According to the city tourism website, sunny Albuquerque is growing at 1 to 2% a year. With that growth comes increased internet options. For instance, Vexus Fiber announced in the fall of 2021 that it is bringing a fiber-to-the-home network for the entire city, with construction ongoing for at least three years.
However, Albuquerque currently ranks 74th for internet speeds in a list of the top 100 cities listed by Ookla. The city had a median download speed of approximately 180 megabits per second, below the 202Mbps download speeds for fixed broadband nationally. Ookla ranks Xfinity's speed as the fastest in the city, at nearly 238Mbps median download speeds.
You need to look beyond any speed test results to get a broadband plan that works best for your home. Yes, CNET considers speeds, but we also look at key factors like internet connection type, customer service, pricing and overall value to recommend the best internet service in Albuquerque.
Best internet providers in ABQ
When reviewing our recommendations for the best internet providers: All prices listed include applicable discounts for setting up automatic monthly payments.
Note: The prices, speeds and features detailed in the article text may differ from those listed in the product detail cards, which represent providers’ national offerings. Your particular internet service options -- including prices and speeds -- depend on your address and may differ from those detailed here.
Best overall among internet providers in Albuquerque
...Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 731-3490
$30 - $70 per month
200 - 940Mbps
Unlimited data, no contracts, equipment included with gigabit tier
CenturyLink is notable for the low price-to-speed ratio of its fiber plans. However, it should be noted that many serviceable locations will only have access to its much slower DSL tiers, which are less appealing as far as speed goes, but still reasonably priced for DSL.
Availability: According to the Federal Communications Commission, CenturyLink has wide availability in Albuquerque, with about 88% of residents covered. Some notable areas that don’t receive service are east of South Valley, west of Arenal and north of Netherwood Park.
Plans and pricing: CenturyLink has pricing in the $30- to $70-a-month range. Notably, its fiber internet has speeds up to 940Mbps and is $70 monthly. The $50 monthly price covers all its DSL plans, ranging up to 100Mbps for speeds. The lowest fiber tier, 200Mbps, is priced at $30 a month.
Fees and service details: All plans boast no annual contract. The Gigabit fiber plan features no monthly charge for the modem. All other tiers have an optional $15 monthly modem fee, but none of the plans have data caps.
...Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 731-3490
T-Mobile Home Internet
Best fixed wireless among internet providers in Albuquerque
...Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 687-6988
$50 per month ($30 for eligible mobile customers)
72 - 245Mbps
Unlimited data, equipment included, no contracts, no additional fees
T-Mobile stands out as a top provider because of its affordability, availability and the ease of no contracts or data caps.
Availability: T-Mobile Home Internet is a fairly recent addition to Albuquerque, as it came in the spring of 2021. That said, coverage is pretty widespread in the Albuquerque area, to the tune of over 93%, according to the FCC map. A few gaps exist, including the Armijo area, spots west of Arenal and around Barelas. But most importantly, even if the service is available in your area, you'll need to plug in your address on the T-Mobile Home Internet eligibility site to determine if there's an open spot.
Plans and pricing: The one no-fuss plan is a flat $50 a month. However, you might be able to get internet for $30 monthly if you bundle internet and a Go5G Plus or Magenta Max phone line.
Fees and service details: T-Mobile Home Internet features no equipment fees, data caps or contracts. There is a one-time activation fee of $35, but several deals might cover that expenditure's cost.
...Or call to order: Call to Learn More (877) 687-6988
Best cable internet provider in Albuquerque
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$20 - $300 per month
75 - 6,000Mbps
Data caps on some plans, lots of plan options, solid customer satisfaction numbers
Xfinity’s main selling point is that it offers a wide variety of speed plans, from 75 to 1,200Mbps, so you have the opportunity to select a tier that works best for your household.
Availability: The FCC's connectivity map shows fairly wide coverage across Albuquerque, up to 99%. Areas east of South Valley and south of Trumbull Village are fairly uncovered, so it’s important to still check that this provider is available at your address.
Plans and pricing: Plan tiers are labeled by speeds, including 75, 200, 400, 800, 1,000 and 1,200Mbps. Prices start at $20 a month and go up to about $80 monthly.
Fees and service details: Data caps are included on the two lowest plans and you’ll have to sign a one-year contract for the lowest tier. No term agreements are needed for all other plans. Also, depending on the tier you choose, you may have to pay a $15 monthly equipment fee.
All available Albuquerque residential internet providers
Beyond the large cable and fiber providers, you can find some smaller service providers in Albuquerque.
BeamSpeed: This slower wireless connection has 256kbps to 5Mbps for speeds and $45 to $75 for monthly pricing. According to the FCC map, it's available to just over 35% of Albuquerque residents.
Cibola: This wireless provider has $55 to $150 in pricing and speeds ranging 20 to 50Mbps.
CityLink: This service, also known as Roadrunner Wireless, has 10 to 15Mbps speeds for $40 to $80 a month.
ispMint: ispMint is a rural wireless provider, but you can find it in the Albuquerque area. It has rates around $119 a month and no contracts to sign.
Lobo Internet Services: Lobo is another wireless provider with pricing of $50 to $110 a month. It offers 3 to 9Mbps for speeds. There is also a significant install fee of $250 to $295.
NMSurf: Speeds for this fixed wireless provider run from 25Mbps to 100Mbps. Prices go from $40 a month to $50 monthly.
Unlimitedville: This is also a wireless provider, and prices run around $99 to $199 monthly. It’s a membership plan where you use cellular routers and hotspots. It uses the networks of three major carriers, and data is unlimited.
Verizon 5G Home Internet: Being a fixed wireless provider, Verizon 5G Home Internet is available all around Albuquerque. Prices can start at $25 a month when paired with some mobile plans and autopay.
Pricing info on Albuquerque home internet service
The average starting price for internet service in Albuquerque is approximately $42 a month, which is cheaper than Austin ($43 a month), Phoenix ($46 a month) and Las Vegas ($50 monthly). However, it falls short of the cheaper starting prices found in Brooklyn ($36 a month), Los Angeles ($38 a month), Denver ($39 a month) and San Francisco ($40 a month).
Cheap internet options in the Albuquerque metro area
The lowest price for internet service in Albuquerque is $20 a month from Xfinity. The $30 monthly price is currently shared by CenturyLink and T-Mobile Home Internet (if you bundle with eligible phone plans from the carrier). You might also look into low-cost plans through the Affordable Connectivity Program.
The median internet speed in the US is approximately 202Mbps as of April 2023, compared to Albuquerque’s median of 180Mbps. That said, you do have a few options in Albuquerque to access much faster speeds, with some plans going up to just over 1 Gig.
What’s the final word on internet providers in Albuquerque?
Although Albuquerque residents don't have access to multi-gigabit plans, an impressive 19% have access to a 1-gigabit speed tier. To put that in perspective, 14% of New York residents have access to gigabit speeds and, according to the FCC, fewer than 1% of Phoenix citizens can sign up for those kinds of speeds. So, with Comcast's Xfinity internet service available to just over 99% of people in Albuquerque, that cable internet provider will almost surely be your lifeline to the world wide web.
How CNET chose the best internet providers in Albuquerque
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. So 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.
But 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:
Does the provider offer access to reasonably fast internet speeds?
Do customers get decent value for what they're paying?
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. Within those recommendations, we also look for the cheapest and fastest ISPs from that region. To explore our process in more depth, visit our How we test ISPs page.
Internet providers in Albuquerque FAQs
Is fiber internet available in Albuquerque?
Yes, you do have a few choices for fiber internet. The provider with the most fiber coverage in Albuquerque is CenturyLink. You might also find its fiber service under the name of Quantum Fiber. Additional fiber internet options will be arriving soon via Vexus Fiber.
Which internet provider in Albuquerque offers the fastest plan?
A few internet providers in Albuquerque go up to just above 1 Gig. CenturyLink offers a 1-gig plan, as does Xfinity, which also boasts a Gigabit Extra plan that features 1,200Mbps download speeds.
Is CenturyLink or T-Mobile Home Internet better?
Both of these ISPs can be good choices for Albuquerque residents depending on your needs. If you don’t have high-speed demands and do not have multiple users in the home, T-Mobile is a flexible, fixed wireless option with moderate pricing and no contracts or hidden fees. But speeds max out around 245Mbps. CenturyLink, on the other hand, has a fiber internet service that reaches speeds of either 200Mbps or 940Mbps, so households with multiple devices and heavy demands would be better served with CenturyLink.
Can I get free Wi-Fi in Albuquerque?
The city itself offers the Wi-Fi in Neighborhoods program to help people access the internet at public city facilities. If you're looking for free broadband service at home in Albuquerque, check out the Affordable Connectivity Program through the federal government.