Best Internet Providers in Columbia, South Carolina

AT&T Fiber – Best overall among internet providers in Columbia

  • Prices: $55 – $180 per month
  • Speeds: 300 – 5,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Spectrum Internet – Best cable internet provider in Columbia

  • Prices: $40 – $70 per month
  • Speeds: 300 – 940Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Verizon 5G Home Internet – Best 5G home internet provider in Columbia

  • Prices: $50 – $70 per month
  • Speeds: 85 – 1,000Mbps
  • Unlimited data

Columbia, South Carolina’s capital city whose name is abbreviated to “Cola,” is perhaps unsurprisingly nicknamed “Soda City” and is famously hot. Pondering these two unrelated facts brings up two questions for those of us who’d rather stay safely indoors at home to beat the heat, watching Netflix with a fizzy beverage in hand: Do the internet speeds in Columbia pop? And who is the best internet service provider in the city?

Good news for residents of the former home of the world’s largest fire hydrant: median download speeds in Columbia exceed 200Mbps, according to Ookla data. To answer the second question, fiber internet from AT&T is available in Soda City and that makes AT&T Fiber our choice for the best internet service provider in Columbia.

CNET examines customer service, speed, pricing and overall value before recommending the best broadband in your area. While we recommend AT&T’s fiber internet, its expected speeds are on par with Spectrum’s, its largest competitor within Columbia, according to Ookla. Other than these two national brands, some Soda City citizens can connect to the internet with Verizon and T-Mobile’s 5G home internet, EarthLink (likely using AT&T’s network), smaller providers ispMint and EIN, as well as satellite internet through HughesNet or Viasat. Find out more about each of these options below.

Best internet providers in Soda City

The choice of ISP in Columbia mainly boils down to two main options: AT&T or Spectrum. However, the city is also serviced by T-Mobile, Verizon, EarthLink, two smaller carriers and satellite internet providers. All prices listed on this page reflect available discounts for setting up paperless billing. If you decide not to go with automatic monthly payments, your price will be higher.

Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, which represent providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options — including prices and speeds — depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.

AT&T Fiber

Best overall among internet providers in Columbia

Product details

Price range

$55 – $180 per month

Speed range

300 – 5,000Mbps




Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included

With its wide availability in the city and a variety of speed and pricing options, AT&T is a compelling internet option for most residents of Columbia.

Availability: AT&T provides service for nearly three-quarters of Columbia’s residents, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Plans and pricing: AT&T’s fiber internet service comes in five tiers: 300Mbps for $55, 500Mbps for $65, 1,000Mbps for $80, 2,000Mbps for $110 and 5,000Mbps for $180.

Fees and service details: The company doesn’t have data caps or contracts. All plans come with Wi-Fi equipment.

Read our AT&T Internet review.

Spectrum Internet

Best cable internet provider in Columbia

Product details

Price range

$40 – $70 per month

Speed range

300 – 940Mbps




Unlimited data, simple pricing, no contracts, modem included, free access to nationwide Wi-Fi hotspots

Spectrum is a reliable cable internet provider with nearly total city coverage and easy-to-understand prices and terms.

Availability: Spectrum is available across nearly the entire city and its surrounding suburbs, up to 91% of the area, according to the FCC.

Plans and pricing: Cola residents have access to three plans from Spectrum: 300Mbps for $50, 500Mbps for $70 and 1,000Mbps for $90.

Fees and service details: There are no data caps or contracts with Spectrum, and a modem is included.

Read our Spectrum Internet review.

Verizon 5G Home Internet

Best 5G home internet provider in Columbia

Product details

Price range

$50 – $70 per month (50% off for eligible 5G mobile customers)

Speed range

85 – 1,000Mbps


Fixed wireless


Unlimited data, no contracts, free equipment, 50% discount for qualifying Verizon mobile customers

The company’s 5G home internet is available in Columbia due to ongoing upgrades Verizon has performed in the city, including the deployment of 5G on the C-band spectrum. According to a Verizon rep, South Carolina now ranks in the US’s top 10 highest-performing metro markets. 

Availability: Verizon’s home internet is available by address, so if you’re interested in this option, head over to the Verizon 5G website and see if your address is eligible.

Plans and pricing: Verizon offers two home internet plans: $50 per month for 85 to 300Mbps and $70 for 300 to 1,000Mbps. Discounted rates are available to Verizon Wireless customers.

Fees and service details: There are no data caps, contracts or fees with Verizon’s 5G home internet.

Read our Verizon 5G Home Internet review.

