Best Internet Providers in Arkansas

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What is the best internet provider in Arkansas?

AT&T has the best wired broadband coverage in Arkansas and is the leading fiber internet provider in Little Rock, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Hot Springs and Jonesboro. The fast, symmetrical speeds of a 100% fiber connection, varied plan selection, customer-friendly service terms and high customer satisfaction make AT&T Fiber our top pick for home internet service in Arkansas.

As AT&T covers only 41% of the state according to the latest report from the FCC, T-Mobile is a solid choice for broadband, especially for those in rural parts of Arkansas, with speeds up to 72-245 megabits per second starting at just $60 per month or $40 per month for qualifying T-Mobile mobile customers. For other low-cost options, look to Xfinity for the cheapest internet in Arkansas with speeds up to 150Mbps for only $20 per month for the first year. 

Xfinity also has one of the fastest internet plans in Arkansas, with download speeds up to 2,000Mbps starting at $100 per month. Kinetic and regional provider OzarksGo also offers speeds of 2,000Mbps (2Gbps) or higher, while AT&T Fiber and RightFiber are the fastest providers in Arkansas, with 5Gbps plans available in select areas.

Best internet providers in Arkansas

Arkansas internet providers compared

Provider Internet technology Monthly price range Speed range (Mbps) Monthly equipment costs Data cap Contract CNET review score
AT&T
Read full review
DSL, fiber $55-$250 10-100 DSL, 300-5,000 fiber None None None 7.4
Brightspeed DSL, fiber $50-$79 200-2,000 DSL, up to 2,000 fiber $15 None None N/A
Cablelynx Cable $35-$75 100-940 None 1.5-3TB 1 year N/A
Cox
Read full review
Cable $50-$100 100-2,000 $15 (optional) 1.25TB None 6.2
Fidelity Cable $40-70 300-940 $13 None None N/A
Hughesnet
Read full review
Satellite $55-$100 100-200 $15 monthly or $400 upfront  Varies, 100-200GB 2 years 5.7
Kinetic DSL, fiber $40-$100 300-2,000 DSL $10 (optional) None None 6.7
Optimum
Read full review
Cable $40-$80 300-1,000 None None None 6.2
OzarksGo Fiber $50-$110 100-2,500 $5 None 1 year N/A
RightFiber Fiber $60-$120 350-5,000 None None None N/A
T-Mobile Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless $60 ($40 with eligible mobile plans) 72-245 None None None 7.4
South Central Connect Fiber $55-$100 200-1,000 None None None N/A
Starlink
Read full review
Low-orbit satellite $90-$120 20-220 $499 purchase fee None None N/A
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Read full review
Fixed wireless $50-$70 ($35-$45 for eligible Verizon Wireless customers) 50-250 None None None 7.2
Viasat
Read full review
Satellite $70-$300 12-150 $13 monthly or $299 upfront None None 6.1
Xfinity
Read full review
Cable $20-$85 150-2,000 $15 (optional) 1.25TB or unlimited 1-2 years 7

Show more (12 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

A look at other Arkansas ISPs

AT&T Internet: AT&T’s copper-based service, AT&T Internet, is available to more Arkansas homes than AT&T Fiber, but speeds are much slower (10-100Mbps) for around the same starting price of $60 per month. There’s also a monthly data cap of 1.5TB.

Brightspeed: Many Arkansas residents are familiar with CenturyLink, but new ISP Brightspeed recently acquired CenturyLink’s DSL and fiber networks throughout the state. Plans start at $50 for DSL or $49 for fiber, depending on the available connection type at your address. If you’re eligible for fiber, Brightspeed offers speeds up to 2Gbps starting at $99 monthly. 

How many members of your household use the internet?

Cablelynx: Regional cable provider Cablelynx offers service in Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Searcy and other smaller Arkansas communities. With plans starting at $35 per month, Cablelynx is one of the cheaper internet options in Arkansas.

Fidelity: Another regional cable provider, Fidelity serves the southwestern suburbs of Little Rock and communities in the state’s northeast and southwest corners. Plans range from $40 to $70 per month for speeds of 300 to 940Mbps.

Kinetic: A top choice for internet in suburban and rural areas, Kinetic offers speeds up to 300Mbps or higher with its DSL service and up to 2,000Mbps via its fiber network. Pricing starts at around $40 per month.

Optimum: Previously known in Arkansas as Suddenlink, Altice brand Optimum is the third largest cable ISP in the state. Pricing, speeds and service terms are competitive, but the history of low customer satisfaction is a potential red flag.

OzarksGo: Fiber internet is hard to come by in Arkansas compared to other states, but those to the northwest, above Fort Smith, may be eligible for OzarksGo, a regional fiber internet provider. Service starts at $50 per month for maximum speeds of 100Mbps and faster speeds, up to 2,500Mbps, are available.

