September 20, 2015 Jessica Sims
Cable One vs Century Link: What We Saw

Cable One vs Century Link: What We Saw

While Cable One is not yet offering 100+ Mbps broadband, it is providing a better bang for your buck than most other providers, even the largest cable companies. Cable One is the nation’s 11th largest cable provider. In Boise, Idaho, most residents have a choice between CenturyLink and Cable One when it comes to broadband internet. While CenturyLink provides some of the most competitive DSL plans in the nation, it doesn’t quite match what Cable One is able to offer. Healthy competition is good for consumers and while Boise would prefer to have a fiber provider to foster growth in technology, for now they can enjoy competitive broadband speeds.

Cable One vs CenturyLink

Cable One’s base internet plan is 50Mbps download and is priced at $50/month (not including any promotions). The fastest CenturyLink internet plan is 40Mbps priced at $70/month (not including temporary promotional pricing) when not bundled with other services. According to the user reviews on, Cable One also has a higher rating from users.

View current promotion pricing »

Since Cable One is also a TV provider the bundling aspect also comes into play for this comparison. CenturyLink does not provide its own TV service, instead they are able to offer competitive bundles through a partnership with DirecTV. Bundle discounts are great for consumer’s and you have to consider them when choosing a provider, but for our sake we’ll focus on comparing internet plans only. Also, the promotion bundle pricing is always changing, so be sure to check current pricing.

Both CenturyLink and Cable One have “data caps” without overage charges. These are meant to maintain service levels for all users. Cable One has a “data guideline” of 300GB per month for its 50Mbps plan, while CenturyLink has a “usage limit” of 250GB per month for it’s 40Mbps plan.

Both providers will lease a modem and wireless router combo and both allow customer-purchased or provided modems. The lease fee for Cable One is $8/mo and the lease fee for CenturyLink is $6.99/mo.

Cable One vs the Big Cable Companies

The 50Mbps plan by Cable One is about the best Megabit for dollar deal among all large broadband providers. Comcast’s Xfinity Blast 50Mbps plan costs $74.95/mo. Time Warner’s Ultimate 50Mbps plan costs $74.99/mo. That $25/month difference equates to $300/year for the same download speeds!

Most of the large cable companies clearly promote their promotional pricing, which usually lasts anywhere from 3 months to 12 months, but make it difficult to find the normal monthly rate. That is the rate you’ll be paying after the promotional period ends. Cable One clearly makes this rate known which is a plus for consumer transparency.


In addition to providing cable and broadband service to the Boise metro area, Cable One provides service to numerous locations across the northwest and central U.S. from Fargo, North Dakota to Odessa, TX. Currently it serves over 3.4 million customers in 19 states.

24 comments on “Cable One vs Century Link: What We Saw”

  1. Cindy says:

    I’m not sure where your prices came from, but CenturyLink is only $29.95/month for 40mps internet service (not in a bundle) without data caps or “guidelines” and no service contract. CableOne is currently offering their 50mps service at $35/month with a 300GB/mo “guildline” for 3 months, then $50/mo. I recently switched from CableOne to CenturyLink because CableOne was forcing me into a $100/mo internet price point because my family exceeded their 300GB/mo “guideline” with 5 people working and schooling on the internet, some gaming, and lots of Netflix. So far I haven’t noticed the 10mps difference in speed, although at certain times of the day, things do seem to run a little bit slower. With CableOne, there were times that we wouldn’t have any internet service at all. However, that $70/mo difference is worth waiting a few extra seconds for. CenturyLink’s automated customer service line is more frustrating that CableOne’s where you talk to a real person fairly quickly. The CableOne technicians in my area tend to be more helpful than the CenturyLink’s, but I’ve only dealt with one from CenturyLink so far, so he may not be representative of the whole. Overall, as long as CenturyLink keeps their prices lower than CableOne’s and the internet service they provide is close or comparable, I’d say CenturyLink is a better value. Now, when you start talking CableOne vs. DirecTv (or any satellite provider) for T.V. service; that’s a different story altogether.

