- Spectrum (cable), Frontier (DSL), and Greenlight Networks (Fiber) are the primary Internet providers in Rochester.
- The average Internet speed in Rochester clocks in at 40.58 Mbps.
- In addition to business services from these providers, Rochester has several companies specialized in business broadband.
Best Residential Internet Providers
Having crunched the numbers on all the plans and providers in Rochester, here’s our top pick and runner-up option for home or apartment Internet in city limits.
Charter Spectrum - Top Pick
- Pricing: $4499 - $13997
- Max Down: 940 Mbps
- Max Up: 35 Mbps
Charter Spectrum offers Internet and TV over a hybrid fiber-coaxial network. The balance between speed and affordability makes them a solid choice for the average Internet user, and their TV plans have good HD packages including sports, children’s channels, and etc.
Greenlight Networks - Runner Up
- Pricing: $5000 - $20000
- Max Down: 1,000 Mbps
- Max Up: 100 Mbps
Greenlight Networks doesn’t have the widest availability in the area, but they have some of the best speeds on offer at surprisingly reasonable price points. They’re a good option for customers who need performance a cut above more budget-friendly cable and DSL services.
Residential Internet Providers Available in Rochester
Rochester is lucky to have a few niche and wireless options, although some of these are only available to small percentages of the city. Here’s a full list so you can compare the big brands with smaller providers.
|$4499+|| 100% |
|$5999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 92% |
|$2000+|| 89% |
|$5000+|| 12% |
|$2600+|| 5% |
|$5500+|| 5% |
Best Business Internet Providers
Business needs vary widely, and we selected this provider as the most adaptable “one size fits all” option for small, medium, and enterprise businesses in Rochester.
Charter Spectrum - Business Pick
- Max Down: 940 Mbps
- Max Up: 35 Mbps
Charter Business Internet provides a measurable upgrade from their basic residential service, including pure fiber options, server-friendly static IP, cloud backups built-in, and more.
Business Internet Providers Available in Rochester
Internet options for businesses are robust in Rochester compared to nearby cities of similar size. All the key features like point-to-point are available, sometimes from smaller specialized providers. See the table below for a full list of options.
|$5999+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 99% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|N/A|| 97% |
|$1999+|| 91% |
|$15000+|| 13% |
|N/A|| 15% |
|$10999+|| 16% |
|N/A|| 6% |
|N/A|| 5% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Rochester
Rochester is decently competitive on the business front, but some residents still have limited options outside one or two cable/DSL providers. See the density map below for insight into how specific blocks and districts within Rochester stack up in terms of Internet availability.
Provider Competition Map
Rochester Internet Speed Overview
The average speed we found in Rochester was 40.58 Mbps, according to the last six months of aggregate speed test data.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|40.58 Mbps||93.65 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within Rochester
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Rochester
Rochester is fortunate that most local providers don’t have data caps or a reputation for leveraging lots of hidden fees against their customers. Especially since Spectrum took over the cable network, pricing has been much more transparent and simple, although some customers on “retention pricing” plans saw their rates go up to match Spectrum’s local standards.
Early Termination Fees
Watch out for early termination fees if you’re signing a 1–2 year contract. Unless the monthly pricing is locked in for the length of the contract, you’ll likely wind up owing more in the second half of the service period when the “promo pricing” runs out. This comes as a surprise to some customers, who find themselves facing fees in the hundreds of dollars if they want to break service for something cheaper.
SIA (Spectrum Internet Assist) Low-Cost Internet
Thanks to a partnership between PowerMyLearning and Charter, some residents qualify for reduced-rate home broadband through Spectrum. Speeds on the low-cost plan are 30 Mbps download and 4 Mbps upload, for less than $15 including equipment.
Free Internet access is also available through local library branches throughout Rochester.
Broadband Roadblocks in Rochester
Municipal broadband has been a hot topic in the Internet world lately. While it’s driven big rewards for cities like Chattanooga and smaller limited-access communities, it’s not proven to be the most cost effective solution to low competition in the Rochester broadband market. That said, state laws in New York are not as severe as many other states, so it’s not off the table if community interest were organized to make it happen.
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.