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Amazon’s Kuiper vs. CenturyLink: How Do They Compare?

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Amazon’s Kuiper vs. CenturyLink: How Do They Compare?

Amazon’s Kuiper is looking to revolutionize how the world sees the internet. The tech giant is looking to provide stable and reliable internet access at an affordable rate to people globally. CenturyLink is an internet service provider provisioning 35 states and offers up affordable access to DSL and fiber plans. How does Amazon’s Kuiper stack against a standard internet service provider like CenturyLink?

Satellite internet has long had some noticeable issues, but Kuiper may very well resolve most of the shortcomings associated with the method of transmission. Let’s take a closer look at what both service providers offer, and which is ultimately the best for your household.

Amazon KuiperCenturyLink
Speed100Mbps to 1Gbps depending on the receiver used100Mbps to 940Mbps
Method of TransmissionWireless internet access is delivered by a cluster of satellites in orbitCenturyLink utilizes either DSL or fiber internet connectivity depending on the available area of coverage
Receiver Type7-inch, 11-inch, or 19-inch wireless receivers are the primary access means.DSL or fiber modem
Cost Per MonthAmazon has yet to announce any pricing plans for Kuiper$49 monthly for the 100 Mbps package, $65 for the 940 Mbps package
Coverage AreaGlobally35 states in the United States of America

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. CenturyLink: What’s the Difference

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the primary differences between the two service providers.

Speed

Amazon Kuiper is providing speeds with a minimum of 100Mbps to users. This goes all the way up to 1Gbps, available globally. This is heavily dependent on the receivers Amazon plans to sell with the internet access itself, however. Users are limited in the overall bandwidth and speed of their connection depending on what receiver they purchase, with the 7-inch being the slowest on offer. The 19-inch receiver isn’t a massive installation piece but can afford speeds of up to 1Gbps during nominal conditions. What remains to be seen is how Kuiper handles latency, as this is one of the core drawbacks of satellite internet usage. Due to the method of transmission, there is an inherent degree of latency associated with any internet access using satellites.

CenturyLink only provides two speeds for their internet service plans. The first plan offers up to 100 Mbps and is only available as a DSL package. This is on the faster end of the spectrum for DSL internet access, but still quite slow for broadband given the national average of 200Mbps. Also on offer is fiber internet access, which clocks in at 940Mbps under nominal conditions. This is a relatively fast access plan and is on par with the higher-end service on offer with Kuiper.

Starlink vs Dish internet
Kuiper’s speeds will ultimately be determined by how well the service handles latency.

Reliability

Satellite internet is prone to interference from weather. Kuiper likely will be subjected to outages due to cloud cover, intense storms, and other things of that nature. Amazon, thankfully, has seen this as a potentially common occurrence and is looking to partner with Verizon to provide wireless 4G and 5G coverage depending on the area. This will effectively work as a hybrid means of internet connectivity, with nominal conditions providing satellite internet and bad weather leaning on the wireless access. No details have been given in regard to wireless coverage for the rest of the world, however.

CenturyLink only provides DSL and fiber connectivity, and as such, general reliability is quite good. Since these use physical cabling it is less prone to outages due to weather. However, since it is using physical cabling that means when outages occur they are quite pronounced. CenturyLink doesn’t have a fallback safety net like Kuiper, and you’ll likely be using your mobile device for connectivity in the event of a service outage. During a service outage, this may require the replacement of cabling which can lead to far greater downtimes.

Availability

By virtue of Amazon being a globally centered company, Kuiper likewise follows and is promising to provide internet access to users worldwide. This comes down to the receivers themselves being fairly portable devices, with only a need for some form of power source to access the internet. Kuiper hasn’t gone live yet, so details on availability are still scarce. Presumably, internet access for Kuiper should be quite widely available. Amazon is launching a fleet of over 3,000 satellites to provide network access to users around the world.

CenturyLink doesn’t have nationwide coverage. The coverage itself is only provided to users across 35 states. The internet service provider only covers portions of some states as well, with massive states like California having spotty coverage at best. Access to fiber internet access is far more limited, which is a nationwide trend as more companies start offering this form of broadband.

Pricing

Amazon has yet to reveal the monthly pricing plans available for Kuiper. Kuiper is planned to go live in 2024, so details should arrive soon, hopefully. Amazon has been rather tight-lipped in regard to revealing more details on the overall pricing structure of the service itself. They have been quick to reveal the pricing of the wireless receivers, with the 7-inch coming in at around $400. Hopefully, the monthly plans are affordable as they’ve promised. If so, that could very well lead to quite a shift in how the world accesses the internet.

CenturyLink only has two plans on offer at the moment. Their lowest plan, the Internet 100, comes in at $49 a month for DSL access at 100 Mbps. The highest plan, Internet 1000, is fiber-based and provides 940 Mbps at $65 a month. This is below the national average of $75 a month for both plans and is quite affordable for most households. The fiber plan is a great choice for both speed and pricing and presents a fantastic price-to-performance ratio in practice.

CenturyLink internet
Although CenturyLink is not nationwide yet, they currently have coverage in 35 states.

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. CenturyLink: Must-Know Facts

  • Amazon Kuiper is part of a new wave of satellite internet access along with Starlink
  • Amazon is launching its own fleet of thousands of satellites to accommodate the service
  • Amazon Kuiper is launching in 2024, with more details to follow
  • CenturyLink is available across a good portion of the United States
  • CenturyLink only has two internet plans readily available, which differ by area
  • CenturyLink has one of the most affordable fiber plans available in the United States

Amazon’s Kuiper vs. CenturyLink: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

Amazon Kuiper could very well change the way the world experiences the internet. The explicit mission statement from the tech giant is centered around providing affordable and high-speed access to people around the world. Details are scant currently on how the service works, but hopefully the coming months yield some fruitful results for those interested. If you’re in a rural area it could very well lend itself to being the means of maintaining stable and reliable internet access.

CenturyLink has been a reliable internet service provider for a number of years. As they provide affordable internet access across a wide section of the United States, they are a great option if you are in their coverage area. It might not cover all of the rural areas, but the DSL on offer is one of the best for the price. The fiber plan is also among the most competitively priced across the nation. It may not lead to a paradigm shift, but CenturyLink is a great choice for your internet access. To keep it brief, wait for more information on Kuiper, and if you’re in their service area, go for CenturyLink in the meantime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Kuiper good for gaming?

Satellite internet has inherent latency due to the method of transmission. You should wait for benchmarks before purchasing a kit for use while gaming.

Does CenturyLink provide fiber nationwide?

Fiber from CenturyLink is only available in select areas. The majority of coverage on offer seems to be predominantly DSL.

Is Kuiper available yet?

No, Amazon plans to launch the service in 2024.

Can I stream media with CenturyLink?

Both plans on offer from CenturyLink should be adequate for streaming 1080p media. You might need to have fiber coverage for 4K media.

Is Amazon using existing infrastructure for Kuiper?

No, Amazon is providing its own infrastructure in the deployment for Kuiper.

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