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CenturyLink Internet for Seniors

CenturyLink Internet Tested and Reviewed by Our Tech Experts in 2024

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SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4.0 of 5
90 Years in Business
7+ Plan Options
140 Mbps Internet Speed
$45/mo. Starting Price

SeniorLiving.org is supported by commissions from providers listed on our site. Read our Editorial Guidelines

SeniorLiving.org Rating:
4.0 of 5
Jeff Hoyt
Jeff Hoyt, Editor in Chief Read About Our Panel of Experts

While internet use may be typically associated with the younger generations, the stats suggest otherwise, as 75 percent of seniors frequently use the internet.1 As a communication tool, the internet allows seniors to stay in contact with friends and family. Plus, it’s crucial for those with fall detection devices and other senior-friendly devices that require an internet connection to function properly.

Behind every user experience online is the internet provider that makes the connection happen in the first place. Below, we’ll be taking a closer look at CenturyLink, which offers several residential DSL and fiber internet packages — starting at $50 per month — with speeds up to 940 Mbps in select areas.

Unlike Verizon and T-Mobile, CenturyLink does not offer any senior-specific plans but that doesn’t mean you should count them out just yet. Currently, it’s available in 36 states, making it a solid option for countrywide users. Be aware, however, that CenturyLink’s starting prices are a bit higher than competitors like Xfinity. Let’s find out how CenturyLink stacks up to the competition and which of its offerings are best for seniors below!CenturyLink Logo

How Does CenturyLink Compare?

CenturyLink offers more home internet plans than most of its competitors, giving you the freedom to choose the features you want. Plus, the company is transparent about its pricing, so you don’t have to worry much about hidden costs down the road. However, CenturyLink does not currently offer any kind of special plans or discounts for older adults. If you’re looking for a more senior-friendly internet provider, check out some of our favorite internet providers below.

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Pros About CenturyLink

  • Availability: As one of the largest telecommunication providers in the U.S., CenturyLink offers widespread availability throughout 36 states.
  • Low-income discount: CenturyLink currently offers a discount for low-income users through the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which many lower-income customers may be eligible for.
  • Affordable Fiber Internet: CenturyLink offers reasonable rates for its gigabit fiber plan when compared to the competition for those who want the fastest, most reliable internet connection.
  • Live chat support: Customers can speak with a representative over chat seven days a week.

Cons About CenturyLink

  • No senior-specific plans: There are no CenturyLink plans or discounts designed specifically for seniors; however, many of their plans will still be suitable for the needs of older adults.
  • Not all speeds available: While CenturyLink offers a wide variety of DSL, 4G, and fiber speeds, there are typically only one or two plans available in most areas.
  • DSL connection: DSL internet is slower and less reliable than other types of internet, such as 4G, cable, and fiber. It’s critical to remember that you may not always receive the speeds advertised with your DSL CenturyLink plan, as your connection may be slower depending on your location and how many people are simultaneously using the internet in your area.

CenturyLink Internet Plans, Pricing, and Features

Let’s take a closer look at the internet plans available from CenturyLink. Keep in mind that different speeds and plans depend on the provider’s coverage availability, so not all the offerings below will be an option for you. You’ll need to opt for paperless billing to receive some hidden discounts.

Plan (Max) Download Speed Connection Type Price Monthly Data Limit
Up to 15 Mbps 15 Mbps DSL or 4G* $49 per month 1 TB
Up to 20 Mbps 20 Mbps DSL or 4G* $49 per month 1 TB
Up to 40 Mbps 40 Mbps DSL or 4G* $49 per month 1 TB
Up to 80 Mbps 80 Mbps DSL or 4G* $49 per month 1 TB
Up to 100 Mbps 100 Mbps DSL or 4G* $49 per month 1 TB
CenturyLink Gigabit Fiber Internet 940 Mbps Fiber $65 per month No data limit

*DSL or 4G connection determined by location and availability.

While several packages are available, customers are essentially choosing between the DSL/4G plan and Fiber Gigabit Internet (where available). The only difference is that the speed you get will depend on where you live, so although you may want the 100 Mbps plan, your area may only offer a maximum of 15 Mbps. Yet, you’ll still be paying the same rate.

All of CenturyLink’s DSL/4G plans have a data cap of 1 TB. It’s more than enough data for the vast majority of internet users, even if you live in a large household, so you should never have to worry about going over your limit.

For seniors who enjoy streaming content, upgrading to fiber internet for an extra $15 is certainly worth it. CenturyLink states that a 2-hour movie can be downloaded in just 18.4 seconds when you upgrade to fiber internet, whereas it can take up to 2.6 minutes even with the fastest DSL or 4G option. Plus, the DSL connection is less reliable than fiber internet overall, so fiber is best for those who need a basic internet plan to stay connected. Below is a quick breakdown of what these different speed tiers are useful for so you can get a better idea of how much speed you’ll need:

  • 15 to 40 Mbps: Best for light internet users who only need to connect one or two devices. If you just want to send emails to your friends and family, check out pictures of the grandkids on Facebook, and shop online shop from time to time, this plan will be sufficient. You’ll be able to stay connected, but if you want to do any more advanced things like play online games or stream movies in HD, we’d recommend faster speeds.
  • 80 to 100 Mbps: For those who want to stream movies with friends, video chat with the kids, or for seniors who have several devices, like a phone, TV, laptop, and speaker, connected to the internet at once, these download speeds will be more than sufficient. These speeds are also great for households of 2-3 light internet users.
  • 940 Mbps: Seniors who want as much speed as possible and an ultra-reliable fiber connection will opt for the 940 Mbps plan. It’s far more speed than the average senior will need, but you’ll never have to worry about buffering, a frozen screen, or your connection slowing down when lots of people are online at once. If you love to have lots of family members over, and they are all big internet users, this plan may be for you. Whether your grandkids like to game, upload videos to YouTube, watch shows on Netflix for hours, or do schoolwork online, you’ll be set.

