CenturyLink vs TDS: Extra Fees and Contracts
CenturyLink customers can choose between professional installation and self-installation. Professional installation usually comes with a $99 setup fee, but some higher tier plans include the installation for free. There are no additional fees for the activation. On the other hand, customers who opt to self-install don’t have to pay any fees as long as they have all the equipment necessary. Self-installation usually applies to homes with an existing fiber or DSL wiring.
TDS Telecom offers professional and self-installation. Self-installing a TDS Telecom DSL or fiber internet is straightforward particularly for homes that were connected to a TDS Telecom service before. First-time customers are encouraged to go through professional installation. There is a nominal fee involved depending on the type of internet being installed, but qualifying customers are often allowed to waive the fees.
Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print
Many of CenturyLink’s internet plans require a contract ranging between 12 and 24 months. Violating the contract often results in expensive early termination fees (ETF). For those who prefer not having commitments, CenturyLink also offers contract-free DSL and fiber internet plans.
Aside from the contract, potential customers need to know CenturyLink’s policies regarding equipment fees. DSL plans, which can reach up to 40 Mbps, and Fiber internet plans up to 100 Mbps, usually require the purchase of a modem for about $200 or $15 per month. With speeds up to 940 Mbps, CenturyLink’s Gigabit Fiber plans include a complimentary modem with Wi-Fi.
TDS Telecom plans, whether DSL or fiber, require a 24-month contract. This contract binds customers to use the company’s service for the said duration. Customers essentially have to buy themselves out by paying the remaining monthly fees if they want to duck out of the contract.
TDS Telecom offers DSL, fiber, and cable internet plans with speeds up to 1,000 Mbps with fiber and up to 100 Mbps with DSL and cable. The company has Wi-Fi modems for rent ranging from $7 to $10 per month.
In most cases, CenturyLink users are limited to 1,024 GB of data usage per month. Currently, CenturyLink doesn’t give customers the option to buy additional data, so households that frequently exceed the limit are encouraged to upgrade to a Gigabit Fiber plan with no data limits.
TDS Telecom’s high-speed internet plans come with a 250 GB data allowance with a $20 overage fee for every 250 GB of additional data used. However, customers may opt to purchase 500 GB, 750 GB, or 1 TB of additional data to avoid overage charges.