Metronet Internet Plans: Pricing, Speed and Availability Compared     – CNET

Metronet Internet Plans: Pricing, Speed and Availability Compared – CNET

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Metronet rating

How we calculated our rating

Speed

7/10

Value

6.5/10

Customer Care

7/10

Pros

  • Unlimited data
  • No contracts required
  • Monthly price includes a wireless router for most plans
  • 100% fiber across its entire footprint

Cons

  • Solid overall pricing offset by middle-of-the-road cheapest plan
  • Additional monthly cost with the Tech Assure fee

Best Metronet Internet plans and pricing

Plan Monthly price Max speeds Fees and service details
100Mbps $30 ($40 after 12 months) 100Mbps download, 100Mbps upload No equipment fees, data caps or contracts
500Mbps $40 ($50 after 12 months) 500Mbps download, 500Mbps upload No equipment fees, data caps or contracts
1 Gig $50 ($60 after 12 months) 1,000Mbps download, 1,000Mbps upload No equipment fees, data caps or contracts
2 Gig $90 ($100 after 12 months) 2,000Mbps download, 2,000Mbps upload No equipment fees, data caps or contracts
5 Gig $110 ($120 after 12 months) 5,000Mbps download, 5,000Mbps upload $15 monthly equipment, no data caps or contracts

Source: CNET analysis of provider data.

Metronet offers five different speed tiers, which are all reasonably straightforward. Because its network is 100% fiber-optic, it offers symmetrical megabits-per-second download and upload speeds across all plans. What you’ll pay for each of those plans isn’t quite so simple, as some tiers come with a monthly equipment charge. Metronet does ease the pain by nixing term agreements and providing unlimited data. Watch out for a hike in prices after the promo period ends. Your monthly bill can increase by $10 after the first year and steadily increase after that.

The entry-level tier features symmetrical speeds of 100 megabits per second, which meets the Federal Communications Commission’s new benchmark for broadband speeds. However, ISPs like AT&T, Google Fiber and Frontier offer fiber plans that start from 200Mbps to 1,000Mbps.

Our top pick is Metronet’s gigabit plan because it offers excellent value and should provide plenty of speed for most households. The cost per Mbps for the 1 Gig tier is very cheap: 5 cents compared to 30 cents for the 100Mbps plan and 8 cents for the 500Mbps plan. While the 5 Gig plan might, on the surface, seem a better deal, it’s more than double the cost and carries an additional $15 monthly charge for equipment. And most households simply don’t need that much speed.

Metronet Internet review

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Metronet is a regional broadband business out of Evansville, Indiana. Two years ago, Metronet announced a merger with Vexus Fiber, a Texas-based internet service provider, that expanded the provider’s coverage base to over 250 communities. Six months later, it announced a rebrand with a new tagline: “You will love your internet with Metronet.”

Metronet started as a family-run business and is now the country’s largest independently owned fiber-optic ISP. The company is now led by CEO and president Dave Heimbach, who was appointed in October 2023. Most recently, Metronet announced that it has installed more than 240 miles of its fiber-optic internet throughout St. Joseph, Missouri.

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Metronet earns high marks for its commitment to fiber broadband. We’ve noted numerous times in our CNET ISP reviews that it’s hard to beat the performance of a fiber-to-the-home internet connection. It’s more reliable than cable, satellite, DSL or 5G home internet, and it’s the only one that can claim symmetrical download and upload speeds. Metronet has been committed to rolling out 100% FTTH networks from its beginnings in central Indiana. That makes it a provider worth paying attention to. But, as is often the case with ISPs, there are a few things worth considering — and when it comes to Metronet, that includes an additional monthly fee for some plans. But we’ll get to that in due time. Let’s explore more.

Where can you get Metronet Internet?

Metronet’s headquarters are in Indiana, but its footprint extends beyond the Hoosier state. As of this writing, Metronet Internet is available to over 250 communities in 15 states:

Most Metronet service areas within those states are smaller cities and towns. However, some of the larger metropolitan areas covered include Aurora, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; Lansing, Michigan; Lexington, Kentucky; Rochester, Minnesota and Tallahassee, Florida.

When we last reviewed Metronet, it offered no speed tiers above one gig. With the roll-out of its multi-gig plans, customers can now access 2-gigabit and 5-gigabit speeds. While they’re not available to all Metronet customers, here are the cities where you can sign up. 

