Best Small Business Internet Providers – 2022


Making a success of a small business is all about exploiting the advantages of the company’s size. Owner-managed and family-run businesses don’t have to worry about motivating staff and the question of whether the manager can be trusted is moot.

Small business owners think of the company as an extension of their households. When things go wrong, a small business owner will dip into personal savings to bail the business out, much as parents do to help out an adult child going through hard times.

When a business owner is so personally invested in the enterprise, the bills that come in seem like personal attacks. For some reason, the business tariff for utilities works out higher than the residential rates that the same suppliers charge for the same service. Internet connection prices are a very good example of this phenomenon.

A small business owner gets a bill for the internet at home and then a bill for the internet at work. Looking at both bills side by side, the entrepreneur can clearly see the unfairness of the high charges that internet service providers charge to businesses.

High costs can threaten the chances of business breaking even. Small businesses are more likely to take on customers at discounted rates just to keep the business running no matter how thin margins get. So, squeezing better deals out of suppliers is crucial.

Running a small business relies on gut reaction and personal bravery on the part of the owner in order to ensure survival. Often, little dodges can make the difference between winning and losing. Why pay higher rates for business internet? Why not just run the business from the residential internet account?

The advantages of running a home office are clear. Women with small children run into problems all the time. Schools call in the middle of the working day with a summons; kids get sick and can’t go into school; babysitters can’t always be relied upon. Working from home means a mother can set her own working hours around the demands of family. It also means that there is really no need to run a sperate internet connection for the business.

Although working from home seems very modern, it is actually a very old configuration – farmers always have lived at their place of business. Thanks to the concept of the virtual office, workmen can be permanently on-site operating as a business rather than an employee; artisans can run a business from a workshop at home. B&B owners live on-site, storekeepers can live over their premises, and artisan bakers can start up from their own kitchens.

Plenty of small businesses operate out of the owner’s home and that means avoiding paying high rates for internet service.

Business Internet vs Residential Internet

All of the internet providers that offer business internet plans also provide residential internet and they charge less to homes than they do to businesses. This is strange considering that many small businesses use the internet a lot less than the typical household.

A big advantage of running your home business over a residential internet connection is that rates for residential internet services get even cheaper when bundled in with a TV and telephone package. All a business needs to do in order to start up from home is add on another phone line to the existing residential internet service bundle. Those costs are marginal and mean that the business can get started straight away without having to wait for a service technician to come and run cables to a newly rented office space.

Top Options for Small Businesses

The largest internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States offer the most reliable services. They have the widest coverage and serve both residences and businesses. So, to give your small business a guaranteed, reliable internet connection, it is better to stick with the big providers in the market.

Here is a list of the seven best internet providers for small businesses:

  1. Verizon Business – delivers internet to residences for a lower price than its equivalent business service.
  2. Xfinity – offers high-speed internet to residences, calls itself Comcast when supplying businesses.
  3. AT&T – offers a range of internet connection types to both homes and businesses.
  4. Charter Spectrum – markets internet for both homes and businesses under the Spectrum brand.
  5. Frontier Fios – fiber internet connections for both homes and businesses.
  6. Rise Broadband – innovative fixed wireless internet services to both homes and businesses.
  7. Cox Cable – cable internet for residences and businesses.

All of these ISPs deliver internet to both residential and business users. If your small businesses have a separate location from your home, you will find it difficult to trick the ISP into giving you the residential tariff. However, if you run a home office, you’re better off sticking with the residential internet service.

Internet Price Briefing

The US internet industry is very fragmented. Even those ISPs that operate in just about every state treat their services in each location separately. This is a very unusual situation and annoying if you are struggling to keep your costs down.

Business internet services end up running down the same cable as the traffic from nearby residences, so why do small businesses have to pay more? Not only is the rate higher for businesses, but it is higher in some places than others. Inexplicably, an internet service provider will charge more in one part of town than in another for the same service.

Internet service providers won’t tell anyone their prices until they’re given an address. If you go to the website of an ISP and enter an address in another part of the country just to see what other people are paying, the site’s marketing system shuts down. Websites can tell where you really are and if an ISP site notices that your request came from a different location to the address you entered, it won’t let you go any further.

