CenturyLink Review – 2020

CenturyLink, based in Monroe, Louisiana is one of the USA’s largest telecommunications companies.
Rating:
4.5/5

Overview of CenturyLink Internet Services

CenturyLink, based in Monroe, Louisiana is one of the USA’s largest telecommunications companies. The business provides telephone and internet services to the general public. It also offers a range of services to businesses, including security systems and cloud services.

The company was founded in 1930 and currently operates in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

CenturyLink formed through a series of takeovers and mergers, leading the 1930s Oak Ridge Telephone Company, through the formation of Century Telephone Enterprises in 1971 to a corporate name change upon the acquisition of Embarq in 2010, which was the official beginning of CenturyLink. Embarq was the largest local exchange telephone company other than the Baby Bell divisions of the USA’s original telephone monopoly.

In 2010, CenturyLink merged with Qwest with the combined company carrying the CenturyLink name. The new company was almost exactly half Qwest and half CenturyLink. Qwest was a merger of two companies in 2000. One of those was the US West, a former division of the Bell Telephone Company, which was created by the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. The inventor’s telephone company was created in 1885. The company changed its name to AT&T and in the 1980s it was deemed to be a monopoly and ordered to break up in the 1980s. US West was one of the fragments that came out of that breakup.

The main business of CenturyLink lies in its telephone network. It is the third-largest telephone company in the USA and also the third-largest internet provider.

As with most US telephone services, the company offers DSL internet services. DSL is more commonly advertised as ADSL. This is the classic internet type that people refer to as “broadband” CenturyLink provides internet to households and businesses in 39 states. The service is carried over a typical twisted copper wire telephone network.
CenturyLink began laying fiber optic cable in 2014. It offers both very high-speed internet and TV services over this network. The fiber internet system was first offered Omaha, Nebraska and it is now available in 17 states.

The backbone of the ADSL network has been updated to fiber optics in many states, using regular telephone wires from the local junction to each household. The company can improve that service on request by replacing that final stretch with fiber optic cable, creating an entire fiber-optic link.

Table of Contents

Pros of CenturyLink

  • A large service area
  • Options for ADSL and fiber internet
  • Offers a price for life
  • Internet bundles that include TV packages and/or telephone service
  • Speeds up to 1000 Mbps

Cons of CenturyLink

  • Not available everywhere

Some Points About CenturyLink

CenturyLink doesn’t currently offer a fixed wireless service. However, it is building the infrastructure with plans to operate a total of 28 towers in the near future.

The plan for the CenturyLink fixed wireless service is intended to reach remote rural areas where a fiber optic cable presence isn’t economically viable.

The CenturyLink fiber-optic network was acquired along with company Level 3 in 2017. The company is continuing to focus its investments on the fiber-optic network. The company is by far the largest owner of long-haul fiber-optic networks in the USA. This is primarily aimed at servicing businesses, particularly data centers. The company also invests in a division that provides data storage and cloud services to businesses.

The company is fairly unique among ISPs in that it doesn’t offer a first-year discount. The marketing angle of the CenturyLink is its “price of life” offer, which guarantees that the company will never increase the price of a service for each customer, even though their advertised price may increase for new customers over time.

CenturyLink Plans

CenturyLink does not offer the same plans all over the country. The company offers two plans in each region. Depending on where you live, you could be offered two of the following plans:

Each subscription must have online paperless billing. .

The 200 Mbps internet plan is only available wit bundles that include an entertainment package from DirecTV.

CenturyLink Pricing Overview

CenturyLink offers the same price for all of its internet-only plans except for the Fiber Gigabit offer. The company generally offers two speed plans to any address. While both offered plans have the same price, the higher plan requires a compulsory technician installation at a one-time price of $99. That assisted installation usually costs $125.

There is no charge for self-installation by that does incur a $50 shipping and handling fee to courier the modem. Customers who sign up online don’t have to pay the shipping and handling charge.

The modem is charged for at $15 per month and the company doesn’t give the option for users to buy their own modem elsewhere. However, it is possible to buy a modem from CenturyLink for $150.

Customers of the Fiber Gigabit plan get free technician installation and also a free modem.

All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee.

CenturyLink Customer Service

CenturyLink has a Customer Service section on its website. This allows each customer to check on his account and make sure each monthly bill gets paid. The agreement to accept online invoices instead of a mailed paper bill is a condition of the internet off of the $49 price and a waiver on the shipping and handling price for the delivery of the modem.

The Support page of the website is headed by a search field. This gives access to the service’s knowledge base that answers common questions. The information source also includes troubleshooting and solution guides. This access to a store of advice documents removes the need for many customers to make a call to the human customer service team of the company.

The Customer Service group can be contacted by email, through a chat facility in the website, or by phone. Telephone calls for account or technical queries get caught in the queuing system that is common to all helplines these days.

According to the Better Business Bureau: “Consumers claim the business is not responsive to their questions or concerns.”

Choosing CenturyLink Plans

The CenturyLink website won’t give you a full menu of its plans until you enter your address. This is because not only does the service not cover every area of the United States, the speeds available in different zones of the service area.

Apart from the company’s Fiber internet plan, all of the CenturyLink internet-only offers have the same price: $49. In some areas, the company only offers a very slow internet service, such as 6 Mbps. In such areas, you would be better off looking for internet from another company. The 30 and 40 Mbps services at $49 per month offer a reasonable deal this is comparably priced to other internet service providers.

The bundles of internet, TV, and/or telephone offer internet speeds of 100 Mbps in the publicity for the server. However, if you live in an area where CenturyLink only delivers 6 Mbps, that’s all you get, switch from an internet-only plan to a bundle won’t give you any speed boost.

Most internet service providers that are run by cable TV companies offer very large discounts on their bundles that include TV and telephone service as well as the internet service. However, the bundles that include TV don’t offer much of a discount. Rather than forming a special offer price, the bundles of CenturyLink are just the chance of getting customers to buy an internet package and a TV package at the same time, at more or less the same price as buying each service individually.

The lack of a discount on the internet and TV bundles is probably because CenturyLink doesn’t own its own TV service. The company is a reseller of DirecTV, which is owned by rival internet provider AT&T.

CenturyLink is going through an investment phase in its infrastructure. Although the company’s network has a fiber-optic backbone, it doesn’t offer fiber internet in many places right now. However, expanding that fiber service is CenturyLink’s number one priority, so the speeds offered by the nation’s third-largest internet provider should soon improve dramatically.