Charlotte

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina ― and like other metro areas that comprise the highest populations in their respective states, Charlotte places first in terms of IP addresses but much lower when it comes to downstream speed (39th, in this case). However, the city’s average upload speed exceeds that of other major N.C. cities, such as Raleigh, Greensboro, and Durham, as well as the national average. Virtually all of Charlotte has access to cable and wireless services, and 98.6% can acquire DSL, but the city’s fiber presence is limited to just 2.1%.

Charlotte Quick Facts

  • Total Area (sq miles): 268
  • Population: 768,593
  • Housing Units: 342,649
Charlotte Education Levels Overall U.S. Education Levels
H.S. Graduates 85.6% 80.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 37.6% 24.8%
Charlotte Resident Incomes Overall U.S. Incomes
Median Income $61,352 $58,283
Poverty Rate 15.6% 15.8%
Below $25k 21.7% 24.1%
$25k-$50k 31.7% 30.0%
$50k-$100k 31.0% 30.6%
$100k-$200k 15.9% 16.5%
$200k or more 5.3% 4.2%

Source: BroadbandMap.gov

Internet Access in Charlotte

City Connectivity

Fiber connections may run more than 100 times faster than cable or DSL ― so as is the case with other cities with minimal fiber presence, Charlotte’s average Internet speed is lower than it might be if more of the city had access to this type of connection.

City Accessibility Rates Overall U.S. Rates
DSL 98.6% 89.7%
Fiber 2.1% 23.3%
Cable 100.0% 88.6%
Wireless 100.0% 99.0%

Source: BroadbandMap.gov

Internet Speed in Charlotte

Charlotte ranks first in North Carolina in terms of IP addresses, but 39th for downstream speed. Since N.C. places 41st in the country, it should come as no surprise that Charlotte’s speed is more than 2 Mbps below the national average. Interestingly, however, Charlotte’s upload speed sits at 8.34 Mbps, which is more than 2 Mbps above the national average.

  • Upload Speed: 8.34 Mbps
  • Download Speed: 18.11 Mbps
  • Source: NetIndex.com

Charlotte-Area Providers

The following list represents the leading broadband providers for the greater Charlotte area. Although more than four ISPs are listed on the National Broadband Map, some of these companies provide service that is exclusive to enterprises or businesses. Our list consists of broadband providers who offer residential coverage.

For Charlotte, the list of leading ISPs looks like this:

Time Warner Cable

  • Service Areas: Throughout Charlotte (verified by zip code)
  • Service Tiers: Everyday Low Price, Basic, Standard, Turbo, Extreme Ultimate
  • Downstream Speeds: 2 Mbps, 3 Mbps, 15 Mbps, 20 Mbps, 30 Mbps, 50 Mbps
  • Monthly Price: $14.99, $29.99, $34.99, $44.99, $54.99, $64.99
  • Features and Limitations: Time Warner Cable is the ideal option for Charlotte Internet users who prize downstream speed over other aspects of their service plan. Top tier packages from Time Warner download at speeds of up to 50 Mbps, which is much faster than most competitors ― so it should come as no surprise that these bundles are also considerably more expensive than those from other Charlotte-area ISPs.

AT&T

  • Service Areas: Throughout Charlotte, coverage depends on exact residence
  • Service Tiers: Four plans determined by downstream speeds (see next entry)
  • Downstream Speeds: 768 Kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 3 Mbps, 6 Mbps
  • Monthly Price: $19.95, $24.95, $29.95, $34.95
  • Features and Limitations: The monthly rates for AT&T bundles are lower than other ISPs, but the downstream speed is much slower. In other words, while Time Warner is the best choice for web surfers who value speed, AT&T is a suitable option for Charlotte residents who don’t download a lot of data.

Verizon

  • Service Areas: Throughout Charlotte, coverage and downstream speed depends on exact location
  • Service Tiers: High Speed Internet, High Speed Internet Enhanced
  • Downstream Speeds: 0.5 Mbps to 15 Mbps
  • Monthly Price: $19.99, $29.99
  • Features and Limitations: Verizon’s High Speed Internet package is only equipped for downstream speeds of up to 1 Mbps; the top-tier Enhanced package, on the other hand, can download at a rate of up to 15 Mbps and is only $10 more per month than the standard option. However, depending on their location within greater Charlotte, some users may not be able to exceed 3 Mbps ― so you should definitely consult with a Verizon employee before signing any contracts.

T-Mobile

  • Service Areas: Throughout Charlotte, coverage depends on exact residence
  • Service Tiers: 500 MB, 2.5 GB, 4.5 GB, 6.5 GB, 8.5 GB, 10.5 GB
  • Downstream Speeds: All T-Mobile service plans include access to the 4G LTE Mobile Data Network, which is equipped for downstream speeds of roughly 15 to 20 Mbps.
  • Monthly Price: $20, $30, $40, $50, $60, $70
  • Features and Limitations: T-Mobile places a data cap on all plans. While this isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker for casual users, it might be impractical for individuals who download a lot of data, such as music or videos, or households with several people regularly accessing the Internet.

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