Our Brightspeed internet review
Brightspeed is a brand new internet service provider (ISP) that formed as part of a $7.5 billion deal for Apollo Global Management (Brightspeed’s parent company) to acquire CenturyLink’s DSL customer base. Most of Brightspeed’s customers are former CenturyLink customers whose DSL plans carried over to the new provider when the business deal officially went through in early October 2022.
This new provider’s offerings are similar to CenturyLink’s at the moment. Although it has plans to build up fiber networks across its 20-state footprint over the next four years, Brightspeed mostly offers basic DSL internet for now, with slow to modest speeds at a standard price. There aren’t any contracts on Brightspeed plans, and there are no data caps, giving you a bit of flexibility with an otherwise straightforward deal.
- DSL speeds only
- Affordable price for DSL plan
- No data caps or contracts
- Limited fiber availability
- Generic offerings
Compare Brightspeed internet plans and pricing
|Package||Price||Speed||View on Brightspeed site|
|Internet DSL||$50.00/mo.||Up to 40 Mbps||Shop Plans|
|Fiber 200||$59.00/mo.||200 Mbps||Shop Plans|
|Fiber 500||$69.00/mo.||500 Mbps||Shop Plans|
|Fiber 1 Gig||$79.00/mo.||940 Mbps||Shop Plans|
Data as of 11/8/23, prices and availability are subject to change.
Brightspeed’s speeds: What’s best for you?
Brightspeed has big plans to launch fiber networks across its 20-state service area. But for now, most customers are going to be limited to DSL plans, which usually top out at 100 Mbps but often deliver even slower speeds.
The provider also has a gigabit fiber internet plan, but it has extremely limited availability and likely won’t be widely available for another year or so at least as Brightspeed works to expand its fiber network.
Brightspeed data caps
There are no data caps on any Brightspeed plans. You can use the internet all you want without worrying about overage fees or throttled speeds.
You can find Brightspeed in 20 US states, all of them areas where you used to be able to get CenturyLink DSL service. Here’s a full list of states:
Where to find Brightspeed internet service
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
Our favorite plan: Brightspeed’s DSL internet plan is the only one widely available across the 20 states where the provider has service. While it’s not the most spectacular plan in the world, it’s a great option for rural users because it doesn’t cost too much and comes with unlimited data. You don’t have to sign up for an annual contract and the speeds are solid so long as you can regularly get 25 Mbps or faster.
DSL has been waning in popularity in recent years, but it’s the only way to get fast internet in many small towns and rural areas. And we highly recommend Brightspeed if you live in a place where your only other option would be pricey satellite internet.
Brightspeed internet fees
|Equipment Fee||$15.00/mo. for modem|
Brightspeed charges fairly standard rates for installation and equipment. Most internet providers charge around $10 to $15 a month to rent a modem that can go with its service, and Brightspeed’s $15 a month fee is fair enough.
Buy your own modem/router to cut extra fees
If you want to save some money on extra fees, we recommend buying your own modem and router. TP-Link’s Archer AX10 is the best router for Brightspeed plans because it’s efficient, easy to use, and affordable.
Here are some other options we recommend if you want to buy your own router for Brightspeed:
Brightspeed internet installation, equipment, and contracts
Brightspeed doesn’t share a lot of details about its installation options—the provider is brand new and most of its customers had their internet installed when they signed up previously through CenturyLink.
Installation costs a fairly standard fee of $99. But even that price may change as Brightspeed revamps its plans and prices in the coming months and properly launches itself as an internet provider available for customers.
Brightspeed internet contracts
Brightspeed doesn’t have any contracts on its internet plans. You can cancel any time; no need to worry about early termination fees.
Brightspeed internet customer ratings
|Overall Rating||Reliability Rating||Customer Service Rating||Speed Rating||Price Rating|
|Brightspeed customer satisfaction rating||3.1||3.1||3.2||3.2||3.2|
*Average rating of all ISPs included in our most recent customer satisfaction survey
Since Brightspeed is a new internet provider and 2023 is the first year it appears in the latest edition of our annual customer satisfaction survey. Brightspeed scored below average in the survey, but something to consider is that while Brightspeed offers fiber plans, the bulk of it’s customers have DSL. This internet type provides slower speeds at a price point that many pay for decent fiber plans and this could contribute to customers rating Brightspeed with lower than average scores.
How Brightspeed compares to the competition
|Provider||Plan price range||Speeds (range)||User rating*||Order online|
|Xfinity||$30.00–$120.00./mo.||75–2,000 Mbps||3.7/5||View Plans|
|Spectrum||$49.99–$89.99/mo.||Up to 300–1,000 Mbps||3.7/5||View Plans|
|AT&T||$55.00–$250.00/mo.||Up to 25–5,000 Mbps||3.7/5|
*According to our annual customer satisfaction survey.
Data as of 02/14/23. Prices may vary by availability.
As the new kid on the block, Brightspeed has some stiff competition to face off against—and honestly, the rivals look like the better picks in most cases. Cable providers like Xfinity and Spectrum have better customer satisfaction ratings, get you faster speeds, and have lower prices on some plans.
AT&T meanwhile has both fiber and DSL internet, whereas Brightspeed mainly has DSL. Fiber is faster, more reliable, and much more cost effective considering that you can get a fiber plan that’s many times faster than a DSL plan for basically the same price. However, Brightspeed’s DSL is slightly cheaper than AT&T’s DSL and gets you the same speeds. So that’s a bright spot.
FAQ about Brightspeed
Our HighSpeedInternet.com editorial team bases our analyses on customer input from our annual customer satisfaction survey, results from our speed test tool, and proprietary internet service provider data on speeds and pricing. To strengthen our research, we look closely at provider contracts to get hard-to-find information on price hikes, data caps, and extra fees, and we keep tabs on the latest news reports and online reviews. When applicable, we also rely on our personal experiences testing these services.