A view of Little Rock, Arkansas A view of Little Rock, Arkansas

Getty Images

RightFiber: With service starting at $60 per month, RightFiber isn’t the cheapest ISP in Arkansas, but it is one of the fastest, with speed tiers ranging from 350Mbps to 5Gbps. Availability is limited to south of Jonesboro and parts of Searcy and Pine Bluff, but anytime there’s an internet provider with “fiber” in the name, it’s worth checking out.

South Central Connect: Another regional fiber provider in Arkansas, South Central Connect has a large presence in the Arkadelphia area. Plans range from $55 to $100 monthly for speeds of 200 to 1,000Mbps.

Starlink: Satellite internet is notorious for relatively slow speeds, high latency and restrictive data caps. Starlink and its armada of low-orbiting satellites look to change that, but pricing is still sky-high: $90 to $120 per month, not to mention the nearly $500 for equipment.

Verizon 5G Home Internet: Verizon proves that wireless internet speeds can compete with cable or fiber connections with a max range of 50 to 1,000Mbps. Availability on the provider’s two plans — Home starting at $50 per month for 50 to 300Mbps and Home Plus starting at $70 for 85 to 1,000Mbps — is largely limited to the Little Rock area. There are no equipment fees, data caps or contracts, and Verizon mobile customers may be eligible for a $15 to $25 discount off home internet service.

Viasat: When satellite internet is all that’s available, Viasat may be faster than HughesNet (up to 100Mbps in select areas) and a higher data allowance, albeit for a higher price. Viasat starts at $70 to $300 per month and the rate may increase significantly after the first three months.

Internet breakdown by city in Arkansas

It’s hard to cover the broadband options of an entire state and give individual areas the attention they deserve. That’s why we also compile lists of the best internet providers in cities across the US, including those in Arkansas. We tackle details such as internet connection types, maximum speeds and cheapest providers. Check back later if you don’t find the location you’re looking for below. We’re working to add more cities every week. 

Cheap internet options in Arkansas

The cost of internet in Arkansas will depend on the available providers in your area, the plan you choose and any added fees, such as for equipment rental. It’s possible to get internet in Arkansas for $20 to $35 per month from providers such as Xfinity and Cablelynx, although equipment fees will add to the cost, and the rate may increase by $30 or more once the introductory rate expires.

Cheapest internet plans in Arkansas

Plan Starting monthly price Max download speed (Mbps) Monthly equipment fee
Xfinity Connect
Read full review
$20 ($56 after 12 months) 150 $15 (optional)
Cablelynx Residential $35 300 None
Optimum 300
Read full review
$40 300 None
Kinetic 300 $40 300 $10 (optional)
Fidelity 300Mbps $40 ($60 after 12 months) 300 None
Cox 250Mbps
Read full review
$50 250 $15 (optional)
Verizon 5G Home Internet
Read full review
$50 ($35 with eligible mobile plans) 300 None
Brightspeed Internet $50 140 $15
OzarksGo Fiber 100 $50 100 $5
Hughesnet Select
Read full review
$55 50 $15
AT&T Fiber 300
Read full review
$55 300 None
South Central Connect Essential $55 200 None
T-Mobile Home Internet
Read full review
$60 ($40 with eligible mobile plans) 245 None

Show more (9 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

How to find internet deals and promotions in Arkansas

The best internet deals and the top promotions in Arkansas depend on what discounts are available during that time. Most deals are short-lived, but we look frequently for the latest offers. 

Arkansas internet providers, such as Xfinity, may offer lower introductory pricing or other perks for a limited time. Many providers, including AT&T, Cox and Kinetic, run the same standard pricing year-round. 

For a more extensive list of promos, check out our guide on the best internet deals. 

How fast is Arkansas broadband?

Median download speeds in Arkansas are lower than the national average (202Mbps compared to 248Mbps), according to recent Ookla speed test data. Median upload speeds were higher, at 48Mbps compared to the national average of around 34Mbps.

Maximum speeds of 5Gbps are available in Arkansas thanks to high-speed providers like AT&T Fiber and RightFiber, but availability is limited. Single-gig service, typically between 940Mbps and 1,200Mbps, is more widely available in Arkansas from cable internet providers like Cox and Xfinity.

