What is the best ISP in Portland

  • Xfinity, Centurylink, and Frontier are the most widely available home Internet choices in Portland, Oregon. Centurylink and Frontier both offer fiber in some neighborhoods. There are alternative providers in some areas, so start by checking your options with our address search tool.
  • The average speed recorded from all Portland-area Internet providers is 46.97 Mbps.
  • Google Fiber development is paused in Portland, although the city is still listed as a “potential Google Fiber city” on their website. It is likely that if Google comes to town, it will be with a wireless alternative like Webpass. Whether or not this will happen is unconfirmed.

For most of us in PDX, picking a provider means choosing between cable from Xfinity or DSL from AT&T. Here’s how the “big two” Portland Internet options measure up, according to our data and analysis.

XFINITY from Comcast - Top Pick

  • Pricing:$2999 - $8999
  • Max Down:987 Mbps
  • Max Up:35 Mbps
  • Ratings:

Comcast Xfinity is one of the more common options for cable Internet, and it’s a good option for most residents within city limits. The hybrid fiber-coaxial network delivers speeds and bandwidth that are several times more than what the average family needs, and bundles well with entertainment options on their digital TV X1 platform.

  • Above-average speed and bandwidth
  • Mixed customer service reviews

CenturyLink - Runner Up

  • Pricing:$4500 - $8500
  • Max Down:140 Mbps
  • Max Up:50 Mbps
  • Ratings:

CenturyLink wins our recommendation both within city limits and in the surrounding area thanks to their widespread coverage, decent speed-to-price value, and above-average customer ratings. Their DSL network has enough speed to handle streaming, gaming, and other high-bandwidth web activities. Their Prism TV platform offers flexible sports and premium channel bundles.

  • Excellent TV options through Prism TV

Residential Internet Providers Available in Portland

Some neighborhoods have alternative options, including fixed wireless “WISP” providers. Here’s a full list of Internet providers currently registered with the FCC as being available in Portland city limits. However, some of these only serve as little as 1% of residences, so keep that in mind before you go too far into the research process.

Best Business Internet Providers

Business Internet offers a bit more flexibility in Portland than in smaller nearby cities. Having crunched the data on every plan advertised in the area, we landed on this one for having the most appealing combination of price, speed, and customizability for small-to-enterprise businesses.

XFINITY from Comcast - Business Pick

  • Max Down:987 Mbps
  • Max Up:35 Mbps
  • Ratings:

Comcast Business is a practical pick for most medium-sized businesses: no data caps, dedicated IP support, 24 hour technical assistance, and other basic business services are all included standard and get good ratings for reliability. It comes at a higher price point than residential service, but it also comes without many of the headaches.

  • Advanced business-class features

Business Internet Providers Available in Portland

For a bird’s-eye-view of Internet options for your business, see the table below, which has a comprehensive listing of every provider with business-class plan options in Portland. This includes companies with speciality services like point-to-point.

Map of Broadband Internet Competition in Portland

Portland is more competitive in areas with fiber, while cable/DSL-only districts struggle to offer more than a couple true broadband options. Explore the interactive map below for a granular view of how the wiring wars have played out in PDX.

Provider Competition Map

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COVERAGE CENSUS TRACTS

Portland Internet Speed Overview

The average Internet speed in Portland is 46.97 Mbps. This is based on speed test data and accounts for central areas like the Pearl District as well as outlying developments like Laurelhurst. The top speed in Portland is a more impressive 121.81 Mbps.

Average Speed90th Percentile Speed
46.97 Mbps121.81 Mbps

Average Residential download speeds within Portland

Top Factors to Consider When Shopping for Internet Service in Portland

Data Caps

Most providers in Portland will place some sort of limit on how much data you can use on a residential broadband plan. What to do about it? Unfortunately, the best option if you’re a heavy TV watcher is to simply buy a dedicated TV plan so you won’t have to worry about overage fees from binging on Netflix, Sling, and etc. That said, as of 2016 the average Xfinity customer didn’t break 90 GB in monthly usage. Seeing as data caps tend to be near the terabyte range, they currently only matter for “power users” or large households who rely on their connection for streaming and downloads on multiple devices day and night.

Early Termination Fees

Monthly pricing can be complicated with Internet service, which is loosely regulated by the FCC compared to other telecommunication services. Early termination fees are a common problem for customers who sign multi-year contracts, and can usually only be waived under very specific and well-documented circumstances. Be sure you understand the monthly pricing before you sign, especially if the “final price” is different from the limited-time “signup price.”

Local Information

Portland has better Internet access options and speeds than you might expect for such a spread-out metropolis. This is largely thanks to efforts on the part of city lawmakers, following development protocols established in the city’s “Broadband Strategic Plan.”[1]

When Will Google Fiber Reach My Neighborhood in Portland?

According to their website, Google Fiber is in the midst of negotiations with the city to introduce fiber service to Portland.

In reality, Google has put the brakes on expanding their networks and service for the time being and it may be some time before this actually becomes a reality — if it does at all.

Gigabit Google Fiber service may be a pipe dream for Portland residents in many neighborhoods, but it’s expected that their wireless service through Webpass may pick up in years to come. It’s already being rolled out in select test areas around the country. It can only service multi-unit buildings of 10 or more residents currently, but the technology is evolving quickly.

Broadband Roadblocks in Portland

Portland does not currently have any “municipal broadband” networks offering public-owned fiber service. Considering that fiber penetration is already better than average within the city, it’s unlikely that lawmakers will pursue an investment like this with taxpayer dollars.

Low-Income Internet Assistance

Some low-income or otherwise underserved residents can access dramatically reduced prices for basic access plans from Portland ISPs. You can check eligibility at EveryoneOn, for home broadband plans as well as reduced-cost computers and local digital literacy classes.

Free Internet access and other IT services are available through Portland’s extensive public library system.


Experts

Ana De Castro

Ana De Castro cut her teeth as a SAP consultant for Deloitte during the original tech boom, and now works in a communications role in the telecom industry. When she isn’t explaining technical concepts to confused consumers, she enjoys traveling with her husband and two rambunctious kids.