Adams, Minnesota Elburn, Illinois North Aurora, Illinois Yorkville, Illinois
Altamonte Springs, Florida Elgin, Illinois Orlando, Florida Zionsville, Indiana
Ames, Iowa Englewood, Ohio Ormond Beach, Florida
Ankeny, Iowa Evansville, Indiana Omaha, Nebraska
Ann Arbor, Michigan Fisher, Indiana Oswego, Illinois
Apopka, Florida Flagler Beach, Florida Palm Coast, Florida
Aurora, Illinois Forest City, Florida Plainfield, Illinois
Austin, Minnesota Geneseo, Illinois Plano, Illinois
Ayden, North Carolina Geneva, Illinois Port Orange, Florida
Bargersville, Indiana Genoa, Illinois Richmond, Kentucky
Batavia, Illinois Gilbert, Iowa Rochester, Minnesota
Beavercreek, Ohio Greenwood, Indiana Rock Island, Illinois
Bellbrooke, Ohio Grimes, Iowa Romeoville, Illinois
Berea, Kentucky Hampton, Illinois Saint Charles, Illinois
Bettendorf, Iowa Huber Heights, Ohio Sandwich,Illinois
Blooming Prarie, Minnesota Indianapolis, Indiana Sheffield, Iowa
Bloomington-Normal, Illinois Iowa City, Iowa Silvis, Illinois
Bolingbrook, Illinois Iowa Falls, Iowa Sioux City, Iowa
Bristol, Illinois Jewell, Iowa South Daytona, Florida
Broomfield, Colorado Johnston, Iowa South Elgin, Illinois
Bryan, Texas Kingston, Illinois St. Joseph, Missouri
Bunnell, Florida La Crosse, Wisconsin Sugar Grove, Ilinois
Carbon Cliff, Illinois Lafayette, Indiana Sycamore, Illinois
Carmel, Indiana Lansing, Michigan Tallahassee, Florida
Centergrove, Indiana Lawrence, Indiana Tipp City, Ohio
Centerville, Ohio Le Claire, Iowa Towanda, Illinois
Cicero, Indiana Le Roy, Illinois Troy, Ohio
Clayton, Ohio Lexington, Kentucky Union, Ohio
Cleveland, Minnesota Madison, Indiana Urbandale, Iowa
Clive, Iowa Maitland, Florida Vandalia, Ohio
Coal Valley, Illinois Mason City, Iowa Versailles, Kentucky
Cologne, Minnesota Meridian Township, Michigan Waterloo, Iowa
Colona, Illinois Midway, Kentucky Wayne, Illinois
Colorado Springs, Colorado Milan, Illinois Wekiwa Springs, Florida
Cortland, Illinois Moline, Illinois West Chicago, Illinois
Davenport, Iowa Montgomery, Illinois West Milton, Ohio
Daytona Beach, Florida Naperville, Illinois Westminster, Colorado
Dekalb, Illinois Nevada, Iowa Westville, Indiana
Dexter, Minnesota Nicholasville, Kentucky Wilmore, Kentucky
East Moline, Illinois Norfolk, Virginia Winter Garden, Florida

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The company’s fiber footprint is constantly expanding, so you can check the Metronet coverage map for more details.

Plans and pricing for Metronet

Like other ISPs, Metronet’s promotional pricing is decent and lasts for a year. However, it’s worth noting that these prices will keep increasing after 12 months without a fixed rate until the third year of service. Besides that, its speed tiers will get the job done, but they aren’t excessively showy. 

For example, regarding the promo prices, the cost per Mbps for Metronet’s fiber gigabit plan — is 5 cents, which is very good. That’s better than the gigabit plans offered by AT&T (8 cents), Spectrum (8 cents) and Frontier (6 cents), all of which are competitors in several Metronet service areas. It’s also a touch better than the gig rate of Google Fiber (7 cents), which is a Metronet competitor in the Des Moines market.

That said, the average cost per Mbps for the promo prices of all five plans is approximately 10 cents. While that’s better than the promo costs for some of its cable competitors, like Xfinity (8 cents), it falls short of the average price for other fiber providers we’ve reviewed: AT&T (12 cents), Frontier (6 cents) and Google Fiber (5 cents). One of the main reasons? With maximum upload and download speeds of 100Mbps, Metronet’s starting tier is slower than many other providers’ opening offerings. For instance, Quantum Fiber’s lowest fiber option is 500Mbps, AT&T and Verizon Fios start at 300Mbps, and Frontier’s opening salvo is 500Mbps. So, while Metronet customers get a decent bang for their buck with the gigabit plan, you won’t find the same value with its cheapest tier. 

Metronet fares a little better when you compare its regular rates to those of its competitors. Overall, Metronet’s standard rates after a year roll up at an average cost per Mbps of 13 cents, which is still in the middle of the pack — AT&T, CenturyLink, Google Fiber and Verizon Fios retain their impressive prices per Mbps because they don’t do promo pricing — but ends up cheaper in the long run than Spectrum (20 cents) or even Ziply Fiber (18 cents), which had a better promo rate but levels out after a year.

Service terms for Metronet Internet

While Metronet’s monthly pricing is fair, it also includes some customer-friendly approaches that not all ISPs embrace, including no-term agreements (or the harsh penalty fees that come with them). Let’s examine Metronet’s service terms a bit more to grasp better what you’ll be paying. 

Additional fees

Almost all ISPs charge an installation fee when you first sign up for internet service, so it’s no surprise to find that here. However, usually, that charge ranges between $50 and $99, depending on the provider. Metronet falls in the middle of the scale as it charges a $75 installation fee upon signing up for service. Which is pretty tame compared to what most other ISPs will bill for the same service. That said, let’s talk about an unavoidable charge we don’t often see…

Tech Assure fee

The one part of Metronet service that is outside the norm among ISPs is what it calls a “Tech Assure fee.” Here’s what it is: It’s a mandatory monthly charge of almost $13 on top of your regular monthly rate. Metronet says on its website, “Tech Assure covers any service calls or repairs to all Metronet-owned equipment.” In other words, it’s essentially ISP insurance that covers the customer for any issues that might arise. 

