Sparklight vs CenturyLink: Side by Side Comparison

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Sparklight and CenturyLink in 2021.

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 Info

Price Range


CenturyLink Info

Price Range


Sparklight vs. CenturyLink Comparison
Provider Sparklight CenturyLink
Speed 100-1,000 Mbps 100-940 Mbps
Pricing $45-125/mo. $30-65/mo.
Service Type Cable or Fiber DSL, Fiber, Copper or Fixed Wireless
Sparklight vs. CenturyLink FEATURE COMPARISON
Provider Sparklight CenturyLink
High-Speed Plans Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Select Plans Yes
Contract-Free Plans Yes Select Plans
TV Service Yes No
Phone Service Yes Yes

Sparklight Internet Deals †

Last updated on 10/18/2021

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with Sparklight.

CenturyLink Internet Deals †

Last updated on 10/14/2021

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with CenturyLink.

Sparklight vs. CenturyLink Performance Overview

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 Installation

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 Installation

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.

Sparklight 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 Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

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.

Sparklight 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 Data Caps

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.

Outstanding Customer Service

on January 13, 2021

I am a long time customer of New Wave Communications (Sparklight). Although I have never had an issue with their phone and internet services, I did recently encounter issues with my online account on their website. I was unable to make simple, basic profile changes to said account; but instead was directed to call them via phone. Imagining countless minutes of my time to to do so - I was exasperated; but call them I did at the number so directed. I had several issues to bring to their attention and I am overwhelmed at the response I have received. Much to my chagrin, I did not record the names of the individuals I spoke with; however, I can say that both the individuals I spoke with were knowledgeable and extremely courteous. Much appreciated. I made one phone call, received two phone calls in return and one email from this company concerning my issues. The representative I originally spoke with and a gentleman from the IT department reached out to me via phone to provide an update on the status of my issues and to notify me that they were indeed working to resolve said issues. Kudos! to them both, especially in today’s age where one is constantly bombarded with relentless recordings in an effort to reach out and speak with a human being. This company made it easy. Again, much appreciated.


on March 26, 2021

This is the best service along with the astonishing speed. Tech was in my apartment for less than 10 minutes. Thanks again, Sparklight!

100 Mbps CenturyLink Internet

on September 19, 2019

We switched to CenturyLink and could not be happier. It is so much faster, has never cut out and had the best installation customer service. The price is also great.

Love Centurylink

on June 18, 2021

We have had Centurylink landline for literally decades. It was a no-brainer for us to use them for internet and landline when we moved into our new home. Our home was built in an area with their new fiber internet. They installed it on the day scheduled, at the scheduled time. The technician was great. Had it up and running quickly. Have not had any problems. Both the internet and landline are cheaper than we were paying Cox for just the internet. Had a very bad experience with our previous ISP. Kept dropping calls. Hope to have Centurylink for decades to come.

Sparklight vs. CenturyLink Coverage Availability

Sparklight Coverage & Availability

CenturyLink Coverage & Availability

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.