    • Betsy says:

      I’m paying $70+ a month for CenturyLink and I’m bundled with DirecTV that is for 40mbps. I would love to know how you are getting $29.95 a month with no service caps or bundle or special introductory pricing!

      • Michael says:

        I just signed up with CentryLink (8-8-15) and internet is $29.95 with no data cap. Your big price increase must be Direct TV. We cut satellite/cable and my kids never missed them. We have free aerial TV and Netflix. No need for satellite/cable anymore watch all sport via internet sites.

      • sacora says:

        It’s the current promo for new customers as long as they have autopay and paperless billing (1 yr 29.95; 2yr 34.95)

      • CuriousConsumer says:

        With century link you are in a one year contract to start and then you have to call to get the next promo or it goes up to $70…I was offered the new fiber optic for $48 with a 1k GB cap monthly!!!

      • Stephanie says:

        Agreed, Betsy. I have the same prices with a bundle.

    • Sarah says:

      I called Century Link yesterday and was told their promotion was $29.95 a month for 20 mbps for the first 12 months. They didn’t tell me the price it would go up to after. You must have some special deal to get 40 mbps for that price.

    • sara says:

      I paid 19.95 for century link in the boise area anD I could only get 1 meg. they said they were working on replacing the lines so I could get faster speeds but it was all a lie I finally changed. it was a couple years ago and century link still hasn’t upgraded to higher than 1 meg. can’t even. download a 30 sec video

      • Gerry says:

        I have Century Link, 40Mbps and I live in boise. I only pay 64 a month for both the phone and internet. No data cap and it’s pretty fast. Maybe it’s based on where you live?

    • Michelle says:

      The hell it is not 29.99. I have centurylink in Meridian and I have the 20mbps and its costing me $64 a month. Centurylink recently got rid of any of there internet promotions unless you package. If you only have internet through them they dont give you a deal.

  2. joeschmoe says:

    Centurylink’s non contract pricing after 1 yr for the 40 Meg may be $72, but do a term agrmnt for one yr and that brings it to $29.95. Had an issue with something called their customer service they gave me $10 off that for 12 mos. Have Verizon cell or DTV? That brings that 13th month rate down $10. Get to month 12 on the bill call their Loyalty/Retention center they’ll usually give ya 50% off that $62.00 a month rate with no term agrmnt for 12 more months keeping ya without a contract for pretty dang close to that same 1st yr rate. When that promotion ends, call them again they’ll off ya another term agrmnt for 12 more mos for almost that same rate if not the same. This article makes it seem like everyone pays $72 a month and I doubt many come anywhere near that rate, ever. I had DirecTv and changed due to them wanting me to do another 2 yr agrmnt with them when my only receiver blew up and I didn’t want to. They didn’t really offer me anything other then signing up for a new contract and paying a $20 Shipping fee to get a new receiver. I cancelled them lickety split when they said that. I went to Cableone and have had them for 1 yr for all 3 svcs bundled for around $120;ish + taxes. This 13th month the bill went to $160! I called them up and thought maybe they’d have a Retention/Loyalty team that wanted to keep my business – they offered me $10 off a month for 3 months! Hardly anything near what Centurylink did yearly to retain my business. This lat month they said my bill (even with the 3 month $10 off credit) would be going up another $3.95 I think it was for a Sport programming fee. I’d be willing to pay another $5 a month to not have to flip thru channels and only find another basketball or football game instead of an actual show or movie. No thanks Cableone. I have brought my phone and interenet back to Centurylink. They offered me $54.95 for 40 meg and phone + taxes for a yr. I called after getting that first bill – guess what? Another $10 off my bill for the yr. This article is crap and doesn’t get to what most customers actually pay. Companies want to keep customers, reps that are taking my calls want to keep my business – at least Centurylink did, Cablone with their $10 a month for 3 months crdit could’ve cared less. It just takes one being POLITE, not screaming and yelling at some guy on the phone and asking them what they can due to help keep my business and keep my a happy customer with great service.