That’s fine, but it adds $156 a year to your internet bill. That’s not insignificant. I see the value of not worrying about the additional costs of any needed house calls or equipment fixes. But as an internet technology, fiber is the sturdiest and least finicky broadband connection out there, so (fingers crossed) you shouldn’t need to worry about your internet constantly. I would prefer to see that be an optional cost for the consumer. 

Router rental included in most plans

Metronet doesn’t charge an additional equipment fee for most of its plans — a wireless router is included in your monthly cost. The one exception is the 5-gigabit plan, where you have to pay $15 monthly for equipment. This isn’t particularly newsworthy. AT&T Fiber, Frontier Fiber, Google Fiber and Verizon Fios also include the router rentals in their monthly costs, but it’s not always a given — Ziply Fiber charges for its equipment leases.

If your household needs additional help with Wi-Fi, Metronet offers a wireless extender rental (what it calls its WholeHome WiFi) for an additional $10 a month. It’s not a prerequisite, so not all homes will need to add this cost, but you should be aware of it nonetheless. Metronet currently offers a promo that includes this extender at no cost in the first year for its 2-gigabit plan.

No data caps

Like many fiber providers, Metronet does not feature data caps on any of its plans. That means you don’t have to worry about a throttled connection with slower speeds once you hit a certain threshold. It also means you don’t have to fear looming overage charges if you exceed a data cap. Again, that’s not uncommon among fiber providers. However, it’s still worth calling out, mainly since the Metronet coverage map includes areas covered by cable and satellite internet providers, many of whom enforce monthly data limits. 

Perks and promos

Image of Metronet logo on a service truck

Metronet

Lastly, where some ISPs try to lure new subscribers by offering a trial subscription to a streaming service like Disney Plus, HBO Max or Paramount Plus, Metronet allows its customers to earn significant account credits. Metronet’s referral program promotion encourages you to refer friends and family to the service. This means you can earn a $50 account credit for each person you get to sign up using your unique referral link. There is no limit to the number of credits you can earn. This rivals the aggressive referral program we’ve seen from Nomad Internet.

Metronet customers who sign up for the 1-gig, 2-gig and 5-gig plans may also be eligible for a limited-time $100 Amazon gift card.

Metronet Internet vs. the competition: Customer satisfaction scores are more hit than miss 

No ISP emerges unscathed when it comes to customer satisfaction numbers. The American Customer Satisfaction Index — which we frequently use to help gauge how providers fare with US subscribers — notes that the internet industry regularly ranks at the bottom among all tracked categories. 

Since Metronet didn’t earn an individual ranking score within the latest ACSI or the J.D. Power US Residential Internet Service Provider Satisfaction for 2023 (due to its size), we leaned on the Better Business Bureau. Metronet earned an average score of 1.08 out of 5 points, which initially didn’t seem all that great. But it nabbed an A plus rating, and its numbers were better than the scores of rival providers like Frontier (1.05), Viasat (1.03) and Hughesnet (1.04). Relatively speaking, it did OK there.

Metronet also did well on the most recent Ookla speed test report. Per Ookla, Metronet crossed the finish line as the fastest ISP in Iowa, coming in with a median download speed of 266Mbps.

The bottom line on Metronet Internet

You can’t go wrong with an FTTH connection. Its reliability and the symmetrical speeds it offers are currently unparalleled in broadband. Metronet’s commitment to building 100% fiber-optic networks is both admirable and forward-looking (or future-proof, as they say). Its plan pricing is quite reasonable, especially considering its coverage map plays in areas where cable and satellite services have previously reigned. While I’d love to see the Tech Assure Program fee become an optional charge rather than a mandatory one, I give Metronet props for skipping some of the other additional charges — like the equipment rental on most of its plans. It should be near the top of your list if you fall under the Metronet coverage map. 

Metronet Internet FAQs

Who owns Metronet?

Metronet started out as a family-owned, midwestern company co-founded by former CEO John Cinelli. Dave Heimbach is the current CEO and president of the company. Metronet’s headquarters is in Evansville, Indiana, but it provides services in 15 states. In a recent press release, Metronet announced changes to its leadership, appointing two industry veterans to help lead the company.


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Does Metronet Internet come with a router?

It depends on the plan. Most of Metronet’s plans come with a monthly rate that includes the router. However, the 5-gigabit plan is the exception: expect to pay $15 monthly if you lease your equipment. In addition, you may need to pay an extra $10 a month if you need to lease a wireless extender to get effective Wi-Fi throughout your home, but it is not required.


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Does Metronet have data caps?

No. Metronet Internet features unlimited data. Customers do not need to worry about any usage-based charges on top of their monthly rate. 


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Trey Paul

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