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Brightspeed Internet Review 2024: Cost, Plans, and More

We put in the hours and days researching Brightspeed to find out if it can compete against other internet providers.

Free modem included
No contracts and flat-rate pricing
Unlimited data
Smaller customer service resources
Aging DSL network
No contracts and flat-rate pricing
Unlimited data
Smaller customer service resources
Aging DSL network

Is Brightspeed internet good?

Brightspeed hits the expected bases for a regional internet service provider (ISP) with a split DSL/fiber network. If you’re fortunate enough to have Brightspeed fiber in your neighborhood, you’ll get flat-rate pricing, decent rates, and stellar download speeds.

But if your area gets only DSL coverage, be prepared for middling internet performance. Brightspeed is also a relative newcomer as an ISP, so don’t expect as many bells and whistles as you’d find from major providers.

Why you should trust us: Our experts dug in this month to research Brightspeed’s pricing and speeds, investigate customer testimonials, and rate Brightspeed on what matters when picking an ISP:

Editorial star rating: 3.00/5.00

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Brightspeed has decent pricing, few surprises

Plan Price Max download speed Internet type
Brightspeed Internet $50.00/mo.* Up to 20Mbps DSL View plan
Fiber 200 $49.00/mo.** 200Mbps Fiber View plan
Fiber 500 $59.00/mo.** 500Mbps Fiber View plan
Fiber 1 Gig $69.00/mo.** 1,000Mbps Fiber View plan

*Monthly prepayment required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply.
**Autopay required. Installation fee may apply. Limited availability in select areas. Prices may vary depending on location.
Data effective as of publish date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.
*Plus taxes. Price after $5/mo. Autopay & Paperless bill discount.

If Brightspeed’s internet plans look familiar, that’s by design. In 2022, Brightspeed bought out CenturyLink’s old DSL and fiber internet network across 20 South and Midwest states.

Brightspeed’s pricing largely aligns with other fiber ISPs, although it’s not without a few downsides. We’re always a fan of starting plans like Fiber 200 that start at under $50 monthly, although our eyebrows are raised at Brightspeed’s Fiber 500 ($59/mo.) costing more than CenturyLink’s identical 500 Mbps ($50/mo.) plan. Still, its Fiber 1 Gig plan is significantly cheaper than competitors like AT&T and Verizon, whose comparable plans cost around $80 monthly.

On paper, Brightspeed’s fiber internet plans check off all the boxes we like to see from a fiber ISP:

  • Unlimited data
  • Flat-rate pricing (no annual price increases)
  • No-contract service

However, Brightspeed’s approach to its legacy DSL network echoes other fiber ISPs with DSL networks: We’ll keep the lights on, but don’t expect more. Technically, Brightspeed’s DSL plan advertises speeds up to 20Mbps. But as with other DSL providers, your exact download speed depends on how extensive Brightspeed’s DSL network is in your area. If you’re near a major city, you might crack 30Mbps download speeds, but your download speeds will likely drop the farther you get from metro areas.

Our research found multiple Brightspeed DSL addresses in smaller suburban cities with download speeds of less than 15Mbps. You’ll quickly experience bandwidth problems at these speeds if more than a few people in your home want to stream videos. (That said, Brightspeed announced it would invest $2 billion into building out its fiber network, so we’ll see if these DSL addresses get fiber in the future.)

How reliable is Brightspeed internet?

Test Score
Average overall latency 20.9 milliseconds
Average latency (DSL) 20.5 milliseconds
Average latency (Fiber) 21.2 milliseconds

As part of our internet reliability research, we gathered data including speed test data from our partners at to see how Brightspeed operates in the real world. Brightspeed’s average latency mark of 20.9 milliseconds fell in the middle of the pack alongside fiber/DSL ISPs like AT&T (22.3 milliseconds).

Interestingly, Brightspeed’s latency times didn’t improve when we separated them into DSL and fiber tests.

  • DSL latency: 20.5 milliseconds
  • Fiber latency: 21.2 milliseconds

In practice, you won’t have problems checking TikTok on Brightspeed. Still, it won’t provide the level of reliability you’d expect from a best-in-class fiber ISP like Verizon Fios or Frontier.