It seems that ISPs know very well that people have guessed the reason for their secretive pricing. Naturally, people suspect that they are being conned if prices are not clearly visible to everyone. Imagine the outrage that would erupt if supermarkets didn’t put prices on the groceries and customers had to give their zip code at the checkout before the till would work.

ISPs are playing games with the general public by charging different prices to different people in different locations. Ultimately, the ISP is going to find out where you live when you take up the service, so you can’t get yourself a better price by pretending you’re located in one of those places where the ISP charges less. However, given that ISPs feel no guilt over fleecing some of their customers, it is not immoral for small business owners to game the system and get the cheaper, residential price.

Internet Services in Detail

Having read all of the above, you’re probably thinking that we’re not starting the search for internet service with very much trust. As a small business owner, you should already be fond of the maxim “trust but verify.” In the following sections, you will be able to discover in one place all of the prices that ISPs don’t want you to know about.

Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to list all of the different prices that each ISP charges in the many locations where it operates. Instead, this review shows the “rack rate,” which gives the standard national rates for all of the plans each offers. There are local variations and periodic offers that bring these prices down from place to place and from time to time.

Another problem that you will discover is that ISPs don’t offer all of their plans in every location that they operate. When you narrow down your choice to one or two ISPs and then go to the company to seal the deal, your preferred plan might not be available.

The following sections explain the services of each of our selected ISPs and the rates that they charge for residential and business customers.


1. Verizon Business


Verizon Business is the largest fiber internet service in the United States, but it isn’t available everywhere. It is only possible to sign up for this service in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. The service is available to residential and business users.

The residential plans of Verizon Fios are shown in the table below.

Plan Download/Upload Speed Introductory Price/Month Introductory Period Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Better Browsing 100/100 Mbps $39.99 1 Year $99 $12/month
Better Streaming 300/300 Mbps $59.99 2 Years $99 $12/month
Better Everything 940/880 Mbps $79.99 3 Years $99 $0


The company keeps the real price for the service a closed secret. It is impossible for residential buyers to find out how much they would have to pay once the introductory period ends until they have already committed to the service. However, Verizon does not require contracts for its services, so if the price escalates dramatically, anyone can just cancel the service.

The Verizon Business prices for business customers are shown below.


Plan Download/

Upload Speed

Price/ Month Contract Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Fios Internet 75 75/75 Mbps $89.99 Optional $99.99/ $149.99 $12/month
Fios Internet 150 150/150 Mbps $119.99 Optional $99.99/ $149.99 $12/month
Fios Internet 300 300/300 Mbps $194.99 Optional $99.99/ $149.99 $12/month
Fios Internet 500 500/500 Mbps $224.99 Optional $99.99/ $149.99 $12/month
Fios Internet Giga 940/880 Mbps $224.99 Optional $99.99/ $149.99 $12/month


The price per month shown above is without a contract. Those who opt for no-contract pay a $149.99 setup fee. On a contract, the setup fee goes down to $99.99. The standard contract lasts for two years and it reduces monthly subscription prices by $5 per month in the first year but raises them $5 above the no-contract monthly price in the second year. However, say that you are a residential user and get the Fios Internet Giga service for a guaranteed price of $79.99 per month for three years.


2. Xfinity

Xfinity offers better internet services to its residential customers than its business internet counterpart, Comcast offers to its customers. A big problem with reading about internet service providers is that they aren’t available everywhere. However, you have a better chance of getting an Xfinity internet service because it has the largest service area of all of the cable internet providers in the USA.

The Xfinity network reaches 40 states. It has a fiber-optic backbone and connects each customer to the local exchange with coaxial cable. Although the Xfinity network is not all fiber-optic, it manages to offer the fastest internet speeds available to the general public. The top speed that Xfinity offers is with its Gigabit Pro service, which reaches up to 2 Gigabits per second (Gbps). Comcast doesn’t offer that speed to its business customers.

The table below shows the Xfinity plans.


