AT&T internet is a common alternative to basic cable from Comcast Xfinity in the Bay Area.
They’ve built out a substantial fiber network, which covers 36% of the city and is expected to expand going into 2022.
They compete heavily with Sonic for fiber service in the area, although Sonic is more focused on suburbs and neighboring cities like Berkeley, while AT&T has stronger coverage within city limits.
Recommended internet-only deal
AT&T Internet 500 is our pick for the best-value internet-only plan offered by AT&T in San Francisco.
500 Mbps is fast enough to download an HD movie file in less than a minute. Doing the same over a basic cable connection from Comcast will run you 10 minutes or more.
It doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to a lot of frustration if you’re online every day — and particularly if you work from home.
In terms of price, this plan provides twice the download and 5–10 times the upload speed of competing cable plans in San Francisco. The main caveat to be aware of is the $10 per month Wi-Fi equipment fee, which cannot be removed currently. However, this is the only suprise fee for internet-only service.
- Promotional deal: $45/month
- Standard rate: $65/month
- Installation: free self-install included.
- Fees: $10/month Wi-Fi router fee.
Recommended AT&T TV and Internet Bundle
AT&T TV Choice is the best TV option from AT&T in 2021. It’s not a cable TV package — it’s actually a streaming service, which can be ordered regardless of whether you buy internet from AT&T.
With Choice, $84.99 per month gets you 90+ channels, free HBO MAX, and a full lineup of regional sports networks. In fact, this is the only streaming service that has regional sports network access in 2021. Hopefully that changes, but for now they’re the only company that can afford the fees.
It’s more expensive than a skinny bundle from Fubo TV or Hulu, but provides a better per-channel cost, and a better lineup of premium content (largely thanks to the HBO MAX access and sports).
AT&T TV CHOICE Plan Benefits
- 90+ channels including the Cooking Channel and Comedy Central.
- ESPN, Fox Sports 1, NBC Sports Networks, TBS, TNT all included.
- Local teams including Giants games.
- MLB Network, NBA TV, SEC Network, and all other major league sports available.
- HBO MAX included free.
AT&T Internet Plans in San Francisco
- Speed in San Francisco: 25 Mbps download, Variable Upload
- Price in San Francisco: $45/month (discounted from $55)
AT&T 25 is the default internet-only plan for neighborhoods with no fiber access in San Francisco. It’s slower than cable, but comes in at a lower price once you’ve exhausted Xfinity’s first-year discounts. We don’t suggest it as a first stop, but if you’re fed up with Comcast, it’s an acceptable backup locally.Order Plan
Fiber Internet 300
- Speed in San Francisco: 300 Mbps download, 300 Upload
- Price in San Francisco: $35/month (discounted from $55)
AT&T Fiber Internet 300 is the best low-price plan from AT&T in the Bay Area. 300 Mbps is faster than most cable plans, especially on the upload rate. Like all AT&T plans, it has a $10 per month router fee.Order Plan
Fiber Internet 500
- Speed in San Francisco: 500 Mbps download, 500 Upload
- Price in San Francisco: $45/month (discounted from $65)
AT&T Fiber Internet 500 is the best value-price ratio in the San Fran internet market. Home offices and family homes are best suited to this plan, as the strong and stable symmetrical connection is more than enough to handle multiple Zoom calls and 4K video streams at once, on top of a cloud-connected home security system or similar smart home load.Order Plan
Fiber Internet 1000
- Speed in San Francisco: 940 Mbps download, 880 Upload
- Price in San Francisco: $60/month (discounted from $80)
AT&T Fiber Internet 1000 offers gigabit download and upload speeds locally. It’s available at all locations with fiber service, however it comes at a premium price that pushes the budget for most homes. This plan is best for large homes that don’t mind paying extra for the absolute fastest download experience. If you don’t have a home theater or home office, you probably won’t notice the difference between this plan and the mid-tier 500 Mbps plan.Order Plan
AT&T Fiber Internet coverage in San Francisco
Silver Terrace, the Richmond District, Sunset District and Daly City have the strongest coverage from AT&T Fiber in San Francisco. Their buildout has been a bit of a patchwork locally, conducted according to where they have the easiest access to poles or trenching.
