Oakland Internet Access Facts & Statistics

Comcast, AT&T, and Sonic are the primary internet service providers in Oakland, CA. Most fiber internet in Oakland is via AT&T and Sonic. Comcast has a widely used low-income access program locally.

Provider Network Primary network coverage Down Up
ComcastCable, Fiber99%987 Mbps35 Mbps
AT&T CaliforniaDSL, Fiber99%100 Mbps20 Mbps
Sonic.netDSL, Fiber43%80 Mbps20 Mbps
Raw Bandwidth CommunicationsDSL12%100 Mbps10 Mbps

Summary Fiber Access Pricing Challenges All providers

  • Comcast Xfinity, AT&T, and Sonic are the main internet service providers in Oakland.
  • Fiber is available to almost three fourths of the Oakland area, primarily via AT&T Fiber.
  • Lack of internet access at home is a major issue for Oakland public school students.

Digital Divide in Oakland

Oakland has long been held up as one of the most challenged communities when it comes to the digital divide, with wealthy residents enjoying high-speed fiber and cable services while low-income households struggle to get by on mobile hotspots or 10 Mbps subsidy plans.

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis of 2020, high-profile tech founders have turned the city into something of a case study for solving the digital divide with private capital, with two founders alone donating $12.5M to local nonprofits and the Oakland school system. The funds are to be used for purchasing laptops and high-speed internet plans for low-income households. 1 2

The nonprofit group receiving the funds plans to spend them on computers for students, low-income residents, and internet access for homes.

Summary of internet access in Oakland

residential internet providers in Oakland.
business-focused internet providers in Oakland.
internet options for most homes in Oakland.

We’ve found a total of 19 internet providers in Oakland: 7 residential providers and 12 business-only providers.

However, only 8 of those companies offer service to more than 1% of the Oakland population. 11 local companies offer niche business service to small coverage areas, mostly enterprise services in business districts.

Small business internet is commonly available from the same companies offering residential internet in Oakland. 5 of the residential providers locally offer SMB (Small-Medium Business) services at this time.

Wired internet network coverage in Oakland

Coverage by network type in Oakland is as follows:

Cable coverage in Oakland.
DSL coverage in Oakland.
Fiber coverage in Oakland.

Local internet service options in Oakland

Sonic is the most popular “local alternative” for internet service in Oakland. Their fiber network is available to some parts of North Oakland, and the company has been expanding in the area over the past couple years. Sonic also provides “Fusion” service in Oakland, meaning that they use AT&T lines but provide different pricing, customer service, and unlimited data.

Fixed wireless internet options in Oakland:

Provider brand nameNetworkFW coverageMaximum downloadMaximum upload
Etheric Networks, Inc.Fixed Wireless100%1000 Mbps1000 Mbps
Unwired LtdFixed Wireless3%1000 Mbps1000 Mbps
Webpass, Inc.Fixed Wireless3%1000 Mbps1000 Mbps

3 Fixed Wireless Residential internet providers in Oakland with at least 1% local coverage with their fixed wireless network. These providers may have other network types.

Webpass (owned by Google) is available to some apartment buildings in Oakland. Otherwise, fixed wireless service locally is targeted at business and enterprise customers only.

Fiber internet options in Oakland

Provider brand nameNetworkFiber coverageMaximum downloadMaximum upload
AT&T CaliforniaFiber69%1000 Mbps1000 Mbps
Sonic.netFiber5%1000 Mbps1000 Mbps

2 Fiber internet providers in Oakland with at least 1% local coverage with their fiber network area. These providers may have other network types.

Pricing challenges to broadband internet access in Oakland

Pricing is the strongest barrier to broadband access for low-income households in Oakland. While Comcast and AT&T both provide subsidized service programs locally, the speed of these services is quite low, often as low as 5–10 Mbps download and barely enough upload to handle a Skype call.

Applying for these programs can also be quite complex, requiring that participants are already enrolled in certain other government programs as a means of qualifying. In general, critics hold that subsidy programs do not solve the digital divide issue in Oakland, but instead act as “loss leaders” for other services from cable and telecom corporations. 3

All providers in Oakland

Provider brand namePrimary networkPrimary network coverageMaximum downloadMaximum upload
Etheric Networks, Inc.Fixed Wireless100%1000 Mbps1000 Mbps
ComcastCable99%987 Mbps35 Mbps
AT&T CaliforniaDSL99%100 Mbps20 Mbps
Sonic.netDSL43%80 Mbps20 Mbps
Raw Bandwidth CommunicationsDSL12%100 Mbps10 Mbps
Webpass, Inc.Fixed Wireless3%1000 Mbps1000 Mbps
PAETEC Communications, Inc.DSL2%0 Mbps0 Mbps
Crown Castle FiberFiber2%0 Mbps0 Mbps

8 residential and business internet providers in Oakland with at least 1% local coverage with their primary network type.

Low-coverage providers in Oakland

Provider brand namePrimary networkPrimary network coverageMaximum downloadMaximum upload
Common NetworksFixed Wireless0.2649%300 Mbps300 Mbps

1 residential internet providers in Oakland with less than 1% local coverage. These are unlikely to be serviceable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How bad is the digital divide in Oakland?

Oakland is widely recognized as one of the worst broadband markets for low-income households in California. As of 2020, 17,000+ Oakland public school students have low or no inernet access at home. More than half of students do not have reliable home internet access.

Why is the internet so slow in Oakland?

Oakland has limited competition for internet service, with around half of the city only served by decades-old coaxial cable lines. High-profile tech founders have identified the area as a hotspot for the 'homework gap' that holds back low-income students. $12.5M has been put into improving computer and broadband access in the city, donated by tech CEOs including Jack Dorsey of Twitter.

Who is the cable company in Oakland?

Comcast Xfinity is the primary cable internet company operating in Oakland. They are the main internet option above 100 Mbps for most households within city limits.

Page Summary
  • Oakland's digital divide is among the worst of high-population California cities, with almost half of public school students not having reliable internet access at home.
  • 17,000+ students in Oakland public schools have low or no internet access at home.
  • More than half of Oakland has fiber internet service for residences available, but fiber service in California is usually concentrated on higher-income neighborhoods that can afford premium services.

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Last Update: November 01, 2020
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