down: 1,000 Mbps
- Max Up: 1,000 Mbps
CenturyLink is a good second option for customers who are tired of basic cable, and their network has been improving lately as they phase out DSL in some areas in favor of true fiber. They win top marks for being cost effective and reliable, while also offering all the bells and whistles expected from a digital TV platform.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Phoenix
Fixed wireless and satellite Internet are common options in Phoenix thanks to the wide city area in need of service. Here’s a full list of residential providers in the area, including wireless ISPs.
|$4500+|| 95% |
|$2999+|| 94% |
|$4499+|| 11% |
|$4499+|| 3% |
|$7000+|| 93% |
|$5999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
Best Business Internet Providers
Businesses often have need above and beyond the average residential connection. For symmetrical upload and download speeds, dedicated IP, and other business-friendly services, we selected this provider for the best service in Phoenix.
Cox Communications - Business Pick
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 30 Mbps
Cox Communications business service offers all the bells and whistles associated with business broadband, including trunking phone services, fiber-optic connectivity, and server-friendly reliability.
Business Internet Providers Available in Phoenix
See the table below for a complete overview of ISPs with business-focused connection plans in Phoenix.
|$5499+|| 99% |
|$8900+|| 78% |
|N/A|| 6% |
|N/A|| 20% |
|$5000+|| 9% |
|$22500+|| 98% |
|N/A|| 8% |
|$6999+|| 100% |
|$9999+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 6% |
|N/A|| 5% |
|N/A|| 17% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Phoenix
Phoenix is a low-competition area for broadband, which means that many customers are left with only one or two real “choices.” Overall, fees are high and speeds are low compared to other cities. This is particularly true in outlying and lower-income Phoenix neighborhoods, where satellite is sometimes the best option for basic access.
“Cable vs DSL” is the main question most customers will find themselves asking. We generally recommend cable over DSL.
Provider Competition Map
Phoenix Internet Speed Overview
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|32.67 Mbps||84.14 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within Phoenix
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Phoenix
Phoenix is a predominantly cable and DSL market. Two common issues consumers should be aware of with cable and DSL are data caps and early termination fees.
“Data caps” are limits put on how much data a customer can download or upload within a given month. While caps are usually fairly high and not a concern for the average customer, they can be a major problem for gamers, cord cutters, and anyone else who uses their Internet connection more than average.
In Phoenix specifically, we tend to recommend cable from Cox for speed, but the fact that they have a data cap makes CenturyLink’s DSL service the “better option” for customers who are worried about their data cap. As of 2017, CenturyLink was data-cap-free in the Phoenix area.
Early Termination Fees (ETFs)
Some of the best monthly pricing on cable and DSL contracts comes attached to 1–2 year contracts. These are often a great deal, if you plan on living in that residence and using that provider for the length of the contract. The catch here is that you can wind up getting charged hundreds of dollars if you have to break the contract early to move or switch providers.
Be sure to check the fine print around ETFs in your Internet contract and understand exactly what exemptions the ISP allows for. It can be worth it in some cases to switch providers in spite of the ETF. In some cases, competing providers will even offer to buy out the fee to gain your business. This isn’t an option in Phoenix as of this writing, but promotions change quick so we’d recommend asking the competition about it if you’re considering a switch.
Local and Governmental Information
Phoenix doesn’t have any specific government initiatives dedicated to improving broadband infrastructure that we were able to find. For the most part, Phoenix simply stays out of the way of private providers and allows the “invisible hand” of market forces to encourage innovation in home and business broadband services.
Can We Expect Google Fiber in Phoenix?
Long story short: probably not. The high cost of installing fiber combined with other roadblocks like limited access to existing “dark fiber” and legal barriers has made Phoenix a poor candidate for upstart fiber service thus far.
Low-Income Internet Access in Phoenix
If the Internet access situation in Phoenix seems bleak, don’t despair quite yet. Thanks to partnerships between private providers and public organizations, low-income Phoenix locals can have basic Internet service installed in their home for as little as $10/month.
A variety of other government-subsidized public programs are available in the Phoenix area, including training programs for technical skills and free public Internet access within the local library network.
For more information, check program availability based on income and housing details at EveryoneOn.org.
We’ve reached out to local government officials to ask for commentary on what the future of broadband access in Phoenix will look like. This page will be updated once that conversation is concluded. If you are part of an organization working to improve internet access in the area, please reach out to us so we can include your input directly on this page.
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.