Plan Contract Max Download Speed Standard Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Performance Starter No 25 Mbps $49.95 $59.99 $13/month
Performance Pro No 200 Mbps $89.95 $59.99 $13/month
Blast! Optional 300 Mbps $94.95 $29.99 $13/month
Extreme Pro Optional 600 Mbps $99.95 $29.99 $13/month
Gigabit Internet Optional 1000 Mbps $104.95 $29.99 $13/month
Gigabit Pro Optional 2000 Mbps $299.95 $29.99 $13/month


With all of the above plans, the company offers considerable discounts to customers prepared to opt for a contract.

Comcast uses the hybrid fiber-coaxial network that Xfinity offers to its customers and it also has an all-fiber network, which is only available to business customers. Here are the Comcast plans offered to businesses.

Plan Contract Max Download Speed Standard Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Starter Internet Optional 25 Mbps $84.95 $59.99 $13/month
Business Internet 50 Optional 50 Mbps $124.90 $59.99 $13/month
Business Internet 75 Optional 75 Mbps $164.90 $59.99 $13/month
Business Internet 100 Optional 100 Mbps $214.90 $59.99 $13/month
Business Internet 150 Optional 150 Mbps $264.90 $59.99 $13/month
Business Internet 250 Optional 250 Mbps $364.90 $59.99 $13/month
Business Internet 500 Optional 500 Mbps $414.90 $59.99 $13/month
Business Internet 1 Gig Optional 1000 Mbps $514.90 $59.99 $13/month
Fiber Deluxe 25 Optional 25 Mbps $69.95 $59.99 $13/month
Fiber Deluxe 50 Optional 50 Mbps $109.95 $59.99 $13/month
Fiber Deluxe 75 Optional 75 Mbps $149.95 $59.99 $13/month
Fiber Deluxe 100 Optional 100 Mbps $199.95 $59.99 $13/month
Fiber Deluxe 150 Optional 150 Mbps $249.95 $59.99 $13/month


Comparing the tariffs of Xfinity and Comcast, we are examining the services and prices offered by the same company using two different names. So, while a business customer of Comcast has to pay $84.95 for a cable internet service with a top speed of 25 Mbps, a residential customer only has to pay $49.95 to Xfinity for the same service.

The top speed available from Comcast for its business customers is 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps). That customer’s traffic runs down the same fiber-optic backbone as the residential user who pays only $104.95 for the same service or opts to double that speed at a price of $299.95. So, it is clear to see that if you can get away with passing yourself off as a residential user and apply to Xfinity instead of Comcast Business, you will save your enterprise a lot of money.

See the full review of Xfinity here.


3. AT&T

AT&T is the largest telecommunications company in the world. It has a telephone network in 21 states and it also operates a fiber-optic network. AT&T Wireless offers fixed wireless connections to buildings that aren’t connected to the telephone network. The company is able to offer DSL (which it calls IPBB), fiber, and fixed wireless internet.

The residential services offered by AT&T are cheaper than their business plans. What’s more the company is able to offer bundles that include telephone, internet, and TV services at a discounted price.

The internet speeds available with AT&T vary greatly. The company can deliver a fiber internet service with 1 Gbps connections, but not everywhere. In some rural areas, the fastest service the ISP can offer is 0.768 Mbps. The fixed wireless service is available at one speed, which is 25 Mbps, but usually gives 10 Mbps.

The prices of the residential services of AT&T are shown below.


Plan Download Speed Standard Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Internet Basic 5 3 – 5 Mbps $60 $35 or $99 $10/month
Internet 50 30 – 50 Mbps $60 $35 or $99 $10/month
Internet 100 80 – 100 Mbps $60 $35 or $99 $10/month
Fiber Internet 300 150 – 300 Mbps $80 $0 $10/month
Fiber Internet 1000 500 – 940 Mbps $100 $0 $10/month
Fixed Wireless 10 Mbps $70 Up to $99 $0


The two prices shown for the setup costs on some plans depending on whether the user sets up the connection or asks for a technician to do it. Introductory offers presented by the company reduce the price of the service by about $10 per month for the first year with a contract. The Gigabit service comes down to $70 per month in the first year with a contract.

The business rates charged by AT&T are shown in the table below.


