Washington Dc Internet | Service Providers in Washington Dc

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About Internet Service in Washington Dc

Not surprisingly, the nation’s capital is also very technologically advanced. Washington DC boasts downstream and upstream speeds that are well above the national average, and more on par with those found in suburban communities ― no small feat, considering the city’s population density is more than 10,000 individuals per square mile. Washington also boasts a fiber presence of 32%, which is significantly greater than most major U.S. cities.

Washington DC County Quick Facts

  • Total Area (sq miles): 61
  • Population: 617,628
  • Housing Units: 307,232
Washington DC Education Levels Overall U.S. Education Levels
H.S. Graduates 77.3% 80.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 39.9% 24.8%
Washington DC Resident Incomes Overall U.S. Incomes
Median Income $70,085 $58,283
Poverty Rate 18.8% 15.8%
Below $25k 24.1% 24.1%
$25k-$50k 23.6% 30.0%
$50k-$100k 26.7% 30.6%
$100k-$200k 20.0% 16.5%
$200k or more 9.4% 4.2%

Source: BroadbandMap.gov

Internet Access in Washington DC

City Connectivity

DC’s impressive fiber presence no doubt contributes to the city’s relatively quick connectivity. DSL, cable, and wireless accessibility are all well above the overall U.S. rates, as well.

City Accessibility Rates Overall U.S. Rates
DSL 98.1% 89.7%
Fiber 32.0% 23.3%
Cable 98.2% 88.6%
Wireless 100.0% 99.0%

Source: BroadbandMap.gov

Internet Speed in Washington DC

Both Washington DC’s downstream and upstream speeds are nearly 2 Mbps faster than the national average. Given the dense population and nearly 380,000 unique IP addresses in the city, Washington DC is an exception to the rule that crowded places generally have longer lag times during downloads.

  • Upload Speed: 8.15 Mbps
  • Download Speed: 22.29 Mbps
  • Source: NetIndex.com

Washington DC-Area Providers

The National Broadband Map lists the following ISPs as Washington’s four leading broadband providers for private residences. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are all tied for the fastest average downstream speed of 10-25 Mbps, although most of the city tends to be on the quicker end of the spectrum.

For Washington DC, the final list of ISPs looks like this:

Verizon

  • Service Areas: Throughout Washington DC
  • 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: One major caveat about Verizon is that their advertised downstream speed of 15 Mbps may not be available in some areas. But in a well-wired city like Washington DC, this shouldn’t be a concern. Internet users who demand faster connections might want to look elsewhere, but this is the best deal in town for individuals who value a low monthly rate.

AT&T

  • Service Areas: Throughout Washington DC
  • 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: Unless you never download music, videos, or other data that requires a fast connection, AT&T’s plans are somewhat impractical in the DC area. The provider’s top-tier plan (priced at $34.95 per month) only ensures a download rate of 6 Mbps; Verizon’s top-tier plan is $5 cheaper with double the downstream speed.

T-Mobile

  • Service Areas: Throughout Washington DC
  • Service Tiers: (Data Caps) 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 imposes a data cap on all service plans; users who exceed this limit will be forced to pay at a higher rate until the billing cycle ends (rather than pay an overage fee). This is important to keep in mind when browsing packages from T-Mobile. People who burn through a lot of data should probably shop providers who don’t require data caps, but if you never download music, videos, or photos, then a cheaper plan with T-Mobile is on par with Verizon’s top-tier package.

Sprint

  • Service Areas: Throughout Washington DC
  • Service Tiers: (Data Caps) 1 GB, 3 GB, 6 GB, 12 GB
  • Downstream Speeds: All Sprint service plans are linked to the Sprint $G LTE network, which typically downloads at a rate of 6-8 Mbps.
  • Monthly Price: $14.99, $34.99, $49.99, $79.99
  • Features and Limitations: There are a few important points to remember when comparing Sprint and T-Mobile plans. Both have data caps, but Sprint’s plans also include a cap on data downloaded using a roaming signal; depending on the plan, this cap will be 100 or 300 MB. Sprint’s downstream speed is also notably slower than T-Mobile’s; The Sprint network can download up to 25 Mbps, but this speed usually falls between 6 and 8 Mbps ― which is about half as fast as T-Mobile’s.

City Subscriber Resources

  • The Greater Washington DC Chapter of the Internet Society: The ISOC DC is one of five U.S. chapters of the Internet Society, a multinational organization that promotes technological improvements and online literacy throughout the world.
  • 501 Tech Club DC: This non-profit organization consists of programmers, designers, and web developers who regularly meet to discuss ways for various organizations to incorporate current technology into their day-to-day operations.
  • Cyber Security Summit 2014: Every year, Washington DC hosts this seminar that addresses contemporary concerns about web security, online criminal activity, and other related topics. The 2014 summit will be held in May.