Sparklight vs CenturyLink: Side by Side Comparison

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Sparklight and CenturyLink in 2022.

Sparklight and CenturyLink Service in 2022:

View Sparklight and CenturyLink Service in 2022:

Sparklight and CenturyLink are two providers that offer residential internet service to millions of people in the U.S. Both internet providers offer high-speed plans. Sparklight supplies cable internet whereas CenturyLink supplies DSL and fiber internet. Customers who reside outside of Sparklight’s cable internet coverage may opt for CenturyLink’s DSL or fiber internet.

There are notable differences between Sparklight and CenturyLink in terms of plans, pricing, and speeds, which we note below. Coverage availability of these plans, prices, and speeds vary by location.

Sparklight vs CenturyLink Overall Comparison

Sparklight vs CenturyLink Overall Comparison

  • Speed

    100 Mbps -1 Gbps

  • Pricing


  • Service Type

    Cable, Fiber

  • Equipment Fee

    $10 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

  • Speed

    100 Mbps -940 Mbps

  • Pricing


  • Service Type

    DSL, Fiber, Copper, Fixed Wireless

  • Equipment Fee

    $15 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

As the ninth-largest residential cable provider in the U.S., Sparklight services approximately 3.3 million people across 19 states. Sparklight has the greatest coverage in Idaho, Mississippi, and Texas. Aside from internet service, Sparklight also offers TV and phone services through their packages. Internet plans will vary in speed and pricing.

CenturyLink is the third-largest residential DSL provider in the U.S. with the greatest coverage in Arizona, Colorado, and Washington. Their internet service is available to approximately 49.2 million people across all 50 states. CenturyLink not only offers DSL and fiber internet but also TV and phone services that can be bundled together. Depending on location and availability, speeds and prices might differ.

Sparklight vs CenturyLink: Best Deals

Internet Deals

Sparklight vs CenturyLink: Extra Fees and Contracts


When you sign up for Sparklight, you have two installation options: professional and self-installation. With professional installation, you are expected to pay a fee of up to $90. There is no fee for self-installation but it may not be available in your area. Regardless of whether you opt for professional installation or self-installation, a $100 activation fee is required.

CenturyLink offers professional installation or self-installation. Professional installation fees vary by location and internet service type, but these fees can cost up to $99. With self-installation, there is no setup fee and CenturyLink spells out the steps you need to take to set up and activate your internet service on their website. For both installation options, there is no activation fee.

Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

Contracts are not required to sign up for Sparklight’s internet service. As there are no contracts, there are no early termination fees. On the other hand, an activation fee and equipment rental fee are required. Activating your Sparklight internet service can cost up to $100 and renting their modem with WiFi costs $10/month. You can opt for a regular modem for the same monthly price. As for Sparklight’s download and upload speeds, they range between 100-1000 Mbps and 10-50 Mbps, respectively.

CenturyLink does not offer any long-term contracts. You don’t have to worry about early termination fees that typically come with contracts. Prepay and paperless billing are required for all of CenturyLink’s internet plans. You also have to pay for equipment rental fees, which cost either $15/month or a one-time fee of $200 for the modem with WiFi. Download speeds range between 20-940 Mbps while upload speeds go up to 940 Mbps for the Fiber Gigabit plan.

Data Caps

Sparklight does implement data caps for all of their internet plans, but you can upgrade your plan with unlimited data for an additional $40/month. Data caps range between 350-1500 GB. Sparklight charges $10 for each additional 100 GB of data used per month.

CenturyLink’s Fiber Gigabit plan is the only plan that does not employ data caps. For their other internet plans, the data cap is 1 TB per month. If you want to enjoy unlimited data, your only option is to upgrade to the Fiber Gigabit plan.

Sparklight vs. CenturyLink Internet Review

As of May 2022, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has not been able to survey enough Sparklight customers to provide a comprehensive understanding of how this service is meeting customers’ needs or expectations.

As of February 2021, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has surveyed 122 CenturyLink customers and asked them to rate CenturyLink on 6 different criteria - Reliability, Speed, Equipment, Support, Interaction, and Value.

Overall CenturyLink customers rated them a 3.6 out of 5, which is ranked 6th of the 10 internet provider customers we surveyed in our study.


Frequently Asked Questions about Sparklight & CenturyLink

  • Is Sparklight cheaper than CenturyLink?

    Pricing for both providers’ internet plans vary. Sparklight’s lowest-priced internet plan is cheaper than CenturyLink’s lowest-priced plan, but Sparklight’s highest-priced internet plan is more expensive than CenturyLink’s highest-priced plan. Sparklight plans cost $39-$125/month and CenturyLink’s plans cost $49-$65/month.

  • Who has faster speeds? Sparklight or CenturyLink?

    Speeds vary by location but both Sparklight and CenturyLink offer high-speed internet plans. Sparklight’s download speeds range from 100-1000 Mbps while CenturyLink’s download speeds range from 20-940 Mbps.

  • Do Sparklight and CenturyLink have unlimited data?

    Both Sparklight and CenturyLink offer unlimited data depending on the plan or upgrade. All of Sparklight’s internet plans have data caps, but you can upgrade to unlimited data for $40/month. If not, data caps range between 350-1500 GB and each additional 100 GB of data per month costs $10. CenturyLink’s Fiber Gigabit plan offers unlimited data while their other plans have a 1 TB data cap.