    • Michelle says:

      Well I am very near that rate I pay $64 for 20 mpbs and I have fought them over this price I use to pay much less until 5 months ago when my promotional rate ran out and they told me they no longer give promotional rates unless you bundle.

  3. victor caraveo says:

    Mean and my wife were living in Arlington , state of Washington., for 3 years and had Comcast which was very good. We had residential phone with all nation coverage and high speed internet, plus international calls to Mexico. The total bill including taxes was $85.00 a month, however we decided to go back to New Mexico at Rio Rancho, so we started with Cable One and with the same utilities our bill was a little higher from $85.00 to 95 sometimes 100 a month, the bill will vary due that Cable One did not offer a plan to Mexico. Nevertheless after a year of having the contract I saw on offer from Century Link for internet at $19 a month for 3 years, so I decided to try this offer since We were customers of Quest before turn into Century Link so here we go. I did the change it was suppost to be cheaper than Cable One and here comes the bill. $110 with the same utilities so I will call technical or financial support and it was hard to get any response, after so many tries the finance person will make adjustments and next month the bill will look strange, gave us credit and then will take it away, so overall the bill will be the same $110.00 to $120 so my bill was higher than before, I will argue with the receptionist month after month, then in the last month they offer me for $12 a month all you can talk to Mexico. My bill came and went up from $120 to $135. This is it, after having a hard time getting to talk to another representative I told him just cut your services, I will go back to Cable One. If you want business offer what you advertise and quit sending hiding bills good by Century Link I will not use your services no more. Century Link is not even close for what Quest used to be.

  4. Jared says:

    The price Cindy quoted for Century Links high speed internet is a promotional price only. I used to sell Century Link for a retailer and my girlfriend among other friends works for the corporate office downtown.

    Cable one advertises 50 mbps but custumers rarely achieve those speeds. I’m not going to go into the technical details and differences between the speeds offered but I will say that Century Links speeds are faster and more affordable if you are utilizing the promotional rates. When your promotional rate expires just call in to cancel and they will renew your promotion.

    I really wish Cable One offered higher and more reliable speeds because Century Links Customer Service is the worst I have ever experienced. Their employees are under so much pressure to make sales that they will usually transfer customers in need of assistance to anyone else if they do not believe they will make a sale. In fact they will often add new services that customers don’t need or want without asking permission. It honestly disgusts me. I could go on and on about the horrible sales practices that take place in Century Links “Customer Service” offices but I would be typing all night.

    • sara says:

      I had century link and I could only get 1 meg in my area I couldn’t even. get the 12 Meg
      century link lied to me for years saying the upgrade was in the works only to fund out year after year it really wasnt. I now have.cable one and when I do linen test it showas I’m getting 50 megs. we can finally watch a you tube video and Netflix where I couldn’t before

  5. ted409 says:

    ive had cableone for cable tv and internet wouldnt even consider centruy link cuz its dsl
    i thought all was well till they started fighting with all the providers (theyre being spun off by graham holdings) so we lost 15 channels and got etwn networ byu tv (nice if your lds because its aimed at lds members) we got garbage like starsky and hutch stuff i dream of jeanine moldy oldies.
    now if you try to get tech support alot of times you get a message it says theyre exp high call volum and you get disconnted.
    i lost tv service on a sat nite and was told no one would be sent out till mondy (the nearest service guy is 30 miles away) luckily it was a lightning strike and personnel were called in to fix it. was told if i have 2 or more services NO SERVICE MAN WILL BE SENT COMPANY POLICY the nearest open office is 80 miles away. if you call them you are routed to the thing that answers all the tech support and billing calls. i have no idea how to get someone at the local office .THE Only thing that saves me is the guy that over this territory goes above and beyond the call of duty. all i can do is email but its better than nothing
    cox offers 220 channels and 23 meg internet in phoenix for 89.95.
    im holding my breath as cableone is talking about dropping 10 more channels (no cost reduction just like when they dropped 15 channels) probably
    i read their public story is theyre cool with losing 40 percent of their subscribers since april mostly
    now we have 15 less channels not drop in charge . new channels are on a separte tier at an added cost . then they added on a sports channel surcharge on the separate tier theres like 13 sports channels (who can ever watch that much) and some other stuff they put the surcharge on after building the separate added cost tier
    i sincerly doubt cableone has over a million broadband customers. the last time i looked it was 400k cable tv and 700k broadband. graham holdings or cableone says they are going to concentrate on broadband which is touch and go . i dont know why they added capacity (they said to add more channels but they wont even carry tvgn which was on the cable tv guide
    all can figure is theyre all on drugs or dont know jack my opionon only. all they had to do was leave it all alone and instead u wake up every day wondering what will be left to watch
    im headed to direct tv my neighbors have it and love it. everyone i know recommends it so i ll go with the flow
    any subscriber can get dish or directtv

