Areas in the U.S. With the Most Expensive Internet

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No matter where you are or what you do, you probably need an internet connection. People everywhere rely on the web, but what it costs to access it can vary widely. As such, it can be helpful to know what the areas in the U.S. with the most expensive internet are.

If you’re planning on moving, you’ll want to know what to expect from internet prices in the area. Alternatively, you could just be curious about how your home stacks up against everywhere else. No matter the reason, as the internet becomes more crucial to daily life, it’s increasingly critical to understand how much it costs.

How Do You Determine the Areas With the Most Expensive Internet?

To understand what areas have the most expensive internet, you need to set some parameters. Depending on how you measure internet costs, you’ll get different results when comparing areas. Going by the average monthly price may be the easiest way, but it doesn’t take varying speeds into account.

For example, California’s average monthly bill of $45.43 is close to South Carolina’s average of $45.47. The monthly costs suggest the two states pay similar amounts for their internet, but Californians tend to get faster connections. When you consider speed, you’ll see Californians pay just $1.86 per Mbps while South Carolinians pay $4.20 per Mbps.

You’ll generally pay more for faster connections, but this ratio isn’t even across all locations. As a result, the most accurate way to measure internet expenses is to go by dollars per Mbps. That way, you get the more practical knowledge of how much speed you get for your money.

How Do U.S. Internet Prices Compare With the Rest of the World?

Before diving into the specific areas in the U.S. with the most expensive internet, let’s look at the U.S. as a whole. On average, U.S. users pay $0.14 per advertised Mbps, which you should remember rarely reflects actual speeds. Compared to other Western countries, that’s reasonably affordable.

The average for North America as a whole is $0.18 per advertised Mbps. Costs in Europe are slightly higher, coming in at $0.19 per advertised Mbps on average. These expenses are all fairly close, but in Asia, where most of the global population lives, costs are far lower.

Internet users in Asia pay an average of $0.09 per advertised Mbps. So, compared to the rest of the world, U.S. users fall in the middle. The States don’t have the most expensive internet, but they’re also far from the cheapest.

The Northwest

Within the U.S., the Northwest is the area with the most expensive internet. Wyoming is the most expensive state, costing users an average of $7.84 per Mbps. Keep in mind that this figure reflects actual Mbps, not advertised speeds, which is why it appears so high.

Wyoming is also the fifth-slowest state, with average speeds of 33.3 Mbps, or almost 10 Mbps slower than the national average. Many internet service providers (ISPs) offer similarly priced packages across the country, but speeds vary widely. As a result, people in areas with less internet infrastructure, like Wyoming, may pay a similar amount but get slower actual speeds.

Montana, another Northwestern state, comes in at number three with $7.28 per Mbps. Other states in the region are also comparatively expensive. Washington has an average cost of $5.20 per Mbps, and internet costs $4.95 per Mbps in Oregon.

The Midwest

The Midwest is a close second when it comes to the areas in the U.S. with the most expensive internet. The second-most costly state is North Dakota, with an average of $7.57 per Mbps. South Dakota is close behind, costing users an average of $7.17 per Mbps.

Iowa isn’t quite as expensive, but it is far from cheap, with a $6.34 average per Mbps. Other high-cost states in the area include Nebraska, at $5.43 per Mbps, and Minnesota at $4.58 per Mbps. Like the Northwest, many Midwestern states have comparatively expensive internet since they’re generally more rural.

Not all of the Midwest is expensive, though. Internet in Illinois costs just $2.57 per Mbps, and it’s $2.88 per Mbps in Kansas. So, while the Midwest as a whole is one of the more expensive internet regions, not every Midwestern state reflects that.

Other Areas With Expensive Internet

There are other areas with expensive internet that aren’t as large as the Northwest and Midwest. The East Coast has a section of costly internet areas, though it doesn’t stretch far. This area includes Virginia ($6.74/Mbps), North Carolina ($5.87/Mbps), and Pennsylvania ($4.48/Mbps).

The Southwest has a similar pocket of expensive internet, consisting of New Mexico ($6.23/Mbps), Arizona ($4.35/Mbps) and Nevada ($4.73/Mbps). Alabama is an unusual state, costing $5.82 per Mbps, despite the surrounding states all featuring below-average prices.

Interestingly, many people may disagree that their internet is affordable or even average. One survey found that 61% of U.S. users think their internet is overpriced, despite more populous areas tending to have lower costs per Mbps. Similarly, most people think $20-$50 is a reasonable monthly bill, but people pay $80 on average.

How Can You Get Cheaper Internet?

Of course, location isn’t the only thing that affects internet costs. If you live in one of the areas with the most expensive internet, you don’t have to move to lower your bill. The first step is to consider changing your ISP.

Other ISPs in your area may offer similar speeds for a lower cost. Alternatively, they could provide the same speed but more reliability, enabling you to get peak speeds more often, lowering your price per Mbps. If you don’t want to switch services, you can opt for a cheaper plan, but this will come with slower speeds.

If you’re fine with your monthly bill but want a lower cost per Mbps, consider changing your equipment. Third-party, higher-end routers and range extenders can deliver your plan’s peak speeds more consistently. That way, you’ll get the highest speeds you can without raising your monthly bill.

Get the Best Internet Package for Your Budget

Internet bills vary widely across the U.S. The most expensive areas can cost twice or even three times as much as the cheapest ones. Understanding this discrepancy can help you get a better idea of what you should pay for internet service.

When you understand average internet costs, you can get the best deal for your money. No matter where you live or what your budget is, you can find something that works.