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AT&T vs. Sparklight: Which Internet Provider Is Best for You?

When it comes to these two ISPs, it all depends on where you live.

  • Best Overall
    AT&T
    • Customer rating: 3.9/5
    • Price: $55.00–$250.00/mo.
    • Speed: 225–5,000Mbps
    • Internet type: Fiber & fixed-wireless
    • Data cap: Varies
    • Contracts: No contract
  • Best for TV Bundles
    Sparklight
    • Customer rating: 3.8/5
    • Price: $39.00–$115.00/mo.*
    • Speed: 100–940Mbps
    • Internet type: Cable
    • Data cap: Varies
    • Contracts: No contract

Compare AT&T and Sparklight head to head

If you’re trying to decide between AT&T and Sparklight, your first step should be to find out what plans are in your area because the deal changes dramatically based on where you live (psst… use the zip search below). In short, AT&T is the better choice unless you have access to Sparklight’s Freedom Connect plans, where you’ll find more speed for your money.

Pros and cons: AT&T vs. Sparklight

Pros:

  • Fast speeds
  • Unlimited data for most plans
  • High customer ratings
  • No contracts

Cons:

  • Small data cap for fixed-wireless
  • Limited fiber availability

Pros:

  • Cheap install
  • No contracts

Cons:

  • Confusing regional plan differences
  • Low data caps for some plans
  • Sudden price hikes

Want to know if you can get AT&T or Sparklight in your area?

Enter your zip code below to find out.

Plans and pricing: AT&T vs. Sparklight

AT&T and Sparklight offer comparable internet plans, most of which provide decent speeds for the money. AT&T has a leg up with max speed and perks, offering connections up to 5,000Mbps and unlimited data for every plan but one. Also, its fiber plans have much faster upload speeds than anything from Sparklight.

You can find a good deal from Sparklight, too, but it’s a little more complicated. Sparklight offers different plans depending on where you live, and some are a lot better than others. If you’re lucky enough to have access to its Freedom Connect plans, choosing between these two ISPs becomes a much tougher call.

AT&T plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedTypeView on AT&T site
Internet 300$55.00/mo.*300MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet 500$65.00/mo.*500MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet 1 Gig$80.00/mo.1,000MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet 2 Gig$150.00/mo.Up to 2,000MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet 5 Gig$250.00/mo.Up to 5,000MbpsFiberView Plan
Internet Air$55.00/mo.75–225Mbps5G fixed wirelessView Plan

AT&T’s plans are easier to understand with uniform pricing and perks, regardless of your location. All plans may not be available in all areas, but the speeds, prices, and data caps stay consistent wherever the plans are offered.

Most AT&T plans are a good value, packing good speeds for your dollar. Plus, all plans come with unlimited data, with the AT&T fixed wireless plan being the only exception. You also have to factor in that most AT&T plans provide fiber internet, which is better than cable in just about every way. The downside is that fiber availability is still rather limited.

Pro tip:

Want to see how much speed you’re getting on your home internet plan? Take a speed test to find out—and don’t forget to download our speed test app.

Sparklight plans and pricing

PackagePriceSpeedData capView on Sparklight site
Connect Internet 100$50.00/mo.*Up to 100MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Internet 300 Mbps$70.00/mo.*
($39.00/mo. for the first 3 months)
Up to 300Mbps700GBView Plan
Internet 400 Mbps$85.00/mo.*Up to 400Mbps1,200GBView Plan
Internet 600 Mbps$95.00/mo.*Up to 600Mbps1,500GBView Plan
Internet Gig$115.00/mo.*Up to 940MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Freedom Connect 300$65.00/mo.Up to 300MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Freedom Connect 600$75.00/mo.Up to 600MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Freedom Connect Gig$85.00/mo.Up to 940MbpsUnlimitedView Plan

Sparklight’s plan roster is tougher to crack. Your options change dramatically depending on where you live. The plans themselves don’t change by location, but in certain areas, alternate plans are offered.

Some areas have Sparklight’s new Freedom Connect internet plans, which are an awesome deal: They come with a ton of speed and unlimited data. However, in areas without the Freedom Connect plans, you’re offered Sparklight’s Internet 300/400/600/Gig plans instead, and these plans are not nearly as generous with their bandwidth and perks. Let’s look at an example.

Sparklights Freedom Connect 600 plan gives you 600Mbps and unlimited data for just $75 per month; that’s more speed for the money than anything offered by AT&T. But, let’s say you still want that speed but don’t have access to the Freedom Connect plans. Well, then you’re stuck with the Internet 600 plan, which hikes the price up to a crazy $95 per month, AND you lose the unlimited data perk. In that case, you’d be better off with AT&T, where $15 less per month will buy you 1000Mbps of symmetrical speed.