For better or worse, Brightspeed’s internet reliability sits in line with that of other fiber/DSL providers. On social media, Brightspeed’s outage and performance complaints are generally reserved for rural or DSL customers stuck with download speeds under 15Mbps, while fiber internet customers largely report smooth internet experiences. (As always, DSL remains the absolute pits when it comes to home internet service, holding the lowest plan tiers since dial-up exited most providers’ options.)

Pro tip: Brightspeed will be in this year’s upcoming Internet Customer Satisfaction Survey, so check back soon for a full breakdown of Brightspeed’s internet reliability.

Brightspeed internet offers decent deals and coverage

As a regional ISP (smaller service area), Brightspeed doesn’t necessarily have the piles of freebies and features offered by the bigger players, but that doesn’t mean they’ll leave you empty-handed. Here’s everything else you need to know about Brightspeed internet service.

Brightspeed internet availability

Brightspeed adopted a large chunk of CenturyLink’s network, so you likely live in Brightspeed’s coverage area if you previously had access to CenturyLink DSL or fiber service and live east of the Rocky Mountains. The following states are serviced by Brightspeed (although exact availability varies by address):

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Free Wi-Fi modem

Every Brightspeed fiber internet plan includes a free modem, so you won’t have to pay additional hardware rental fees in addition to your internet bill.

Brightspeed internet and phone bundles

Brightspeed doesn’t offer TV service, but you can still add a landline phone with Brightspeed Digital Voice, which starts at an additional $30 per month.

What do real Brightspeed customers think of Brightspeed?

When it comes to customer service, Brightspeed doesn’t have the arsenal of bigger companies. As a mid-sized provider, Brightspeed doesn’t have retail stores for in-person troubleshooting, and its chat support wait times can be lengthy. On the bright side (*wink*), Brightspeed’s support section offers a useful selection of resources.

These support gaps tend to carry over to customer concerns over Brightspeed. Installation and tech support issues are the most common complaints from Brightspeed customers on social media.

“I also live in Eastern NC […] We were one of the first areas to get fiber and they had my address wrong in their system, it would change it from "street" to "avenue" (which didn’t exist) and it would tell me that only DSL is available…For the past year I called and called and got nowhere to get my address corrected. I found the escalation form [...] and filled it out with a detailed description of my issue. Emailed [Brightspeed’s] team back and forth for about 2 weeks before they "exhausted" all of their resources and could not help me. Then I searched up Brightspeed's executive leadership team and guessed at their email naming convention […] and sent an email to every executive at Brightspeed with a description of my problem. A couple of them actually replied and got me in contact with someone from their "customer advocacy group". I worked with a wonderful individual on that team for about three weeks and they finally got the right person involved and got my address corrected so I was able to order their fiber. I’m currently on the 200/200 plan for $39 a month and it’s great.”

Brightspeed customer in North Carolina via Reddit

Want to get Brightspeed internet service?

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Brightspeed internet FAQ

What is Brightspeed?

Brightspeed is a regional internet provider that offers DSL and fiber internet service to six million customers across 20 states in the South, Midwest, and East Coast. Brightspeed is based in North Carolina.

How fast is Brightspeed internet?

Brightspeed’s internet plans offer download speeds between 10Mbps and 1,000Mbps. But your day-to-day speeds will normally fall lower than your plan’s top listed speed, which is normal for any internet provider.

Who owns Brightspeed?

Brightspeed is an internet company that is independently owned by private equity group Apollo Global Management. Brightspeed is not owned by CenturyLink or its parent company Lumen Technologies.

Is Brightspeed part of CenturyLink?

Brightspeed is not part of CenturyLink. In October 2022, Brightspeed purchased parts of its network across 20 states from CenturyLink’s parent company and inherited its customers.

Why you should trust us

To evaluate Brightspeed, we spent a week analyzing its plans and pricing compared to competitors like AT&T, Spectrum, and Frontier. We also drew from our existing internet coverage to see how far your dollar would go on Brightspeed.

Check out our How We Rank page for more information on our methodology.

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