- In spite of a limited broadband market, San Diego offers some decent Internet speeds and plans depending on your neighborhood.
- AT&T, Charter Spectrum, and Cox are the most common options for residential Internet access in San Diego.
- WebPass gigabit service from Google is available, but only in select buildings.
- The average speed in San Diego is 36.39 Mbps.
Best Residential Internet Providers
San Diego is a cable and DSL market, with only select buildings and areas having fiber access outside of business service (which costs much more monthly than residential plans).
We compared all the realistic residential Internet options in each San Diego neighborhood and picked the providers that had the best overall reputation, availability, and speed-to-price value.
Cox Communications - Top Pick
- Pricing: $2999 - $12999
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 30 Mbps
Cox’s cable network offers above-average download and upload speeds in the cable industry, and their TV offerings are among the better (and better priced) traditional cable lineups. While data caps are common on their Internet-only plans, most cord cutters won’t find casual Netflix streaming to be a problem.
AT&T Internet - Runner Up
- Pricing: $3000 - $8000
- Max Down: 1,000 Mbps
- Max Up: 1,000 Mbps
AT&T Internet is a surprisingly affordable option considering their speeds, which are more than enough to support a modest Netflix habit, make Skype calls, and use other bandwidth-heavy applications that used to be problematic on DSL.
Residential Internet Providers Available in San Diego
Neighborhoods vary considerably, particularly for cable service. Cable bandwidth is often shared between houses in a neighborhood, so DSL and fixed wireless shouldn’t be discounted. In some cases, they actually provided better service and wider TV options. Here’s a full list of San Diego Internet providers so you can check less obvious options in your area.
|$4999+|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 100% |
|$3000+|| 96% |
|$2999+|| 56% |
|$4499+|| 46% |
|$5000+|| 3% |
|$12500+|| 2% |
|N/A|| 1% |
Best Business Internet Providers
San Diego has a booming economy, so it’s no surprise that the business Internet options are pretty decent. Here’s our best “one size fits all” option among business specialist providers. They have a variety of flexible options that make them a good pick across the board.
Charter Spectrum - Business Pick
- Max Down: 300 Mbps
- Max Up: 20 Mbps
Charter Business providers enterprise network services, business TV plans, hosted voice, and every other feature needed for small businesses and enterprise clients alike. We found them to be one of the better values within city limits, particularly for medium-sized businesses that want a mix of affordability and scalability.
Business Internet Providers Available in San Diego
There’s more than one option for business Internet in San Diego. Be sure not to discount fixed wireless options. Millimeter wave technology makes it more feasible than ever to receive Internet wirelessly and pipe it through a building with ethernet. Satellite can also be a good solution for buildings unable to get wired fiber service.
Here’s a full list of business providers in San Diego, including wireless options.
|$39900+|| 100% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|N/A|| 100% |
|$5000+|| 98% |
|$9500+|| 42% |
|$5999+|| 59% |
|$11000+|| 21% |
|N/A|| 30% |
|N/A|| 24% |
|N/A|| 23% |
|$12500+|| 3% |
|N/A|| 16% |
|N/A|| 17% |
Map of Broadband Internet Competition in San Diego
San Diego isn’t particularly competitive when it comes to broadband. Aside from WebPass/Google, options for gigabit service and symmetrical upload/download connections are few and far between. Here’s a detailed map showing what the competition looks like geographically.
Provider Competition Map
San Diego Internet Speed Overview
San Diego’s average Internet speed is 36.39 Mbps, according to speed test data from multiple sources. The top speed offered is 91.97 Mbps.
|Average Speed||90th Percentile Speed|
|36.39 Mbps||91.97 Mbps|
Average Residential download speeds within San Diego
Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in San Diego
Data caps and hidden fees are the issues we found most prevalent among San Diego Internet plans.
Data Caps in San Diego
You’ve probably heard the term “cord cutting” in conversation since Netflix started gaining in popularity a few years ago. Cord cutters are customers who decide to use Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and other Internet-based video services rather than subscriptions to cable TV.
Internet providers tend to dislike this trend, since it takes away revenue from their TV services. Some providers impose data caps that have the effect of making it difficult for customers to stream a lot of video content before they use up their monthly “allowance.”
If you like streaming video or gaming with Twitch, we’d recommend that you avoid providers with “data caps,” “data limits,” or “data plans.” Even if it’s more expensive, you’ll be better off with a provider that offers unlimited data. (Spectrum, for example, which offers data-cap free service in San Diego as of 2017.)
Hidden Fees in Internet Bills
Broadband bills are notoriously complex. Always be sure to read the fine print before you sign, and ask your rep specifically for a final price including all taxes, fees, extra services, and etc.
If you notice fees getting added to your bill once you’re already a subscriber, don’t be afraid to call the help line and argue to have them removed. San Diego cable customers report that it’s often possible to get your bill lowered, or at least argue down vague line items like “FCC Recovery Fees” or “Regulatory Recovery Fees.”
San Diego has a variety of Internet options, but not everyone is happy with the situation. Some communities in San Diego have even explored the idea of sponsoring public/private “municipal broadband” agreements to provide better service than private companies are willing to create. But starting from scratch isn’t the only option for affordable access in San Diego:
San Diego Providers Offer Options for Low-Income Residents
While not well-known, options abound for low-cost “basic” Internet access in San Diego. If you have low income or live in certain types of housing, programs exist that can provide Internet access, training, and even laptops for extremely low monthly rates (as affordable as $10/month for home Internet).
If you or someone you know fit this category, check eligibility at EveryoneOn.
San Diego also has an extensive library system providing free access on-site for basic Internet needs, printing, and etc.
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.