Fastest internet plans in Arkansas

Plan Starting price Max download speed (Mbps) Max upload speed (Mbps) Data cap Connection type
RightFiber 5 Gig $120 5,000 5,000 None Fiber
AT&T Fiber 5000
Read full review
$245 5,000 5,000 None Fiber
OzarksGo Gigabit Plus $110 2,500 2,500 None Fiber
Kinetic 2 Gig $100 2,000 2,000 None Fiber
Xfinity X2
Read full review
$100 2,000 200 1.25TB Cable
Brightspeed 1 Gig $70 940 940 None Fiber
Optimum 1 Gig
Read full review
$80 940 35 None Cable
Cox Gigablast
Read full review
$120 1,000 40 1.25TB Cable
Verizon 5G Home Plus Internet
Read full review
$70 ($45 with qualifying Verizon 5G mobile plans) 1,000 75 None Fixed wireless

Show more (5 items)

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Several other providers, including Cablelynx, Brightspeed and Fidelity offer gig download speeds as well. While the fast speeds are tempting, they may be more than you need. It’s important to understand what speeds are best for your home and choose a plan that can best accommodate your needs. 

What’s a good internet speed?

Most internet connection plans can now handle basic productivity and communication tasks. If you’re looking for an internet plan that can accommodate videoconferencing, streaming video or gaming, you’ll have a better experience with a more robust connection. Here’s an overview of the recommended minimum download speeds for various applications, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Note that these are only guidelines and that internet speed, service and performance vary by connection type, provider and address.

For more information, refer to our guide on how much internet speed you really need.

  • 0 to 5Mbps allows you to tackle the basics: browsing the internet, sending and receiving email and streaming low-quality video.
  • 5 to 40Mbps gives you higher-quality video streaming and videoconferencing.
  • 40 to 100Mbps should give one user sufficient bandwidth to satisfy the demands of modern telecommuting, video streaming and online gaming. 
  • 100 to 500Mbps allows one to two users to simultaneously engage in high-bandwidth activities like videoconferencing, streaming and online gaming.  
  • 500 to 1,000Mbps allows three or more users to engage in high-bandwidth activities all at the same time.

How CNET chose the best internet providers in Arkansas

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. 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 FCC.gov.

It doesn’t end there: We go to the FCC’s website to check our data and ensure we consider every ISP that provides service in an area. We also input local addresses on provider websites to find specific options for residents. We look at sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power, to evaluate how happy customers are with an ISP’s service. 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:

  1. Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds?
  2. Do customers get decent value for what they’re paying?
  3. 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. When it comes to selecting the cheapest internet service, we look for the plans with the lowest monthly fee, although we also factor in things like price increases, equipment fees and contracts. Choosing the fastest internet service is relatively straightforward. We look at advertised upload and download speeds and also take into account real-world speed data from sources like Ookla and FCC reports.

To explore our process in more depth, visit our how we test ISPs page.

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

AT&T Fiber would be my first choice for home internet in Arkansas due to its fast speeds, fair pricing and high customer satisfaction, but availability is limited. Other providers, including Cox, Xfinity and various regional ISPs, bring cable and fiber connections to homes across Arkansas. In contrast, T-Mobile and satellite internet providers help to fill the broadband gap where wired connections are unavailable.

Available speeds and pricing will vary depending on the internet providers in your area, but it’s possible to get speeds up to 5Gbps or a plan as low as $20 per month in Arkansas. Before signing up for an internet service, explore all available options to find the best ISP and plan for your needs and budget.

Internet providers in Arkansas FAQs

What is the best internet provider in Arkansas?

AT&T has the best-wired internet coverage of any Arkansas ISP and is a top choice for internet where fiber service is available with plans starting at $55 per month for speeds up to 300Mbps. Service comes with no equipment fees, data caps or contracts. 

T-Mobile Home Internet is a leading option for internet in rural areas, covering nearly two-thirds of Arkansas households with speeds ranging from 72 to 245Mbps starting at $60 per month.

Is fiber internet available in Arkansas?

Yes. Approximately 47% of Arkansas households are eligible for fiber internet, although service is largely limited to metro areas such as Little Rock, Fort Smith and Fayetteville. AT&T is the largest fiber internet provider in Arkansas, while Kinetic, RightFiber and others contribute to fiber availability throughout the state.

What is the cheapest internet provider in Arkansas?

Xfinity has the cheapest plan in Arkansas. Xfinity Connect starts at $20 monthly and Cox starts at $30 monthly for download speeds up to 150Mbps and 100 Mbps, respectively. T-Mobile and Verizon 5G Home Internet are also decent options for cheap internet, starting at $40 and $35, respectively, with qualifying mobile discounts. Cable internet providers Fidelity and Cablelynx offer plans at around $40 per month for download speeds up to 300Mbps. After that, several Arkansas internet providers, including Hughesnet and AT&T offer broadband for $50 per month or slightly higher.

What ISP has the fastest internet in Arkansas?

AT&T Fiber and RightFiber offer the fastest internet speeds of any major ISP in Arkansas, with symmetrical maximum upload and download speeds of 5,000Mbps. OzarksGo is the next fastest provider, with a 2,500Mbps plan, followed by Kinetic (2,000Mbps), Xfinity (2,000Mbps) and several single-gig providers, including Brightspeed, Cox and Optimum. 

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