Plan Download/Upload Speed Standard Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Internet 50 50/3 Mbps $85 $75 or $275 $0
Internet 100 100/6 Mbps $115 $75 or $275 $0
Internet 500 500/8 Mbps $250 $75 or $275 $0
Business Fiber 50 50/10 Mbps $85 $99 $0
Business Fiber 100 100/20 Mbps $140 $99 $0
Business Fiber 500 500/100 Mbps $300 $99 $0
Business Fiber 500s 500/500 Mbps $300 $99 $0
Business Fiber 1000 1000/200 Mbps $500 $99 $0
Business Fiber 1000s 1000/1000 Mbps $500 $99 $0


DSL users have the choice of a modem, which costs $75 or a Wi-Fi Gateway, which has an integrated modem for $100. In each case, the customer is charged for the equipment with a one-time fee that appears on the first bill. The price paid for the equipment is fully refunded through a mail-in rebate after 2 months of service. Fiber internet customers get the Wi-Fi Gateway for free.

So, a small business can get the Fiber Internet 1000 service for $100 per month by posing as a residential customer. Furthermore, by accepting a contract, the small business owner can get that service at a price of $70 per month for the first year. Honest small business users who admit their internet service will be used for commercial purposes will have to pay $500 per month for that 1 Giga service.

See the full review of AT&T here.


4. Charter Spectrum

Charter Communications is a cable TV system that markets its services both to residences and businesses under the Spectrum brand. The company also offers telephone and internet services over its network, which extends into 44 states. The internet service’s prices are very reasonable but, as with all of the ISPs in this review, their prices for residential internet are lower than the prices the company charges to businesses.

The Charter network is typical of cable TV systems. It is a hybrid fiber-coaxial system that uses fiber-optic cable for the backbone and coaxial cable for the final link from the local exchange to the property. This is a very efficient and cost-effective internet delivery method.

The Charter/Spectrum rates for residential internet are shown in the table below.


Plan Download/ Upload Speeds Introductory Offer First 12 Months Standard Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Internet 200/10 Mbps $44.99 $64.99 $0 $5/month
Internet Ultra 400/20 Mbps $64.99 $84.99 $0 $5/month
Internet Gig 940/880 Mbps $104.99 $124.99 $0 $5/month


The $5 equipment fee is for an optional Wi-Fi router. The modem required for the service is supplied free of charge.

The prices for the Charter/Spectrum business internet plans are shown below.

Plan Download/ Upload Speeds Standard Price/Month
Business Internet 60 60/10 Mbps $59.99
Business Internet 100 100/10 Mbps $59.99
Business Internet 200 200/10 Mbps $59.99
Business Internet 300 300/20 Mbps $109.99
Business Internet 400 400/20 Mbps $109.99


Spectrum’s internet services do not require a contract and so there is no lock-in period and no hidden charges. The business rates are some of the lowest in the industry but prices for the equivalent residential plans are much lower.

See the full review of Charter Spectrum here.


5. Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications is a telephone company that offers DSL internet in 22 states. The company bought a fiber-optic network from Verizon to create the Frontier Fios division, which offers fiber internet services in six states.

The service offered by Frontier varies a great deal with some rural areas only able to access very slow speeds over the telephone wires with big city areas getting super-fast fiber internet options. The prices offered by Frontier are some of the lowest in the country and it does not impose data caps.

Here are the prices that Frontier charges to its residential customers.


Plan Download Speed Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Frontier Internet 0.5 to 6 Mbps $27.99 $75 $10
Frontier Preferred Internet 6.1  to 25 Mbps $34.99 $75 $10
Frontier Premium Internet 25.1 to 115 Mbps $44.99 $75 $10
Fios 50/50 50 Mbps $29.99 $75 $10
Fios 500/500 500 Mbps $39.99 $75 $10
Fios Gig Service 940 Mbps $74.99 $75 $10


The $75 installation fee is waived for customers who subscribe to a package that adds telephone or tv services to the internet plan. Another way to avoid the setup fee is to install the equipment yourself. However, in that case, the company charges a $9.99 shipping and handling fee to mail out the modem.

The Fios 500/500 plan is subject to an Internet Infrastructure Charge of $3.99 per month. No other plan gets that surcharge.

