California Internet Service Fact Sheet 2020

California may be the heart of the internet economy, but the state is also at the center of some of the biggest issues facing broadband deployment in the US. As of 2020, 2.3 million California residents live in single-provider monopolies. While there are 137 residential internet providers in the state, most homes only have access to 1–2 options above 25 Mbps.

20.5 Mbps is the median average download speed recorded on California residential internet connections
25% of California has access to fiber-optic internet service
$149 Million Awarded by the FCC Connect America Fund to California ISPs serving rural areas in 2019
893,000+ California residents don't have access to internet at their home
137 residential internet providers in California
99.9% of California households have at least 1 Mbps mobile LTE coverage

Internet Access in California Cities

There are 183 internet service providers in California, accounting for residential, business, and enterprise companies across all technology types (DSL, Fiber, Fixed Wireless, Cable, and Copper). 137 offer residential service, while 162 offer business services. 116 offer both residential and business service.

California accounts for 12% of the US population, with 87% of California residents living in major urban centers like Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Francisco. The greater Los Angeles area alone has an equivalent GDP to the country of Turkey.

In spite of this, California often struggles to keep up when it comes to internet infrastructure. Only around half of Los Angeles can get fiber internet service, with many neighborhoods and apartment buildings limited to a single monoply provider.

Los Angeles Internet Access

The primary incumbent internet providers in Los Angeles are Spectrum cable and AT&T fiber, with coverage including the following LA neighborhoods: Koreatown, Silverlake, Hollywood, Echo Park, Atwater Village, Los Feliz. There are also a number of smaller local internet alternatives in LA.

San Diego Internet Access

San Diego is primarily served by Spectrum, Cox, and AT&T. The city is also one of the first markets with public-private partnerships with Verizon to provide fixed 5G.

San Francisco Internet Access

The primary incumbent internet providers in San Francisco are Comcast Xfinity cable and AT&T DSL/Fiber. San Francisco has a number smaller alternative internet providers, including wired broadband resellers as well as a local fixed 5G startup.

Internet Service Access in Top California Cities

CityFiber coverage reportedLocal population with fiber access reported
Los Angeles66.52%2,422,473
San Diego62.86%785,389
San Francisco65.31%520,532
Long Beach95.66%419,797
San Jose44.63%379,644
Santa Ana61.27%186,647

ConnectCalifornia Consumer Internet Guides

We publish practical guides to help regular California residents navigate the internet safely and effectively.

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Last Update: November 01, 2020
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