What Is Brightspeed and Why Did It Take Over My CenturyLink Internet Plan?
Brightspeed is a new internet provider that recently acquired the DSL customers of Lumen Technologies, the parent company of CenturyLink. Based in North Carolina, Brightspeed now provides DSL internet in 20 states across the South, Midwest, and East Coast. This new provider has the same plans, prices, and speeds as CenturyLink, so don’t worry about any big shake-ups if you suddenly find yourself a new Brightspeed customer.
Still, Brightspeed has big plans in store, and some changes may be on the way as the company becomes a brand of its own.
If you’re a former CenturyLink customer, we know you probably have some questions about your new internet provider. Read on for a full explainer on what Brightspeed is, what it wants, and how this all affects your internet service.
What is Brightspeed?
Brightspeed is a new internet provider based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. A subsidiary of private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Brightspeed was formed in 2021 by three former Verizon executives—Robert “Bob” Mudge, Tom Maguire, and Chris Creager—as part of a $7.5 billion deal to acquire Lumen Technologies’ DSL and landline phone services.1
We took a deep dive into Brightspeed’s plans, speeds, and prices in our Brightspeed internet review. Take a look to see if you like what the provider offers.
What kind of internet does Brightspeed have?
Brightspeed mostly offers DSL internet. DSL (short for digital subscriber line) runs over landline phone networks and hits top speeds of 100 Mbps, although most DSL connections are much slower. It’s an old-school type of internet that has been waning in popularity in recent years. But DSL remains a reliable source of broadband internet in rural areas and small towns with limited Wi-Fi options.
Brightspeed also offers fiber internet, but we’re not sure how many Brightspeed customers can actually get that fiber. Reportedly it’s available only in very limited areas. We punched multiple addresses into Brightspeed’s Check Availability tool and got no results.
Take a look at our guide to DSL vs. fiber to get a rundown of how these connection types are different and which one is better. (Hint: fiber is definitely better.)
According to Brightspeed executives, the plan is to ultimately turn Brightspeed into a proper fiber internet provider. Following in the footsteps of DSL-turned-fiber enterprises like CenturyLink, AT&T, and Verizon, Brightspeed has budgeted $2 billion to bring fiber-optic internet to at least 3 million customers across 20 states over the next four years.2 It’s an ambitious goal, especially considering how costly and time consuming it is to build up fiber networks.
Once fiber is widely available, Brightspeed plans to offer packages ranging in speed from 200 Mbps to 2,000 Mbps.
When will CenturyLink DSL customers become Brightspeed customers?
Officially, CenturyLink’s DSL customers became Brightspeed customers on October 3, 2022, when the company took over CenturyLink’s DSL accounts. If you’re a former CenturyLink DSL user, all of your account information has now been moved to Brightspeed. For the time being, you can continue using your My CenturyLink login information to access your account.
Take a look at our Brightspeed internet guide for a quick breakdown of all the provider’s plans and pricing.
Do I have to pay more for internet now that I have a new internet provider?
No, you don’t have to pay more for the same internet service. Brightspeed’s internet plans are exactly the same as what customers used to get on their CenturyLink plans. A DSL plan costs $50 a month and delivers speeds up to 140 Mbps. Brightspeed intends to unveil more plans in the future, but expect former CenturyLink customers’ plans to stay the same.
Do I have to worry about service interruptions?
According to Brightspeed, you may notice a brief service outage when your ex-CenturyLink internet connection is moved over to Brightspeed. But Brightspeed is aiming to make sure any outages happen in the early morning and the company plans to notify customers ahead of time about any disconnections that may take place.
Download our speed test app to see if your internet speed has been impacted by the CenturyLink-Brightspeed transition.
Take our speed test to see if your internet speed has been impacted by the CenturyLink-Brightspeed transition.
Do I need a new modem and router for Brightspeed?
No, you can use the same modem and router that you’ve been using with CenturyLink’s DSL service. If your equipment is out of date, however, you may need to swap it for new equipment. Reach out to Brightspeed directly to rent a new device—or, better yet, buy your own modem and router.
I don’t want a Brightspeed internet plan. Can I switch internet providers?
Yes, of course. If you don’t like your new service with Brightspeed, you are always free to cancel your plan and switch to a different provider. Run a search with your zip code below to see what other internet options are available in your area.
More about Brightspeed and CenturyLink
- Diana Goovaerts, Fierce Telecom, “Former Verizon Execs Talk Strategy for Brightspeed’s $2B Makeover of Lumen Assets,” November 24, 2021. Accessed October 12, 2022.
- Diana Goovaerts, Fierce Telecom, “Brightspeed Becomes 5th Largest US ILEC as $7.5B Lumen Deal Wraps,” October 3, 2022. Accessed October 12, 2022.
Author - Peter Holslin
Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.
Editor - Rebecca Lee Armstrong
Rebecca Lee Armstrong has more than six years of experience writing about tech and the internet, with a specialty in hands-on testing. She started writing tech product and service reviews while finishing her BFA in creative writing at the University of Evansville and has found her niche writing about home networking, routers, and internet access at HighSpeedInternet.com. Her work has also been featured on Top Ten Reviews, MacSources, Windows Central, Android Central, Best Company, TechnoFAQ, and iMore.