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When it comes to reliable internet services in America, AT&T and Optimum definitely make the top choices for residents. Both providers power millions of American households with quality internet, TV, and other services. AT&T Fiber plans are powerful and deliver symmetrical lightning-fast speeds, while Optimum cable is a more widely available high-speed wired connection, offering unlimited data with strong connectivity in virtually all of its service locations.  

So, how do you make the right choice when both of these options are available at your address? We’ve conducted thorough research on the services, coverage, and pricing of both providers to help you make the right decision!

Pricing and Plans: AT&T vs. Optimum

If you reside in the northeast region and Optimum is available at your address, we recommend signing up immediately. It’s less costly than AT&T Fiber internet and much faster than AT&T hybrid-DSL connections and comes with lots of perks that most potential subscribers look for. But if the unknown price hike is a deal-breaker for you, we recommend opting for AT&T Fiber.

AT&T Internet Plans

AT&T Internet plans will deliver the fastest speed depending on the network capability at your location for as low as $55/month. On the other hand, AT&T Fiber internet allows multiple devices to stream, work, play, and browse at the same time without any interruptions with symmetrical internet speeds, unlimited internet data, and unbelievably high bandwidth.

Though AT&T Fiber plans may seem costly at a glance, they’re much more competitively priced as there are no price hikes, no equipment fees, no data overage fees, and no annual contracts.

For your convenience, we’ve listed down all AT&T internet plans with their prices and internet speeds.

Internet Plans Prices* Internet Speeds
AT&T Internet $55/mo. for 12 months Up to 100 Mbps
AT&T Fiber 300 $55/mo 300 Mbps
Internet 500 $65/mo. 500 Mbps
Internet 1000 $80/mo. 1,000 Mbps
2 GIG $110/mo. 2,000 Mbps
5 GIG $180/mo. 5,000 Mbps
*Plus taxes. AutoPay & paperless bill req’d.  

Optimum Internet Plans

Optimum mainly offers cable internet, more specifically a hybrid of cable and fiber. Only 1/10th of its service areas are in luck with access to Optimum’s fiber-optic network.

When it comes to affordability, Optimum offers competitively lower rates than AT&T Fiber in the short term. As Optimum offers promo rates for the first 12 months, and a $5 discount if you opt for autopay and paperless billing. As for AT&T hybrid-DSL plans, they’re costlier than Optimum. AT&T Internet will deliver up to 100 Mbps of download speed at $55/mo. for 12 months, while Optimum will deliver the same at only $29.99/mo. for the first 12 months. The good news is that there’s no difference in pricing for Optimum cable and fiber plans.

Optimum is not very forthright about its regular rates after the promo period. Customers are usually notified near the expiration of their promo prices about upcoming price increase to their internet bill. What exactly is that price increase only Optimum could tell. Fortunately, the provider doesn’t bind you with any contracts, so you may easily switch to a different provider if the price hikes are too much.  

Check out Optimum internet plans and pricing below:

Internet Plans Prices* Download Speeds
Optimum 100 $29.99/mo. 100 Mbps
Optimum 300 $39.99/mo. 300 Mbps
Optimum 500 $59.99/mo. 500 Mbps
Optimum 1 Gig $79.99/mo. 1,000 Mbps
*for 12 months plus taxes w/AutoPay & Paperless bill

Bundles & Deals

AT&T and Optimum both allow their subscribers to save a ton of money on essential household services like internet, TV, and home phone. Optimum and AT&T offer contract-free plans and top-tier internet, phone, and TV bundles with premium networks for hours of entertainment and tons of perks!

You can enjoy extra flexibility with both Optimum and AT&T bundles as the providers let you customize your bundle at no extra fees.

AT&T Bundles

AT&T bundles allow you to enjoy more for less. While the provider does not offer a traditional TV service like cable, you can certainly add DIRECTV (satellite) or DIRECTV STREAM (IPTV) to your AT&T internet subscription, and access hundreds of channels and premium networks. Plus, you may even include a home phone plan to your bundle and enjoy unlimited nationwide calling with many useful calling features.

Take note that you will not get discounts upon bundling and you will have separate billing for AT&T and DIRECTV services. Either way, DIRECTV and DIRECTV Stream offer a few worthy perks, such as access to premium networks like HBO Max that you can enjoy at no charge at all for a limited time period.

Optimum Bundles

Optimum bundles or ‘Optimum FlexAbility’ packages as its name suggests let you choose the service you want and create a bundle that is perfectly tailored to your needs and budgets. Add the Optimum Mobile data plan of your choice,  choose between live TV or streaming, and get an internet speed that works best for you. Plus, you can get a 60-day money-back guarantee with Optimum Internet and TV, and access Optimum TV on the go with the TV to Go service. You have complete control at friendly pricing with Optimum FlexAbility.

Extra Fees, Installation, and Contracts

You don’t have to worry about getting hit with an early termination fee (ETF) with either of these providers. AT&T offers internet plans on a month-to-month basis and the same is the case with Optimum, which goes even further by offering its subscribers a 60-day money-back guarantee!

