Sparklight (formerly Cable One) Internet Review

Finding the value in Sparklight’s internet plans is a crapshoot: you either win with Freedom Connect plans or lose.

Recommended Plans
Sparklight
2.3 out of 5 stars
2.25
  • pro
    Competitive price for 100 Mbps speeds
  • pro
    No contracts
  • con
    Confusing data caps
Plan
Price
Download speed
Data cap
Details
Starter 100 Plus$39.00/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsUnlimited
Internet 200$65.00/mo.Up to 200 Mbps700 GB
Freedom Connect 600$40.00/mo. for the first 3 mos.Up to 600 MbpsUnlimited
Data as of 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* $39/mo (1 year), $45/mo (13-24), $55/mo after trial offer. After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surchage extra. $10 charge for each add'l 100GB; Up to $40/mo.
For the first 3 months. $60/mo Regular price. After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
Catherine McNally
Editorial Lead, Internet & Gaming
Read More
April 15, 2022
8 min read

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We’ll be frank: Sparklight internet (formerly Cable One) didn’t make our list of best internet providers. That’s because half of Sparklight’s plans come at a steep cost and are paired with lower data caps.

Still, there are a few reasons to consider Sparklight internet, like its lack of contracts and speeds up to 1,000 Mbps. And if you can get its Freedom Connect plans, you’re golden.

Read on to find out how Sparklight compares to other internet providers and whether it’s right for you. Let's dig in.

Sparklight internet deals
Plan
Price
Download speed
Data cap
Details
Starter 100 Plus$39.00/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsUnlimited
Internet 200$65.00/mo.Up to 200 Mbps700 GB
Internet 300$80.00/mo.Up to 300 Mbps1.2 TB
Freedom Connect 600$40.00/mo. for the first 3 mos.Up to 600 MbpsUnlimited
Freedom Connect Gig$75.00/mo.^Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
Internet Gig$110.00/mo.°Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
Data as of 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* $39/mo (1 year), $45/mo (13-24), $55/mo after trial offer. After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surchage extra. $10 charge for each add'l 100GB; Up to $40/mo.
For the first 3 months. $60/mo Regular price. After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
^ After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
° Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surchage extra. Actual speeds vary and are subject to equipment limitations. Wi-Fi speeds will be substantially lower.
Check Sparklight (Cable One) internet prices and plans near you.
pro
Pros
pro Competitive price for 100 Mbps speeds
pro No contracts
con
Cons
con Confusing data caps
con Expensive gig-speed plan

Sparklight prices and plans

Sparklight’s prices and plans depend on where you live. We checked out two different locations (Fargo, North Dakota, and Anniston, Alabama) and saw two different sets of plans and prices.

In general, the Freedom Connect plans and the Starter 100 Plus plan are all great deals. You’ll get a lot of value with the unlimited data and competitive prices.

Here’s what all of the Sparklight internet plans look like:

Sparklight (Cable One) promotional prices
Plan
Price
Download speed
Data cap
Details
Starter 100 Plus$39.00/mo.*Up to 100 MbpsUnlimited
Internet 200$65.00/mo.Up to 200 Mbps700 GB
Internet 300$80.00/mo.Up to 300 Mbps1.2 TB
Freedom Connect 600$40.00/mo. for the first 3 mos.Up to 600 MbpsUnlimited
Freedom Connect Gig$75.00/mo.^Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
Internet Gig$110.00/mo.°Up to 940 MbpsUnlimited
Data as of 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* $39/mo (1 year), $45/mo (13-24), $55/mo after trial offer. After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surchage extra. $10 charge for each add'l 100GB; Up to $40/mo.
For the first 3 months. $60/mo Regular price. After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
^ After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
° Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surchage extra. Actual speeds vary and are subject to equipment limitations. Wi-Fi speeds will be substantially lower.

Our biggest issue with Sparklight’s plan availability is that anyone living in an area where the Freedom Connect plans are not available is stuck paying high prices and possibly dealing with low data caps.

The Freedom Connect 600 and Freedom Connect Gig plans are great deals. But the Turbo 300 Plus and GigaONE Plus plans—your two alternatives to the Freedom Connect plans—are not. This is due to the high monthly price and low data caps—about one terabyte (1,000 GB) a month for each of these plans.

To be fair, several internet service providers (ISPs) offer only one TB of data, but we’d rather see them offer unlimited data at no extra cost. Especially for gigabit-speed plans.

Sparklight’s standard prices

The Starter 100 Plus plan offers a promotional price of $39 a month for one year.

After a year, your price for the Starter 100 Plus plan goes up to $45 a month. Then after 24 months, it rises once more to $55 a month.

