CenturyLink vs. Astound Broadband Powered by RCN

CenturyLink Astound Broadband

Type of service

DSL, fiber

Type of service

Cable, fiber

Download speeds

100–140 Mbps (DSL)
200–940 Mbps (Fiber)

Download speeds

100–1,200 Mbps (Cable)
300–940 Mbps (Fiber)

Price

$50.00–$70.00 per month

Price

$14.99–$59.99 per month

Equipment fees

$9.99 per month

Equipment fees

$5.00–$20.00 per month

Installation fee

$15.00–$99.00

Installation fee

Varies

Data caps

None

Data caps

None

Customer satisfaction

3.5/5

Customer satisfaction

3.7/5

View CenturyLink Plans View Astound Broadband Plans

Choose CenturyLink Fiber Internet for the fastest internet speed. Cable and DSL just can’t beat the speed that fiber internet can provide. Get one of CenturyLink’s fiber plans if they’re available in your area.

Choose CenturyLink Simply Unlimited Internet for easy installation and setup. CenturyLink’s two Simply Unlimited Internet plans may not offer the highest speeds, but they do include a quality installation and setup experience. Select one of these services if you want to set up your internet and Wi-Fi quickly and easily.

Choose Astound Broadband for reliability. Astound Broadband’s cable internet provides fast, reliable speed. Like all other cable internet providers, Astound Broadband uses fiber for its network backbone, but your home connection relies on the same lines used for cable TV. Astound Broadband is ideal if you can’t get fiber but you want speeds faster than DSL.

Find and compare CenturyLink and Astound Broadband plans in your area:

One of the joys in owning or renting a place lies in finding your own Internet Service Provider (ISP). You likely want quality speed and reliable connectivity at an affordable price point. The following guide will help you compare those points, as well as a few others, for CenturyLink Simply Unlimited Internet, CenturyLink Fiber Internet, and Astound Broadband.

Coverage area

CenturyLink serves many states, far eclipsing Astound Broadband’s RCN network coverage. To see which ISPs offer service in your local community, visit each provider’s availability map.

CenturyLink Simply Unlimited Internet

CenturyLink provides high-speed DSL internet to over thirty states. Its largest coverage area occurs in the Southwest.

CenturyLink Fiber Internet

CenturyLink Fiber Internet is offered in select locations only. Check CenturyLink’s website to find out if the service is already available or coming soon to your area.

Astound Broadband

You’ll find Astound Broadband’s cable internet in fewer locations than CenturyLink’s DSL and fiber internet. But the limited availability brings some perks, including enhanced customer service and technical support.

Top 5 states:

  1. Utah
  2. Arizona
  3. Colorado
  4. New Mexico
  5. Minnesota

Top 5 states:

  1. Columbia/Jefferson City, Missouri
  2. Denver, Colorado
  3. La Crosse, Wisconsin
  4. Las Vegas, Nevada
  5. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota

Top 5 states:

  1. Boston, Massachusetts
  2. Chicago, Illinois
  3. Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
  4. New York City, New York
  5. Washington, D.C.

Customer satisfaction ratings

Every year, HighSpeedInternet.com surveys high-speed internet customers about their experiences with their Internet Service Provider. Our annual survey discloses customers’ opinions on internet speed, reliability, installation and setup, billing practices, and customer support. Customers’ answers range from one star to five, with one being the worst and five being the best.*

*Astound Broadband’s cable internet is such a limited offering that its results aren’t featured in the survey.

CenturyLink

 

Overall customer rating

(3.5/5)

Astound Broadband

 

Overall customer rating

(3.7/5)
 

Internet Speed

Internet speed

CenturyLink

 

(3.4/5)

CenturyLink’s DSL service comes in last for speed among all the providers we surveyed. That’s likely because most of its customers have DSL internet, which maxes out at 140 Mbps speeds and often is much slower. However, CenturyLink also has fiber internet, which achieves much faster speeds and gets a more positive response. Customers who use fibers specifically give it a 3.7 rating.

Astound Broadband

 

(3.8/5)

Astound Broadband gets upper-middle rankings for speeds, tying with most of the providers we surveyed. Three-quarters of Astound Broadband customers said they usually or always get the speeds they were promised, suggesting that Astound Broadband consistently delivers the goods when it comes to internet speed.

 

Reliability

Reliability

CenturyLink

 

(3.4/5)

CenturyLink DSL’s reliability score is the lowest out of all providers. But CenturyLink’s fiber customers have a much better experience, giving ratings that fall more into the middle rankings.

Astound Broadband

 

(3.7/5)

Astound Broadband gets a solid reliability score, too, giving customers assurances about lag-free, uninterrupted internet service.

 

Monthly Bill

Price

CenturyLink

 

(3.2/5)

Usually no provider, regardless of internet type, fares well in the pricing category. CenturyLink turns in a lower-ranking score. CenturyLink used to get a lot of satisfaction for its Price for Life offer on DSL plans, but that’s no longer available.