Provider Installation Fee Equipment Fee Other Fees
AT&T Self-Install Assistance Fee — $99
Technician Installation Fee — $99
Free
Non-Return Equipment Fee — $150
ETF — Up to $180 (contract plans only)
Late payment – Up to $9.99
Optimum Standard installation – $99
Premium installation –$149
Additional outlet - $25
Gateway modem — $10/mo.
Unreturned/Lost/Damaged Equipment — Up to $265
Restore Service Fee–$10.00 - $15.00
Late payment – $10 for each past-due bill

Equipment & Extra Fees

Optimum charges $10 a month as a rental fee while AT&T provides the modem/router gateway device for free with its internet plans. However, both providers impose a penalty if you fail to return their equipment in time or damage it. While AT&T may charge up to $180 in fine, Optimum charges $100 for each modem and $80 for a router in case of damages or non-return.

Installation

Optimum internet installation is free if you order online. However, if that doesn’t apply to you, then check out its 2 types of installation services — Standard and Premium. The former covers the setup of a single wireless device and 2 outlets, while the latter covers the installation of a single wired device, 3 outlets, and all wireless devices. Optimum also offers discount on installation with the Standard install for $59 and Premium for $99. Whereas, AT&T charges $99 for professional installation.

As for self-install kits, regardless of the provider, you can only opt for self-install and do away with the hefty installation fee if your home already has up-to-date wiring compatible with your new internet connection. Otherwise, you’ll need technicians who’ll lay down cables and connect your home to the provider’s network infrastructure.

Contracts

Optimum and AT&T internet plans are contract-free, giving users the freedom and flexibility to cancel the subscription whenever they want without paying a single dime. You can enjoy all essential connectivity and entertainment services at a fixed price for the first year without being slapped with a heavy early termination fee.

Data Allowance

AT&T Internet offers its subscribers a generous data allowance for smooth streaming, browsing, and gaming for the entire month. AT&T’s hybrid-DSL connection with speeds under 75 Mbps comes with a 1 TB data allowance every month, while AT&T Internet plan with 100 Mbps speed and AT&T Fiber plans come with an unlimited data allowance. You will be charged an overage fee of $10 for every 50 GB of excess data you use.

Meanwhile, Optimum internet plans allow consumers the use of unlimited data without any fear of data overage fees.

Coverage Area

AT&T internet service covers 21 states, while Optimum’s network is smaller, mainly in the Northeast, with coverage across 5 states. AT&T clearly takes the win when it comes to coverage and availability.

AT&T Coverage Area

AT&T’s hybrid-DSL network is spread across almost 90% of its service areas. Meanwhile, its fiber-optic network takes up 31% of its service areas, mostly of the urban and suburban variety. Lastly, the AT&T fixed wireless network, though popular in rural areas, have limited overall coverage.

The AT&T coverage states include the following:

Optimum Coverage Area

Optimum ensures quality internet access to over 11 million residents across 5 US states with its powerful hybrid fiber-coaxial network. However, approx. 1.3 million residents in its service states can access Optimum fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service, which the provider is planning to expand in more of its territories.

Optimum provides its services in the following states:

Final Words

AT&T and Optimum offer fast and reliable internet access in major cities of the US, and their coverage overlaps in the Northeast region, so if you’re looking for a reliable internet service provider in the Northeast, checking out AT&T and Optimum internet plans might not be a bad idea. If you’re able to get Optimum plans at your address, then go for it if you’re able to get promo rates.

But if you’d prefer fiber internet speeds and don’t want to deal with surprisingly high price spikes once the promotional period ends, consider signing up for AT&T Fiber plans.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is Optimum internet the same as AT&T?

AT&T delivers DSL and fiber connections while Optimum delivers high-speeds via a hybrid fiber-coaxial network across the Northeast.

  1. Is Optimum cheaper than AT&T?

Optimum’s lowest-priced plan starts at $29.99 per month and delivers up to 100 Mbps, but the price increases once the first year ends. While AT&T Fiber’s cheapest plan delivers up to 300 Mbps of symmetrical speeds for only $55 without any price hikes. Optimum charges $10 every month for equipment, while AT&T offers the equipment as part of the plan for free. Therefore, making AT&T Fiber plans cheaper than Optimum internet plans.

  1. Is AT&T or Optimum better for you?

Our brief guide compares AT&T and Optimum in depth, from services and pricing to coverage and technology. Evaluate your requirements to pick the provider that meets your needs best.

  1. Is AT&T or Optimum Internet faster?

AT&T and Optimum both provide gig-speed plans with up to 1,000 Mbps of download speeds. However, AT&T offers symmetrical internet speeds for its fiber plans at a much straightforward price.

  1. Which is better DirecTV or Optimum?

DirecTV promises excellent customer service, robust channel lineups, and a ton of perks, including powerful DVR storage compared to Optimum’s cable TV service.

  1. Does AT&T or Optimum have faster upload speeds?

AT&T Fiber plans offer symmetrical internet speeds as fast as 5000 Mbps, which means that you’ll get the same upload speeds as the download ones. Optimum plans are limited to 1000 Mbps and offer lower upload speeds due to their hybrid fiber-cable connection.