Sparklight vs CenturyLink: Side by Side Comparison

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Sparklight and CenturyLink in 2023.

Sparklight and CenturyLink Service in 2022:

View Sparklight and CenturyLink Service in 2022:

Sparklight (formerly Cable ONE) services 21 states with cable and fiber internet plans. CenturyLink is one of the largest DSL internet providers in the U.S., but it also offers fiber plans to select areas. If you’re stuck between one of these providers, take a look at their similarities and differences below before making your final decision.

Sparklight vs CenturyLink Overall Comparison

Sparklight vs CenturyLink Overall Comparison

  • Speed

    100 Mbps -1 Gbps

  • Pricing

    $45 - $110/mo.

  • Service Type

    Cable, Fiber

  • Equipment Fee

    $12 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

  • Speed

    100 Mbps -940 Mbps

  • Pricing

    $30 - $70/mo.

  • Service Type

    DSL, Fiber, Copper, Fixed Wireless

  • Equipment Fee

    $15 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

The main difference between the two providers is the fiber availability. Sparklight employs a fiber-coaxial network, which means coaxial lines that are traditionally used for cable TV have been adapted to deliver fiber internet service. Using these lines instead of the copper cables allows for higher bandwidth. Sparklight also offers TV and phone services as bundles.

CenturyLink offers DSL and fiber internet services and uses existing telephone infrastructures for the former. It has a strong presence in rural areas, providing consistent stable service, although fiber may not be offered in some areas. CenturyLink gives you the option to bundle your internet with phone service.

Sparklight vs CenturyLink: Best Deals

Internet Deals

Both providers have affordable, basic internet-only plans. Sparklight’s cheapest plan is $50 per month, whereas CenturyLink’s cheapest DSL plan is $50 per month. However, keep in mind that CenturyLink offers unlimited data on all plans while Sparklight does not.

Pros and Cons By Provider

Pros and Cons By Provider

Sparklight Pros

  • No contracts
  • Extensive fiber availability
  • Excellent customer service
  • Bundles available

Sparklight Cons

  • Data caps on some plans
  • Steep activation fee

CenturyLink Pros

  • Contract-free plans
  • Unlimited data on all plans
  • New subscriber-friendly promotions
  • Nationwide availability

CenturyLink Cons

  • Limited plan options
  • No bundle discounts

Sparklight offers contract-free internet plans with fiber available to most customers. Although some plans do have data caps, you can upgrade to the Freedom Connect Plan, which gives you unlimited data for an extra $40 per month. If you go over your data limit, there is an overage fee of $10 per 100 GB used past your allowance. Sparklight also has high ratings for its customer service, so you can count on the team to resolve any issues, from technical to billing.

CenturyLink internet plans also don’t require contracts and have unlimited data. With an option to bring your own modem, you can save on equipment fees. Although CenturyLink’s DSL service is available in all 50 states, its fiber network has limited availability. You can bundle services as well, but you won’t get much savings from it.

Sparklight vs. CenturyLink: Packages Compared

Sparklight has a couple of options for TV and phone packages: You can opt for a Double Play or Triple Play bundle. Each bundle comes with hundreds of channels, 200 hours of free cloud DVR, and no required contracts.

CenturyLink only has one bundle available – you can add a phone line to your DSL or fiber internet plan for one price.

Sparklight vs. CenturyLink: Extra Fees and Contracts

Neither Sparklight nor CenturyLink requires contracts, which means no early termination fees. However, renting a modem from both Sparklight and CenturyLink will cost a fee.


Sparklight has two options for installation: professional installation or self-install, which comes at no cost. Be aware that it does charge a pricey activation fee. CenturyLink offers professional installation for a one-time fee and self-installation for free. It also charges an activation fee.

Data cap

CenturyLink has no data caps on any of its plans. Sparklight does have data caps, with only one plan that has unlimited data for an extra cost.

Sparklight vs. CenturyLink: Customer Satisfaction

CenturyLink hasn’t had the best customer service ratings in the past. It has had issues with resolving complaints and excess fees. Recently, however, it has seen an increase in its ratings, showing that it’s improving. Sparklight has an impressive A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, which means it’s more proactive than other providers when it comes to fixing issues.

Sparklight vs. CenturyLink Internet Review

As of February 2023, 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 and CenturyLink

  • Is Sparklight cheaper than CenturyLink?

    Sparklight’s cheapest internet-only plan is $50 per month, while CenturyLink’s cheapest, DSL internet-only plan is $50 per month. Availability, prices, and speeds may vary by location.

  • Who has faster speeds — Sparklight or CenturyLink?

    Sparklight’s download speeds reach 1 Gbps on either a cable or fiber connection, whereas CenturyLink’s fastest speeds go up to 940 Mbps.

  • Do Sparklight and CenturyLink have unlimited data?

    Sparklight offers unlimited data on one of its plans for an extra cost but otherwise imposes data caps on the rest of its plans. CenturyLink offers unlimited data on all its plans.

  • Do Sparklight and CenturyLink require a contract?

    Neither Sparklight or CenturyLink requires a contract for their internet plans.