  6. Ken Gibson says:

    The best answer in Boise is to go with Century Link and DSL. The reason is that Cable One has caps on the usage – despite what they tell you. If you go over 300GB in a month 3 times – they will force you to upgrade to a more expensive package. This sounds like an incredible amount of data – but it really isn’t. I don’t know if they have errors in how their software calculates it or not but we kept regularly blowing through our allotment and had no choice but to go with DSL. If you do anything like Skype, FaceTime, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, etc… count on being tagged with an overage and having to leave anyway.

    • Dennis says:

      Yes we was just notified we was over our cap and they are forceing us to move to a more expensive plan thats about 250$ a month for 1000gb instead of the regular 300 so we will be leaving cable one

      • Michael says:

        That happened with me also and I just made the witch to CentryLink. I went from paying $50/mo to well over $100 per month for 500 gb/mo. I busted that my first month. Cable One is too expensive. I just got off the chat with CentryLink and no data cap and $34 after taxes/mo

  7. Dennis says:

    Well you might get cable one with the same speed as xfinty but xfinty is a lil higher but there is no cap….. With cable one your going to run out of cap room then have hidden charges

    • Brad says:

      Yeah cable one sucks. I had to upgrade to the 100$ plan and since then have already received notice 1 of 3 before I have to upgrade again.

      Side note, the Internet is currently down and has been for a few hours. Boise needs a real Internet solution.

  8. Josh says:

    This is just prices, as a user of centurylink I can tell you that they are pure trash and not worth it.

  9. Steve says:

    Centurylink starts at $29.95 before all of their fees. Ultimately I’ve been paying $50-$60/month. Every time I try to talk to someone at Centurylink about the bill they dodge me, sometimes just hang up/leave the chat room. Not to mention there’s absolutely no flexibility at all on when to pay your bill. Most companies will allow you to postpone a bill for a week or so if you need to one month.

  10. brad says:

    The amount of misinformation here is mind boggling. I think people just randomly make stuff up.

    The Cable One data cap is so extreme that they shut your service off the second you hit it and then make you go up to a larger plan. Our house uses up the monthly data with a weekend of Netflix. However they won’t do anything the first 3 months. After that you better watch your data closely or just stick to your cell phone data because your bill will go through the roof. (like well over 100 bucks)

    Centurylink isn’t as fast as Cable One but its still plenty fast, depending on where you live. If you can get 20 or 40 mbps I would choose Centurylink. As far as pricing goes, the first year is 29.95 per month with auto pay. After the year you have to call them up to get a new promotion or else it will automatically go to the regular rates which range from $49 to $74. (depends on speed) Also to get the 29.95 rate you need to put it on auto pay or paperless billing or else it goes up to 39.95. The one annoying thing is payments. If you set up auto pay it’s free. If you pay online with a check it’s free. But if you just make a one time payment with a credit card online or over the phone there is a fee. It’s really quite annoying. Their tech support is 24 7 but the waits are long but ive only had to call them once in a year so that’s actually solid

    So overall I would favor century link if you can get the good speeds but you have to pay very close attention to the details. (like autopay and calling after promo expires) I would actually recommend going with the 2 year contract for 34.95 because you won’t have to worry about the price increase after the year. The service is great until something goes wrong. Customer service is kind of meh.

    Centurylink is the lesser of the 2 evils.

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