Overview of internet providers in Columbia

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
AT&T DSL/fiber $55-$180 10-5,000Mbps None None None 7.4
Earthlink Fiber $60-$190 100-5,000Mbps $13 None 1 year 6.3
EIN Fiber $88-$420 ($50 installation fee) 300-5,000Mbps None None None N/A
ispMint Broadband $119 ($79 one-time activation fee) 20-50Mbps $30 or $299 one-time purchase (shipping is $20) None None N/A
HughesNet Satellite $65-$175 25Mbps $15 or $350 one-time purchase 15-200GB 2 years 5.7
Spectrum Cable $50-$90 300-940Mbps Free modem; $5 router None None 7.2
T-Mobile Home Internet Fixed wireless $50 ($30 for eligible phone customers) 72-245Mbps None None None 7.4
Verizon 5G Home Internet Fixed Wireless $50-$70 ($25 to $35 for eligible mobile customers) 85-1,000Mbps None None None 7.2
Viasat Satellite $50-$300 25-100Mbps $15 or $300 one-time purchase 40-300GB 2 years 6.1

Show more (5 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

All available Columbia, South Carolina, residential internet providers

Most of the city will have access to AT&T’s fiber internet (or EarthLink’s piggybacked option) or cable internet through Spectrum. In contrast, some neighborhoods have access to T-Mobile or Verizon’s 5G options, as well as regional carriers ispMint and EIN. Here are the other options in the city not listed above.

  • EarthLink: EarthLink uses other networks to connect its customers to the internet. The company provides a good variety of speeds, starting at 100Mbps and going up to a whopping 5,000Mbps, with prices ranging from $60 to $190.
  • EIN: This Kansas-based ISP serves some of Columbia and its surrounding areas. Fiber internet plans start at $88 monthly for 300Mbps and go up to $420 for 5,000Mbps.
  • ispMint: A veteran-owned provider serving mostly rural customers, its $119 plan (which requires purchasing a $299 device or an extra $30 per month to lease) averages between 20 to 50Mbps.
  • HughesNet: Columbia residents likely won’t need satellite internet (SpaceX’s Starlink will soon be available as well). Hughesnet offers speeds of 25Mbps with prices starting at $50 with a two-year contract and equipment fees. Columbia residents have access to its Fusion plans, a satellite and wireless home internet combo.
  • T-Mobile Home Internet: The wireless carrier’s 5G home internet can be a compelling option in terms of price if it’s available to you, especially if you have certain mobile plans with the company. Speeds range from 72 to 245Mbps for $50 per month. It becomes a much more compelling option for customers of the company’s Go5G Plus or Magenta Max phone plans, which drops the price to $30 monthly. T-Mobile customers with Go5G, Magenta or Essentials plans get a smaller discounted price of $40 per month. 
  • Viasat: Viasat’s monthly prices start at $50 and go up to $300, with speeds ranging from 25 to 100Mbps based on the plan.

Evening view of the South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina. The Wade Hampton statue sits behind the South Carolina Statehouse.

Denis Tangney, Jr./Getty Images

Pricing details on Columbia, South Carolina, home internet service

Expect to spend around $50 per month to connect to the internet in Columbia. If you want more speed, there are many options to choose from. That’s good news for people who want to beat the city’s famous heat by staying indoors.

Cheap internet options in the Columbia metro area

Unfortunately, for those looking for cheap internet options in Columbia, there aren’t many. Most plans start at $50 per month unless you’re an existing customer of T-Mobile or Verizon and are eligible for their 5G home internet offerings. That said, if you live in a low-income household, you might qualify for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a discount of $30 monthly on home internet services.

What’s the cheapest internet plan in Columbia, SC?

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

Fastest internet providers in Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia residents have access to comfortable median download speeds above 200Mbps. Gig-plus options are available from AT&T, Spectrum or EarthLink for higher speeds. AT&T, EarthLink and EIN have the fastest hookup with 5,000Mbps fiber plans, though it should be noted that EarthLink and EIN are using AT&T’s network. 

What are the fastest internet plans in Columbia, SC?

Show more (1 item)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data

What’s the final word on internet providers in Columbia?

Most Columbia residents will be well served by AT&T’s fiber internet or Spectrum’s cable connection, the options most available in the city. Some Cola residents have access to 5G home internet from T-Mobile or Verizon — each makes for a good option for existing customers of their wireless services due to the deep monthly discounts they offer.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Columbia

Internet service providers are numerous and regional. Unlike the latest smartphone, laptop, router or kitchen tool, it’s impractical to personally test every ISP in a given city. So what’s our approach? We start by researching the pricing, availability and speed information drawing on our own historical ISP data, the provider sites and mapping information from the Federal Communications Commission at

But it doesn’t end there. We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we’re considering every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. To evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service, we look at sources including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power. ISP plans and prices are subject to frequent changes; all information provided is accurate as of the time of publication. 

Once we have this localized information, we ask three main questions: 

  • Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds? 
  • Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying? 
  • Are customers happy with their service? 

While the answer to those questions is often layered and complex, the providers who come closest to “yes” on all three are the ones we recommend. 

To explore our process in more depth, visit our How We Test ISPs page.

Internet providers in Columbia FAQs

Which is the best internet service provider in Columbia, SC?

Is fiber internet available in Columbia, SC?

Should I choose AT&T or Spectrum?

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