CenturyLink Discounts for Seniors

There are a few different ways to qualify for a discount on your CenturyLink internet plan. As we’ve mentioned, there isn’t currently a senior-specific discount, but many older adults will meet the qualifications for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers a discount for low-income households.

First and foremost, the ACP is for older adults (or anyone else) on a low income. The ACP provides a discount of $30 per month through federal support, which would reduce the $50 per month packages down to just $20 when you sign up online. For this price, you’ll receive speeds up to 100 Mbps depending on location and availability, which is adequate for older adults with light usage requirements.

Did You Know:

Did You Know: You’ll never have to sign a contract with CenturyLink. If you’re unhappy with your service or want to switch to a different plan, you can do so at any time without early termination fees.

If you qualify for a tribal discount, the discount increases up to $75 per month with ACP. Another plus is that they also include installation assistance, which is perfect for seniors who aren’t tech-savvy. However, one downside is the eligibility for the tribal discount2 is stricter than the standard lifeline option.

If you qualify for the following programs, then you may also be eligible for the ACP:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA)
  • Veterans and Survivors Pension Benefit.

There are also various tribal eligibility plans3 on the qualification list, too. For comparison, a few other providers like AT&T and Xfinity currently provide free internet plans to low-income subscribers. While CenturyLink’s discount isn’t as affordable as this, it’s still a great option if CenturyLink is the main internet provider in your area.

Bundle for a Better Deal With CenturyLink

The CenturyLink bundle options offer some perks to their internet plans. For $90 per month, you can get speeds up to 100 Mbps and unlimited home phone use. Or, for $105 per month, you can bundle the Gigabit Fiber Internet plan with home phone services.

FYI:

FYI: You’ll get the best deal on your CenturyLink internet plan when you opt for paperless billing, so make sure to choose this payment method when you sign up!

This package is ideal for seniors who want to stay connected. It’s all the better if you prefer a home phone to a cell phone. To qualify, you must opt for paperless billing, meaning less tech-savvy customers could miss out. The total speed is also dependent on where you live. That being said, you can enter your zip code beforehand to get a speed estimate to guide you as to whether the bundle is worth it or not.

How Does CenturyLink Stack Up to the Competition?

As previously mentioned, CenturyLink is one of the largest internet providers in terms of profit, so who are the providers in the other top spots? You might not be surprised to learn that AT&T, followed by Verizon, currently holds the top spots. Here is what they offer in comparison to CenturyLink.

CenturyLink vs. AT&T

AT&T

  • Also part of the ACP
  • More discounts for low-income households
  • Great sign-up perks like $300 in reward cards when you bundle online
  • Cheaper starting price

AT&T has several internet plans with prices starting at $55 per month for slower speeds. This is a comparable offer to CenturyLink, charging the same $50 per month for all plans unless customers switch to fiber internet. However, one area where CenturyLink has a leg up compared to AT&T is plan simplicity.

Like CenturyLink, AT&T offers DSL, 4G, and fiber options in many states, though they are not available in all areas. There are no specific discounts for seniors either, even though AT&T offers them within their cellular plans. AT&T is part of the ACP and Access program which are ideal for seniors on lower incomes. Plans range from free to $10 per month for those who qualify.

CenturyLink vs. Verizon

Verizon

  • More perks thrown in
  • Cheaper starting rates
  • Better fiber internet packages
  • Complicated sign-up process

Verizon is also part of the ACP and will offer a discount for any customer who qualifies. While Verizon’s plans aren’t senior-specific, there is a lot more choice concerning fiber internet, which starts at just $50 per month for up to 300 Mbps. Fiber internet plans also include Disney Plus for six months. The most expensive Verizon package is the Gigabit connection, costing $89.99 per month for up to 940 Mbps. You’ll also receive Disney Plus and Hulu for 12 months, or Free Stream TV, a router rental, and the option to save $20 on an unlimited wireless phone plan. Overall, Verizon has several extra perks and streaming features that CenturyLink doesn’t. However, they are much less widely available throughout the country, so they might not be an option in your area.

Is CenturyLink Worth It?

Despite not offering any senior-specific internet plans, CenturyLink is still a solid internet option for seniors. CenturyLink offers the majority of its packages at $50 per month for DSL or 4G speeds, ranging anywhere from 15 Mbps up to 100 Mbps, depending on your location and availability. For those who want faster, more reliable internet speeds, fiber internet will offer a solution if you live in an area where it is available, though it will cost $65 per month. These prices may seem high compared to budget internet providers, but CenturyLink is reasonably priced.

Given most Americans aged 65 and over are spending 10 hours a day interacting with a such as computers or tablets, it’s clear that seniors need to find an internet package that offers great value to meet their needs. With their bundle plans, high-speed internet options, and ACP participation, we believe that CenturyLink fits the bill!

Frequently Asked Questions about CenturyLink

Citations
  1. Pew Research Center. (2022). Share of those 65 and older who are tech users has grown in the past decade.

  2. Universal Service Administrative Co. (2020). Tribal Eligibility.

  3. Universal Service Administrative Co. (2020). Tribal Eligibility.

  4. Mic. (2019). Screen time is higher for the elderly than younger people, new data reports.

Written By:
Jeff Hoyt
Editor in Chief
Read About Our Panel of Experts
As Editor-in-Chief of the personal finance site MoneyTips.com, Jeff produced hundreds of articles on the subject of retirement, including preventing identity theft, minimizing taxes, investing successfully, preparing for retirement medical costs, protecting your credit score, and making your money last… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt