The internet began right here in the United States, and yet America has the slowest, most expensive internet of any advanced economy.1
This is in large part because America’s internet infrastructure is built, operated, and tightly controlled by just a few companies with a humongous lobbying spend.2 Without competition, innovation is stifled and consumers are robbed of their ability to choose, and in this case it doesn’t take a genius detective to fingerprint the culprits.
We would never point fingers at our competitors — beloved corporations such as Comcast or AT&T, renown for their stellar customer service, transparent pricing, and ethical business practices3 — but the fact that you don’t need to ask if we’re being sarcastic basically does the job for us.
The truth is, Americans are being sold exceptionally bad internet at outrageous markups.4 Many households – even right here in Silicon Valley – remain tethered to excruciatingly slow cable and DSL networks and this infrastructure won’t be upgraded until ISPs (Internet Service Providers) feel it is in their financial interests to do so.5
Fiber optic cables have around 10,000 times the usable bandwidth of a traditional wire coaxial cable.6 Yet, only around 30% of Americans actually have a home fiber connection. This is due to the so-called “last mile” bottleneck—that portion of the network that connects the end-user’s home to the broader network.
Our current internet infrastructure can be imagined as a tree, with just a few high-speed fiber “trunks”, branching out into countless “last mile” copper wire “twigs”. Telecom companies avoid upgrading these twigs because – to put it bluntly – they care more about maximizing profits than providing quality service. If they can charge the same price for slow internet as fiber, they will drag their feet every step of the way when it comes to upgrading the network.
The technology does exist for a high-speed, affordable internet infrastructure; what’s needed is someone to provide the service at the community level. 7
That’s where we come in.
Atherton Fiber got its start in Silicon Valley. As lifelong technologists—and members of the Bay Area community—it pains us to see so many of our neighbors denied access to this essential 21st century service.
We have some of the fastest, most affordable fiber optic internet on the market, but what really sets us apart is that we put the interests of the community and its residents first. Consumer protection, data-privacy, and locally-based municipal fiber are the core pillars of our business philosophy.
We believe that standing by these core pillars and providing a real choice to the community, we won’t just succeed at being a profitable ISP, we’ll succeed at building a better internet period.
Our goal is to build fast, reliable internet from the ground up in the form of a locally-owned, customer service driven internet company that builds, services and maintains Open Access Fiber-to-Fiber networks.
Our entire team (call center included) is local and all of them are 100% engaged with providing you with excellent service. They are your neighbors, after all.
And we promise to fight against everything that the giant, pseudo-monopolistic telecom companies stand for and lobby for.
To give you a more detailed overview, we’ve broken down every aspect of our business and how we stack up against the competition.
Our Speed // Their Speed
We are – without a doubt – reliably faster than any other internet company for both upload and download speeds (within our humble-yet-expanding service area).
Atherton Fiber’s advertised speeds and our actual speeds are equivalent because we offer a fiber-to-fiber connection. This also means that you get symmetric upload & download speeds (e.g., 1 gigabyte per second = 1 Gbps upload and 1 Gbps download, always.)
The actual speeds you get with our competitors are not always as advertised. In many cases, they quite literally cannot be as advertised due to simple technological limitations.9 For example, if your modem is connected to your house via a coaxial cable, your speed is limited by that coaxial cable, regardless of whether it connects to a fiber optic cable elsewhere along the information highway.10
Your internet connection is only as strong as its weakest link. It’s crucial that the link between your in-home connection and your network’s central hub is flawless. Anything other than a fiber-optic cable within this chain will necessarily cause an internet speed bottleneck.11
Our Product // Their Products
When it comes to sheer number of product offerings and “features” our mega-telecom competitors blow us out of the water.
They offer internet bundled with cable/satellite TV, house phone plans, cell phone plan, questionable home security systems and more. But when you’re the only shop in town, you can sell whatever you like.
We offer fast, fiber-to-fiber internet, a choice in ISPs (including our own in-house ISP) and excellent customer service. If you’re worried about watching your favorite shows, having a home phone line or home security, our team will happily help you find better, more affordable alternatives that connect to your new fiber optic internet service. You can keep what you like and avoid paying for the stuff you don’t want or need.
Anything that your telecom company can do, can be done simpler, cheaper, and easier with a fiber internet connection.
Our Prices // Their Prices
It is impossible to make an apples-to-apples comparison with regards to Atherton Fiber’s pricing model vs. the pricing models of each of our competitors. This is due to a fundamental difference in how we approach (and present) our prices, and how our competitors obfuscate theirs.
Atherton Fiber’s prices are transparent. We have no fees outside of our listed monthly prices, and we have no contracts, no data caps, and no speed “throttling”. And we do not offer bundled deals.
Our competitors? They may have hidden fees, cancellation fees, service fees, “accidental” overcharge fees, opaque bundled fees and, of course, infamously frustrating automated phone trees.12 On top of that, you don’t always get what you pay for – and good luck fixing that problem.13
Millions of Americans still lack access to fast and/or affordable broadband. The cable industry have consistently worked against plans to fix those problems with municipal networks.14
Support Atherton Fiber and Take Control Away From The Giant Telecom Companies and Give It Back to Our Community.
We support: municipal fiber initiatives, fair competition, net neutrality, privacy and equitable, open access for all. Open Access means you have choices. We build and maintain the physical fiber optic infrastructure and we also offer an in-house ISP that you can choose to use us as an ISP. But, for some services, you can also choose to use one of our local ISP partners that operates off our infrastructure and share our values of: fairness, privacy, net neutrality, community advocacy and the creation of local jobs.
We really believe all of the above is enough to win your business and your support. To prove it, we don’t make you pay any installation/service fees or sign contracts of any kind (with the exception of our limited-availability Personal Fiber Licenses & Business Licensees).
We know there’s a lot of deceptive marketing these days, especially when it comes to ISPs.
But we stand by our word and we’re proud of our product, our team, and the way we choose to run our business. We hope you choose to support us and we count on you to tell us what we can do better. We’re just around the corner (and one phone call away).
To sign up, call us between 8:30am and 5:30pm Monday through Friday to talk to Alex or Ken (our customer onboarding team): (650)713-2390
Or fill out this quick form to let us know a time that works for us to call you.
We look forward to connecting.
CITATIONS1 “The Case for Fiber to the Home, Today: Why Fiber is a Superior ….”. 16 Oct. 2019. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
2 “Report: Most Americans Have No Real Choice in Internet Providers ….”. 12 Aug, 2020. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
2 “Here’s How Telecom Giants Spent More Than $1 Billion Lobbying ….”. 31 May, 2019. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
3 “Daily Missed Me – The Daily”. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
3 “Comcast Expands Costly and Pointless Broadband Caps During a ….”. 25 Nov, 2020. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
4 “Comcast Expands Costly and Pointless Broadband Caps During a ….”. 25 Nov, 2020. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
5 “Cable lobby says it hates Biden plan to expand broadband and ….”. 1 Apr, 2021. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
6 “The Case for Fiber to the Home, Today: Why Fiber is a Superior ….”. 26 Oct, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
7 “Telecom lobbyists stop cities from building fiber optic networks ….”. 6 Oct, 2020. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
8 “The Case for Fiber to the Home, Today: Why Fiber is a Superior ….”. 16 Oct, 2019. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
9 “AT&T Fiber | Truth In Advertising”. 25 Oct, 2017. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
10 “The Case for Fiber to the Home, Today: Why Fiber is a Superior ….”. 16 Oct, 2019. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
10 “What’s the Difference: Fiber Optic, Copper, or Wireless Internet ….”. 4 Aug, 2015. Accessed 20 May. 2021.
11 “The Case for Fiber to the Home, Today: Why Fiber is a Superior ….”. 16 Oct, 2019. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
12 “AT&T’s Digital Redlining Leaving Communities Behind for Profit ….”. 5 Oct, 2020. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
12 “The FCC and States Must Ban Digital Redlining | Electronic Frontier ….”. 11 Jan, 2021. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
12 “Level Playing Field | community broadband networks”. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
13 “AT&T kills DSL, leaves tens of millions of homes without fiber ….”. 5 Oct, 2020. Accessed 20 May, 2021.
14 “Cable lobby says it hates Biden plan to expand broadband and ….”. 1 Apr, 2021. Accessed 17 May. 2021.