None of Sparklight’s other plans currently offer a year-long promotional price, but you may find limited-time offers, like the three-month promo price for Streamer & Gamer 200 Plus.

Promotional prices are pretty common when it comes to internet, and we’re happy to see Sparklight be transparent about it.

Sparklight Starter 100 Plus plan pricing after 1 year
Plan
Promotional price
Price after 12 mos.
Price after 24 months
Details
Starter 100 Plus$39.00/mo.*$45.00/mo.$55.00/mo.
Streamer & Gamer 200 Plus$45.00/mo.**$65.00/mo. (After 3 mos.)$65.00/mo.

*Data as of 03/21/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

*For 1 year. $45/mo (13–24) $55/mo after trial offer.

**$10 charge for each add'l 100GB; Up to $50/mo.

Where is Sparklight (Cable One) available?

Sparklight is available in 25 states, with most of its service in Idaho, Mississippi, and Arizona.

Sparklight Internet Availability
Sparklight also offers home phone service
Megaphone

Need phone service to call the folks back home? Sparklight offers home phone packages, or you can check out our picks for the best cell phone plans. (Verizon is our pick for best coverage, or you can check out Visible for stellar family plans.)

How does Sparklight (Cable One) compare to AT&T, CenturyLink, and others?

If you get the option of Sparklight’s Freedom Connect plans, its value is comparable to other ISPs in the area like CenturyLink.

But we noticed that folks in Anniston, Alabama, could get lower prices for internet from AT&T compared to Sparklight. And while EarthLink might be more expensive than Sparklight or any other option in your area, it’s regarded as one of the best internet providers for customer service.

Sparklight price comparison
Service
Price range
Download speed range
Data cap range
Details
Sparklight$30$110**25940 Mbps100 GBUnlimited
AT&T Internet$55††75100 Mbps1 TBUnlimited
CenturyLink Internet$30$70‡‡100940 MbpsUnlimited
Earthlink Internet$49.95$189.95^^105000 Mbps50 GBUnlimited
Data as of 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
** Equipment, taxes, surcharges and fees are not included in above rate.
†† Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area.
‡‡ New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.
^^ With a 12 month contract.

Also of note is that most of Sparklight’s competitors offer unlimited data. Though if you’re stuck with a DSL connection from AT&T, CenturyLink, or EarthLink, you may deal with fewer outages if you choose Sparklight’s cable internet connection.

If we compare plans, Sparklight’s Starter 100 Plus is by far your cheapest option. Even after it reaches the full standard price of $55 a month, Starter 100 Plus has still given you a better deal than AT&T, CenturyLink, or EarthLink.

Sparklight Starter 100 Plus plan comparison
Service
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
Sparklight InternetStarter 100 Plus$39.00/mo.*Up to 100 Mbps
AT&T InternetAT&T Internet 100$55.00/mo.°°100 Mbps
CenturyLink InternetSimply Unlimited Internet 100 Mbps$50.00/mo.***Up to 100 Mbps
Earthlink InternetFiber 100$59.95/mo.†††100 Mbps
Data as of 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* $39/mo (1 year), $45/mo (13-24), $55/mo after trial offer. After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
°° for 12 mos, plus taxes. Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes $ fees. Limited availability. May not be available in your area. Call or go to att.com/internet to see if you qualify.
*** Speed may not be available in your area. Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
††† with a 12 month contract.

But on the top end of speeds Sparklight offers, its GigaONE Plus plan is one of the most expensive gigabit plans we’ve seen. Not to mention that it comes with a data cap of 1.5 TB. (To be fair, most of us won’t use that much data, but still. Unlimited is better.)

Here’s how its price compares to Sparklight Freedom Connect Gig and similar plans from AT&T, CenturyLink, and EarthLink:

Sparklight gigabit plan comparison
Service
Plan
Price
Download speed
Details
Sparklight InternetInternet Gig$110.00/mo.°Up to 940 Mbps
Sparklight InternetFreedom Connect Gig$75.00/mo.^Up to 940 Mbps
AT&T FiberAT&T Internet 1000$80.00/mo.‡‡‡940 Mbps
CenturyLink InternetCenturyLink Fiber Gigabit$70.00/mo.^^^Up to 940 Mbps
Earthlink InternetFiber 1 Gig$89.95/mo.†††1000 Mbps
Data as of 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Data effective 09/27/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
° Equipment, taxes, fees, and any applicable surchage extra. Actual speeds vary and are subject to equipment limitations. Wi-Fi speeds will be substantially lower.
^ After 5TB of data usage, speed may be slowed for network management.
‡‡‡ Price after $5/mo Autopay & Paperless bill discount (w/in 2 bills). Plus taxes & fees. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds and based on wired connection to gateway. 1GIG speeds avail. to new customers with the latest router ("BGW320") and recommended setup. Actual customer speeds may vary based on a number of factors and are not guaranteed.
^^^ Speed may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection. Paperless billing required. Taxes and fees apply. Offer Details Online ONLY: Free Modem Free Install
††† with a 12 month contract.