Astound Broadband

 

(3.3/5)

Astound Broadband gets middle rankings for price. A third of the customers we surveyed said they were not satisfied or very unsatisfied with Astound Broadband’s pricing.

HSI badge deals

Deals and promotions: CenturyLink vs. Astound Broadband Powered by RCN

CenturyLink Astound Broadband
Order CenturyLink Fiber Internet and get a waiver on the cost of modem rental and installation.

Get the Deal
Get $75 off your internet bill for every friend you refer who signs up for Astound Broadband.

Get the Deal
 

Technical Support & Customer Service

Customer service

CenturyLink

 

(3.5/5)

CenturyLink unfortunately falls at the bottom end of the spectrum for technical support.

Astound Broadband

 

(3.8/5)

Astound Broadband ranks well for technical support. The score could be due to its smaller market size or simply the company’s commitment to providing stellar service.

Advantages & disadvantages

CenturyLink

CenturyLink Simply Unlimited Internet

Advantages

  • Widespread availability
  • No fees or contracts

Disadvantages

  • Hit-or-miss technical support
  • Lower bandwidth speed
CenturyLink

CenturyLink Fiber Internet

Advantages

  • Blazing-fast internet speed
  • Reliability

Disadvantages

  • Limited availability
  • Lackluster customer service

Advantages

  • Transparent billing practices
  • Reliability

Disadvantages

  • Limited availability
  • Monthly rental fees

Bundling options

Most ISPs provide bundling options, and CenturyLink and Astound Broadband are no exceptions. Both providers offer bundles that include internet, telephone, and television.

CenturyLink bundles

CenturyLink offers internet and home phone bundles for $85 per month. If you’re bundling internet and home phone anyway, you should get the highest bandwidth available since it’s all the same price.

Astound Broadband bundles

Astound Broadband’s bundle employs TiVo, an HD DVR system, to power its television service. You can either get TiVo as part of your bundle or purchase the product on Amazon. Be aware, though, that Astound Broadband uses a branded TiVo, meaning it could feature different capabilities than an out-of-the-box TiVo purchased elsewhere. Like CenturyLink, you can combine different services from Astound Broadband to match your needs and budget.

Equipment

CenturyLink

CenturyLink offers customers a couple of modem-routers, with the product choice ultimately determined by service plan. CenturyLink generally relies on four brands: Actiontec, ZyXEL, Technicolor, and Westell. Customers can use their own modems and routers, too, as long as they’re compatible with CenturyLink’s network.

Learn to install your CenturyLink equipment here.

Astound Broadband

Astound Broadband provides a cable modem and a standalone router. You can opt for the Eero whole-home Wi-Fi kit, which comes in a set of two—additional satellites are extra. You can also opt for a standalone gaming router, or a Home Networking kit with a gateway and all the hardware you need for a wired network.

Learn to install your Astound Broadband equipment here.

What you should consider when choosing an internet provider

Slower to faster speed graphic

Types of connections

CenturyLink and Astound Broadband (RCN) deliver internet service to homes in different ways.

CenturyLink relies on two methods to deliver internet to your home: DSL and fiber. DSL internet runs on existing phone lines and tends to be the slowest of the three internet types. Fiber is the fastest, largely because it uses fiber-optic networks that essentially act as dedicated data lines.

Astound Broadband mainly uses cable TV lines to deliver internet to your home. Technically, the backbone of Astound’s network is fiber, but only to a point, like up to the entrance of a large neighborhood. From there, Astound Broadband uses existing cable TV lines already installed for each home. The only exception is Luzerne County, which is all fiber.

Generally, a fiber-to-the-home service can be the fastest connection because its data flow isn’t regulated like cable internet, so your upload speeds are just as fast as the downloads. DSL uses old technology, so its speed is limited.

About the providers

CenturyLink

 

CenturyLink makes its home base in Louisiana, but its internet services cover over thirty states. CenturyLink offers two types of internet: DSL and fiber. While its fiber-optic service is currently only available in a few locations, the ISP is working diligently to deliver the service to more communities across the United States.

Find out more about CenturyLink

Astound Broadband

 

Astound Broadband’s RCN network situates itself in the middle of the eastern seaboard. It offers mostly cable and some fiber internet from Washington, D.C. to New York City to Boston and in the Chicago area. Astound Broadband also manages three other networks across the US: Grande in Texas, enTouch in Houston, and Wave on the West Coast.

Find out more about Astound Broadband

Now that you possess detailed information about Astound Broadband and CenturyLink, you can make an informed purchasing decision. But if you still aren’t sure where to start, start by finding and comparing Internet Service Providers available in your area by entering your zip code below.

The name CenturyLink and the pathways logo are trademarks of CenturyLink.

Author -

Erin is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. She has over ten years of experience, with a background in marketing and creative writing