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Deals and promotions: AT&T vs. Sparklight

AT&T
Enter your address with AT&T Fiber to find deals and gift card promotions in your area.
Get the Deal for AT&T

Want to know if AT&T or Sparklight are in your area? Take a look by typing in your zip code below.

Extra fees: AT&T vs. Sparklight

Equipment FeeInstallation FeeLate fees
AT&T Free$99 (often waived)Up to $9 late fee
Sparklight $12.50/mo.$30 (activation fee)$8.00

The biggest potential fee is AT&T’s $99 professional installation, but it’s often waived, especially for new customers.

In the long run, it’s the equipment rental fees you have to look out for. AT&T has you covered with a free rental internet gateway (modem/router combo). But to avoid Sparklights equipment charges, you need to buy your own equipment.

Customer ratings: AT&T vs. Sparklight

Overall RatingReliability RatingCustomer Service RatingSpeed RatingPrice Rating
AT&T 3.9/53.9/53.7/53.8/53.8/5
Sparklight 3.8/53.9/53.2/53.7/53.8/5

In most areas, these two providers are neck and neck with customer feedback, but AT&T dominates when it comes to price satisfaction. The data from our annual customer satisfaction survey says AT&T customers are much happier with their internet bill. This doesn’t mean that AT&T customers pay less, but it does suggest they feel they’re getting more for their money.

Best TV and internet bundles

Bundle dealInternet speedTV channelsPriceView on provider’s site
DIRECTV CHOICE All-Included Package + AT&T Fiber Internet 300300Mbps105+$129.99/mo.View Plans
Sparklight
Internet + TV
Internet + TV
Up to 300MbpsUp to 100 channelsStarting at 186.75/mo.*View Plans

AT&T partners with DirectTV for its TV+internet bundles, meaning you get satellite TV service. Sparklight’s TV is more of a standard cable affair, so it’s likely to be the more reliable of the two, but it’s also more expensive.

Internet types: AT&T vs. Sparklight

Internet typeDetails
AT&T Fiber, fixed-wirelessView Plans
Sparklight CableView Plans

AT&T offers fiber and fixed-wireless internet (including 5G internet) while Sparklight uses much more common cable internet. Fiber is the best kind of internet connection you can get. It’s the fastest and most reliable, but availability is limited.

Fixed-wireless is the least capable of the three but receives the best customer feedback, likely due to its convenience.

Cable internet is the broadband workhorse of the nation, getting more people online than any other internet type. It’s not as good as a fiber internet connection, but the real-world difference is often unnoticeable.

Data caps: AT&T vs. Sparklight

Data CapView on provider’s site
AT&T Unlimited

350GB for fixed-wireless
View Plans
Sparklight 700GB-unlimitedView Plans

AT&T offers unlimited data for all it’s plans except AT&T fixed-wireless, which comes with a tiny data cap.

Sparklight’s Freedom Connect internet plans come with unlimited data, but most of its other plans impose data caps. The Internet 300 plan gets the worst of it with a 700GB data cap; that’s a little too close for comfort, with the average household monthly data usage hovering around 600GB per month.

Contracts: AT&T vs. Sparklight

Contract lengthView on provider's site
AT&T
  • Month-to-month
View Plans
Sparklight
  • Month-to-month
View Plans

Both AT&T and Sparklight offer month-to-month contracts. You can cancel anytime without penalties.

Installation: AT&T vs. Sparklight

Installation optionsView on provider's site
AT&T
  • $99 for pro install (free self-install)
View Plans
Sparklight
  • $30 activation fee (reduced for self-install)
View Plans

AT&T’s $99 professional install is concerning at first, but don’t let it scare you off as the fee is often waived. Sparklight’s $30 activation fee is definitely on the cheap side compared to other ISPs, and you can whittle it down even further by opting for self-installation.

Availability: AT&T vs. Sparklight

AT&T and Sparklight share a strong presence in the South and Midwest. The outliers are California, where AT&T has huge fiber coverage areas in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Sacramento, and Idaho, where there’s lots of Sparklight but no AT&T.

To see if AT&T or Sparklight is in your area, enter your zip code below:

Final call: AT&T vs. Sparklight

We think AT&T’s fiber plans offer the most value overall: The prices, speeds, unlimited data, and perks of a fiber internet connection are tough to beat. The one exception is Sparklights Freedom Connect plans, which offer the most speed for the money. Your first step should be to enter your zip code above to see what plans are in your area.

Methodology

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 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.

Author -

Austin worked as a broadband technician installing and troubleshooting countless home internet networks for some of the largest ISPs in the U.S. He became a freelance writer in 2020 specializing in software guides. After graduating with a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University, he joined the team at HighSpeedInternet.com where he focuses on home network improvement and troubleshooting.

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