As you can see, GigaONE Plus is the worst deal of them all. But Sparklight’s Freedom Connect Gig is cheaper than or a similar price compared to AT&T, CenturyLink, and EarthLink.

The moral of the story is: If you can get Sparklight Freedom Connect, you’re golden. Look elsewhere for better value if you’ve got Streamer & Gamer 200 Plus, Turbo 300 Plus, or GigaONE Plus as your Sparklight options.

Want to learn more about your internet options with AT&T, CenturyLink, and EarthLink? We’ve got full reviews for each one:

Want to pair TV with your internet service?
Light Bulb

Sparklight didn’t make our cut for the best TV service providers, but you might find our favorites for cable TV, Xfinity and Spectrum, in your area. And don’t forget about streaming services like fuboTV and YouTube TV!

Sparklight internet speed and data

Sparklight’s internet plans give you a choice of 100, 200, 300 and 1,000 Mbps download speeds—or 100, 600, and 940 Mbps download speeds. Which options you get depends on where you live.

We like that Sparklight offers a wide range of download speeds no matter where you’re located. The starting speed of 100 Mbps is great for small families, and if you need more internet speed than that, you’re covered by the rest of Sparklight’s plans.

But watch out for small data caps and slow upload speeds.

Sparklight (Cable One) internet download speeds and upload speeds
Plan
Download speeds
Upload speeds
Data cap
Details
Starter 100 PlusUp to 100 MbpsUp to 10 MbpsUnlimited
Internet 200Up to 200 MbpsUp to 20 Mbps700 GB
Internet 300Up to 300 MbpsUp to 30 Mbps1.2 TB
Freedom Connect 600Up to 600 MbpsUp to 30 MbpsUnlimited
Freedom Connect GigUp to 940 MbpsUp to 60 MbpsUnlimited
Internet GigUp to 940 MbpsUp to 50 MbpsUnlimited
Sparklight speeds rank among the best
Megaphone

Sparklight ranked 37th out of 287 internet providers we analyzed in our latest internet speed report. That puts its speeds on par with providers like Mediacom and Suddenlink (now Optimum), and ahead of CenturyLink and AT&T.

Sparklight’s upload speeds aren’t anything to write home about—but then again, 10–30 Mbps upload speeds are pretty standard for cable providers. Still, we’d love to see these get faster, especially since fiber providers offer symmetrical, or matching, upload and download speeds.

Data caps

Some of Sparklight’s data caps disappoint us. While half of its plans come with unlimited data, the other half have oddball data caps ranging from 700 GB to 1,500 GB.

  • Starter 100 Plus: Unlimited
  • Streamer & Gamer 200 Plus: 700 GB
  • Turbo 300 Plus: 1,200 GB (1.2 TB)
  • Freedom Connect 600: Unlimited
  • Freedom Connect Gig: Unlimited
  • GigaONE Plus: 1,500 GB (1.5 TB)

Granted, most of us won’t use 1,200 or 1,500 GB of data in a month, so those data caps are a tad bit more reasonable.

But streamers and gamers are more likely to use lots of data to download movies, shows, and games. So we find it ironic that the Streamer & Gamer 200 Plus plan comes with the least amount of data (700 GB).

If you do go over your data cap, Sparklight charges you $10 for every extra 100 GB, up to $50 (or 500 GB).

You can add unlimited data to your Sparklight plan, but it’ll cost you $40 extra per month. So to get unlimited data with a Streamer & Gamer 200 Plus plan, you’ll pay $105 a month. Nope, not worth it if you can get a different provider.

Unlimited Data Add-on
2.3 out of 5 stars
2.25
Starting from
$30.00
/mo
Data effective 08/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Sparklight contracts, equipment, and fees

All of Sparklight’s internet plans come with no contract.

That’s a huge bonus because it means you can cancel or change your plan at any time without having to pay an early termination fee (ETF). And trust us, ETFs are no joke. Many are upwards of $200 or $300.

Equipment

You can rent a modem from Sparklight for $10.50 a month, or you can buy your own.

Sparklight’s modem rental fee isn’t bad—it’s one of the lower fees around. But you may save money (and get extra modem features) if you buy your own modem.