There are no minimum terms for the Frontier internet service and so no early termination fee for those who want to cancel the service. However, Frontier does charge an administration fee of $9.99 to any customer that wants to end the service, regardless of which plan the customer was on.

The business prices for Frontier Fios are very difficult to discover. The speeds of the plans offered for commercial customers do not match up with the residential plans. The setup and equipment fees are the same as those for residential users. Frontier also doesn’t impose minimum service periods on its business customers. The table below shows the three key plans offered by Frontier Fios to businesses.


Plan Download Speed Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Fios 75/75 75 Mbps $79.99 $75 $10
Fios 100/100 100 Mbps $94.99 $75 $10
Fios 200/200 200 Mbps $114.99 $75 $10


These business rates are all reasonable, but the residential service is a lot cheaper. Compare the Fios 500 Mbps service for residential users at a price of $39.99 to the business Fios 200 Mbps service for $114.99. It is clearly better to get a small business on the residential tariff of Frontier.

See the full review of Frontier here.


6. Rise Broadband

Rise Broadband is a specialist fixed wireless internet provider. Fixed wireless is different to the Wi-Fi systems that people have in their homes. Wi-Fi routers send out a signal footprint in all directions, like an invisible ball. Fixed wireless systems focus the signal into a beam and send it in one direction. The benefit of focusing the beam is that it can travel further.

A fixed wireless system is very similar to those HFC networks that cable TV companies use. With HFC, the bulk of the journey between the internet access point at the provider’s offices is carried on fiber-optic cable. This cable leads to a neighborhood exchange. At the exchange, data is passed over to one of several cables. Those cables are made of coaxial cable and each takes the internet signal to one property. With fixed wireless, the coaxial stretch is replaced by a wireless connection.

The wireless box on the local exchange can both transmit and receive, which is why it is called a “transceiver.” The property connected by fixed wireless also needs a transceiver in order to communicate with the box at the exchange.

The advantage of fixed wireless is that property doesn’t have to be dug up in order to lay a connecting cable. In some cases, the customer’s location is so far from the exchange that the amount of cable needed would be too expensive to deliver the internet service at a reasonable price.

As well as deploying innovative connection technology, Rise Broadband has a very unusual price structure. The company only offers 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps plans. In each case, the customer can choose whether to take the service with or without a data cap. The customer can also choose whether to take out a two-year contract or stay with month-to-month service. In both cases, the price is the same but the data cap is 150 GB per month without a contract and 250 GB per month with a contract. Those limits are very low. Customers who exceed the data cap can carry on using the service, but with an extra charge of $3.50 for each 10 GB unit extra.

Here are the prices for residential internet services from Rise Broadband.


Plan Price 1st Year Price 2nd Year Setup Cost Equipment Fee
25 with data cap $29.95/month $39.95/month $75 or $150 $10.99
25 unlimited data $49.95/month $59.95/month $75 or $150 $10.99
50 with data cap $39.95/month $49.95/month $75 or $150 $10.99
50 unlimited data $59.95/month $69.95/month $75 or $150 $10.99


Customers on the two-year contract pay $75 for the setup of the service and those without a contract pay $150. The equipment fee is mandatory and you can’t use your own modem. There is also an extra charge of $5.44 per month on all plans, which is called the Carrier Cost Recovery Fee. All of these charges apply equally to business plans. The rates for those plans are shown below.


Plan Download/ Upload Speed Price/ Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Business Pro 1 Year Agreement 25/4 Mbps $69.95 $75 or $150 $10.99
Business Pro 2 Year Agreement 25/4 Mbps $74.95 $75 or $150 $10.99
Business Pro 3 Year Agreement 25/4 Mbps $79.95 $75 or $150 $10.99
Business Premium 1 Year Agreement 50/5 Mbps $89.95 $75 or $150 $10.99
Business Premium 2 Year Agreement 50/5 Mbps $94.95 $75 or $150 $10.99
Business Premium 3 Year Agreement 50/5 Mbps $99.95 $75 or $150 $10.99


Both residential and business users have to pay an extra $5 per month if they want paper billing and paying the bill over the phone incurs a $10 “convenience fee.”

