AT&T Fiber Internet 300: Is its cheapest plan fast enough?

Cost and speed are perhaps the two most important factors when choosing a Internet service provider and plan. However, the two do not always go together because cheap internet plans often lack speed and broadband packages can have a high price.

But sometimes a Goldilocks plan comes with speeds and prices that are just right, like AT&T’s Fiber 300 plan. Starting at just $55 a month for download and upload speeds of up to 300 megabits per second (increased by 100 Mbps in May), it’s one of the best cheap broadband plans available and, as a result, tops our lists of cheap internet and the best internet deals.

The value provided by AT&T Fiber 300 is hard to pass up, but those looking for a bit more speed may find faster plans from AT&T or another provider more appealing. You will also want to consider any conditions that come with AT&T internet. Below is a full breakdown of AT&T Fiber 300 to help you decide if the plan is right for you.

AT&T Fiber 300 Plan Details

Starting monthly price

Monthly price after 12 months.

Maximum download speeds

Maximum download speeds

Data limit

Equipment costs

$55

$55

300Mbps

300Mbps

Nothing

Nothing

Among the major Internet service providers that share service areas with AT&T, such as coxswain, Spectrum and Xfinity, few offer a plan starting under $50 per month with speeds close to 300 Mbps. You’ll pay around $50 a month in most places for the same download speeds with Xfinity, and around the same price for 200 Mbps download speeds with Spectrum – while getting much slower download speeds on a Cable Internet link.

For further proof of the value of AT&T Fiber 300, consider the cost per Mbps. At $55 per month for 300 Mbps, AT&T Fiber has a cost per megabit per second of just over 18 cents. While not the absolute best value – many broadband and gigabit plans have a cost per Mbps of less than a penny – it’s the lowest cost per Mbps of any cheapest plan from virtually every major suppliers.

An exception is Optimum, which offers 300 Mbps starting at $30 per month, but the service comes with a questionable price increase after 12 months and slower download speeds in many places. Oh, and AT&T and Optimum don’t share service areas, so you won’t have to choose between the two anyway.

No data caps, no contracts, no hardware fees

So far I’ve highlighted the cost and speed value of the AT&T Fiber 300 plan, and for good reason, but what else is in the plan, and the AT&T service, in general ?

First, AT&T Fiber plans come with unlimited data, which means you don’t have to monitor your monthly data usage to avoid capped speeds or overage charges. AT&T Fiber plans also don’t require a contract, so you can cancel at any time without penalty.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in 2021, however, as signing up for AT&T Fiber Internet required committing to an additional $10 per month equipment fee. The good news is that when AT&T announced new multigig plans in January 2022it also dropped the equipment fee, so new customers don’t have to worry about that anymore.

So really, you can expect to pay $55 a month for AT&T Fiber 300, period. No additional monthly equipment charges or data overage charges. That’s a bargain, considering the speeds you get. Speaking of which, let’s look at what you can do with 300 Mbps.

What is the speed of 300 Mbps, exactly?

Speeds of 300 Mbps are more than enough to support online gaming, streaming in HD or 4K, and taking Zoom calls on multiple devices at once. the Federal Communications Commission recommends minimum speeds of 4 Mbps for online multiplayer gaming, 25 Mbps for 4K streaming, and 6 Mbps for HD video conferencing, all well below 300 Mbps.

As for download times, it will take around 10 minutes to download a full HD movie (assuming a file size of around 20GB) with speeds of 300Mbps. Video game downloads are a little harder to gauge, as file sizes for updates and full games can range from hundreds or thousands of megabytes. A 100MB file, which could be considered a medium-sized update, will only take a few seconds at over 300MBps, while downloading a full game of, say, 75GB, might keep you waiting. 30 to 40 minutes or more.

It’s important to note that while AT&T Fiber 300 offers speeds of up to 300 Mbps, you’re unlikely to ever experience those maximum speeds. Connecting wirelessly to your network via Wi-Fi will almost always result in slower speeds, and those speeds might decrease further the further you get from the router, but a good wifi extender can improve performance throughout your home. Still, when using Wi-Fi, I wouldn’t be surprised by actual speeds in the 100-200 Mbps range of the AT&T Fiber 300 plan.

Also, while speeds of 300 Mbps will support many devices at once, 10 or more depending on everyone’s activity, be aware that each connected device will consume its share of bandwidth. The more devices you connect, the slower your actual speeds are likely to be on each one. Therefore, large homes filled with bandwidth-hungry devices like smart TVs, video game consoles, smartphones, and tablets may require more speed to meet everyone’s needs. If so, and you want to stay with AT&T, consider upgrading to the AT&T Fiber 500 plan for an additional $10 per month or AT&T Fiber 1000, which starts at $65 per month.

So is AT&T Fiber 300 fast enough?

I vote yes. According to Speedtest.net, the average residential download speed tested in the United States for October 2021 was 131 Mbps, less than half the maximum speed available with AT&T Fiber 300. Again, actual speeds of 300 Mbps are unlikely with AT&T Fiber 300, especially when using a Wifi connection. Still, overall the plan is likely to deliver great speed to the average user or a handful of users and most, if not all, of their devices.

AT&T Fiber 300 FAQs

Where is AT&T fiber available?

AT&T Internet service is available to more than 40% of US households, with the highest serviceability throughout the South and Midwest and parts of California and Nevada. Although AT&T’s service areas cover a large portion of the United States, only about 31% of AT&T’s network is fiber. Even still, about 16 million people are served by AT&T Fiber (and the Fiber 300 plan), most of whom are residents of major metropolitan or suburban areas.

How much does AT&T Fiber 300 cost?

AT&T Fiber 300 starts at $55 per month, plus taxes and fees. This price includes a $5 discount for signing up for autopay, so be sure to do that when you sign up.

Is AT&T Fiber 300 a good deal?

The AT&T Fiber 300 plan is CNET’s pick for best fiber home internet provider. The speeds you get for the price are unbeatable by almost any other entry-level plan from almost any other major provider. Besides speed and price, AT&T Fiber 300 comes with unlimited data and no contract requirements, not to mention the connection quality and reliability of an all-fiber connection.

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