  • Sparklight modem rental fee: $10.50 a month

All of Sparklight’s modems now come with WiFi ONE, which includes up to three extenders to blanket your entire home with a Wi-Fi signal.

If you decide to use your own modem, make sure it’s supported by Sparklight first. And as for other equipment, may we recommend some of our favorite routers?

Service fees1

No internet provider lets you avoid service fees entirely. In the grand scheme of things, Sparklight’s fees aren’t over the top—though we’ve seen plenty of cheaper installation and activation fees.

It never hurts to ask for your installation and activation fees to be waived, though. We say go for it.

  • Installation fee: Free or up to $90. Sparklight may offer you a free installation deal, so don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Activation fee: Free or up to $100. Again, we recommend asking if you can get this fee waived.
  • Internet surcharge: $2.75 a month. Most ISPs charge this fee to help maintain their networks in your area.
  • Service visit fee: $45
  • Data overage fee: $10 for every 100 GB, up to $50—or 500 GB—a month

Sparklight customer service

Sparklight seems to offer pretty good customer service. According to Consumer Affairs, customers rated Sparklight (under the name Cable One) four out of five stars.2 And HighSpeedInternet.com’s latest customer satisfaction report rated it 3.7 out of five stars.3

Sparklight internet customer service rating
Rating
Score
Consumer Affairs4 out of 5
HighSpeedInternet.com3.7 out of 5

If you do need to call a Sparklight representative, we recommend checking out our customer service tips before you pick up the phone. Or try reaching out on social media—sometimes it’s easier than getting stuck on hold.

Recap: Is Sparklight internet good?

It’s hard to say whether or not Sparklight internet is good because it depends on which plans you can get at your home. If you’ve got Freedom Connect plans as an option, then yes, Sparklight is a good internet option.

But if you’re stuck with the Streamer & Gamer 200 Plus, Turbo 300 Plus, or GigaONE Plus plans, we say look elsewhere. (Unless you can settle for the Starter 100 Plus plan, which is a good deal.)

  • Prices and plans: Sparklight’s Starter 100 Plus and Freedom Connect plans are the best deal—all of these plans offer competitive pricing and unlimited data. But the rest of its plans are a no go due to low data caps and sky-high prices.
  • Speed: Sparklight offers a wide range of internet speeds, up to 1,000 Mbps. That’s great, and its performance in 2021 was decent too.
  • Data caps: Some of Sparklight’s plans have wonky data caps. We say go for one of its unlimited data plans—you shouldn’t need to pay an extra $40 a month to not worry about data overages.
  • Contracts, equipment, and fees: Sparklight doesn’t require you to sign a contract, which is ideal. Its equipment is also decent quality, and though some of its fees are high, it does offer deals like free installation or activation.
  • Customer service: Based on customer reports, we’d say Sparklight is one of the better ISPs to deal with when it comes to customer service.

Sparklight (Cable One) internet recap

2.3 out of 5 stars
2.25
Download speeds
25940 Mbps
Data cap
100 GBUnlimited
Starting from
$30.00
/mo
Data effective 08/15/2022. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Methodology

We went down a rabbit hole and checked out Sparklights plans and pricing by using different addresses in the ISP’s service area. We then dug into the following:

  • Plan availability
  • Pricing
  • Data caps and internet speeds
  • Contracts, fees, and equipment
  • Customer service reviews

Afterward, we compared our Sparklight data to information on other ISPs that are available in the same area to determine which Sparklight plans offer value—or not.

FAQ

Are you curious about Sparklight or Cable One internet? Check out these other common questions.

Cable One internet (now called Sparklight) can be a good option if you can get one of its unlimited data plans. Otherwise, it’s not a great option due to wacky data caps and high prices.

If you think there’s a Cable One (now Sparklight) outage in your area, the best way to check is to call Sparklight and enter your phone or account number. If there’s an outage in your area, you’ll hear a recording. If not, stay on the line to report an outage.

Another option for checking on internet outages is Downdetector.

Sparklight (formerly Cable One) is cable internet.

Cable One (now Sparklight) internet speeds reach 1,000 Mbps. The speed you get depends on which plan you’ve purchased, and it may also be influenced by other things like your router and whether someone else is using your internet.

Try our free internet speed test to see what your Sparklight (Cable One) internet speed currently is.

Sources

Catherine McNally
Written by
Catherine McNally
Catherine has a degree in journalism and an MBA, and has spent the last 10+ years writing everything from Okinawa travel guides to stories on Medium. She’s been online since AOL CDs were a thing and is an unapologetic PC gamer. She believes the internet is a necessity, not a luxury, and writes reviews and guides to help everyone stay connected. You can also find her on Twitter: @CMReviewsIt.

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