Although the rates for Rise Broadband are complicated, it is easy to see that residential customers pay a lot less than business customers.

See the full review of Rise Broadband here.


7. Cox Cable

Cox Communications, better known as Cox Cable, is a cable TV provider that also offers telephone and internet services. The network reaches out to 19 states and the company is now the third-largest cable internet provider in the USA.

The network of Cox follows the typical HFC cable network format that uses fiber-optic cable for the backbone and coaxial cable to connect customers to the local exchange.

As with all systems that use this configuration, neighborhoods that include heavy internet users can experience variable performance with speeds dropping at peak usage hours. This is because all traffic has to pass down a shared fiber-optic cable and if demand outstrips capacity, every message has to wait a little longer before it gets a turn on passing down the fiber. Cox imposes data caps of 1TB on all of its plans except for Gigablast in order to try to reduce the unexpected load on its infrastructure.

Here is a selection of Cox Cable’s internet-only plans.


Plan Download Speed Standard Price/Month Introductory Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Internet Starter 10 10 Mbps $44.99 $19.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Straightup Internet 25 Mbps $50.00 None None None
Internet Essentials 30 30 Mbps $65.99 $29.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Internet Preferred 150 150 Mbps $83.99 $49.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Internet Ultimate 300 Mbps $104.99 $69.99 $20 or $75 $10.99
Gigablast 940 Mbps $119.99 $99.99 $20 or $75 $10.99


The Straightup Internet plan is a month-to-month service at an all-inclusive price. All other plans require a 12-month contract. The introductory price of plans under contract runs for the one-year contract period. The setup fee is $20 for a self-install or $75 for a technician installation.

The rates for Cox business plans are shown below.


Plan Download Speed Upload Speed Introductory Price/Month Setup Cost Equipment Fee
Cox Business Internet 25 25 Mbps 5 Mbps $64.99 N/A N/A
Cox Business Internet 50 50 Mbps 10 Mbps $104.99 N/A N/A
Cox Business Internet 100 100 Mbps 20 Mbps $144.99 N/A N/A
Cox Business Internet 200 200 Mbps 20 Mbps $307.00 N/A N/A


The Cox business plans require a contract of 12 months, but there is no minimum term for the service, so customers can cancel the contract within that 12 months without having to pay an early termination fee. While notifying that customers will have to pay setup and equipment charges, the Cox Business website doesn’t disclose how much those fees are.

The Cox Business services site does explicitly state that the company does not guarantee the speeds headlined in each of its plans. Business traffic passes down the same cable as residential traffic and so is subject to the same overloading problem during peak usage hours.

The speeds offered to businesses by Cox are not very impressive. It is easy to see why the company doesn’t bother to promote a Gigabit plan to businesses when its 200 Mbps plan is priced at $307. A home-based small business can get the faster 300 Mbps Internet Ultimate plan for just $69.99 per month by posing as a residential user. Why would anyone opt for the Cox business rates unless they really had to?

See the full review of Cox Internet here.


Saving Money for Internet

As you can see from the details of each ISP’s plans, businesses are paying a lot more for internet services than residences. It seems strange that ISPs are allowed to get away with charging different prices for the same service in different areas. However, in terms of charging more to businesses than to homes, internet service providers are following standard national practices.

As a small business owner, you already know that your company gets charged more for many different services, not just the internet. In all probability, you use the trick of ordering those services in your own name to avoid the business tariff, so just do the same for your internet service.

Is it illegal to trick the internet service provider? It isn’t a criminal offense. However, ISPs could argue that you break the terms of service if you sign up for a residential service and then use it for business. However, how many ISPs employ inspectors to go around and check what activities users are getting up to in their homes? None. So, how are they going to know that you run your business over their internet service?

If you have separate business premises and it isn’t possible to run your company from home, then you will be trapped into paying those business tariffs. However, you can still make big cost savings by shopping around. You can also cut your monthly internet bill by opting for a slower service. Do you really need a 1 Gbps connection for a furniture workshop? Could your antique store survive with just a 25 Mbps internet service?

Set your requirements for internet speeds realistically and then shop around to get the cost of the business service down. Above all, if you can get away with it, opt for the residential internet service.