As with other fiber providers locally like Sonic, access to buildings and dealing with landlords is also an ongoing challenge for fiber expansions.
Pacific Heights and other northern neighborhoods near downtown are suprisingly poorly-served by fiber, but it’s expected to continue growing going into 2022.
AT&T internet-only plans
|Plan Name||Download Speed||Upload speed||Promo Price||Final Price|
|Internet 25||25 Mbps||Variable Mbps||$45/mo||$55|
|Fiber Internet 300||300 Mbps||300 Mbps||$35/mo||$55|
|Fiber Internet 500||500 Mbps||500 Mbps||$45/mo||$65|
|Fiber Internet 1000||940 Mbps||880 Mbps||$60/mo||$80|
AT&T Deals vs Xfinity Deals in San Francisco
Xfinity internet plans are much slower than AT&T Fiber in San Francisco, particularly in terms of upload speed. Because Xfinity uses coaxial cable, they’re limited to 35 Mbps upload, or close to 50 in some cases. Meanwhile, the slowest AT&T fiber plan has 300 Mbps uploads — so you can see how this matters when comparing speed for price.
The reason Xfinity doesn’t have high uploads is because most homes don’t need more than 10–25 Mbps. Having a fast upload speed matters if you do a lot of concurrent video calls or work from home with large files. For the rest of us, you’re unlikely to notice the upload rate when doing normal activities like streaming Netflix or scrolling Facebook.
That said, bandwidth needs are always increasing, so if you’re choosing between AT&T Fiber and Comcast Xfinity cable, AT&T is almost certain to be the more usable and cost-effective choice.
AT&T Fiber deals vs Sonic Fiber deals in the Bay Area
The primary competitor to AT&T for fiber service in the Bay Area is Sonic, a local internet provider who has been investing heavily into fiber service in the area.
The benefit of AT&T is that they have a wide variety of other services like TV and phone service you can bundle into your plan. The benefit of Sonic is that they have really strong customer service (AT&T’s is not so great) and a defensible track record on topics like Net Neutrality. (This means you can bet on them not throttling your traffic… even if you’re using it for torrenting or just value your privacy.)
AT&T Low-Income Deals for San Francisco
|Plan Name||Speed Down/Up||Monthly Price||WiFi Fee|
|AT&T Access 10||10/Variable Mbps||$10/mo||$0/mo|
AT&T offers low-income plans in San Francisco under their AT&T Access program.
On the plus side, this is the lowest possible price for internet service in California. On the minus side, it’s extremely slow — barely enough for a Zoom call — and is challenging to qualify for.
To apply, they require that you already participate in other subsidy programs. This allows them to avoid running expensive and easily-gamed income qualification checks, and makes sure that only long-term low-income households can take advantage of the program. The qualifying programs are:
- Supplemental Nutritional Access Program (SNAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is AT&T Internet in San Francisco?
AT&T internet-only plans start at $35 for 300 Mbps service in San Francisco. Plans go up to $70 per month, once you account for Wi-Fi equipment fees and non-promotional pricing. Overall, the AT&T pricing range in San Francisco is low compared to the speeds you get for similar pricing from cable or wireless providers.
What is the cheapest internet plan in San Francisco?
The cheapest internet plan in San Francisco is the AT&T Access low-income plan. This plan costs only $10 per month, however it is limited less than 25 Mbps even for homes with fiber service. The fastest general consumer plan is $35, and provides 300 Mbps download and upload speeds.
What is the fastest internet plan in San Francisco?
There are two gigabit fiber-to-the-home providers in San Francisco: AT&T Fiber and Sonic. Both offer plans in the 940–1,000 Mbps range, although uploads may be closer to 800 Mbps. Both use GPON technology to deliver fiber service to residences.