CenturyLink simplifies broadband tier pricing in Nevada, eliminates broadband recovery fee

CenturyLink is simplifying its broadband tier pricing in Nevada, offering consumers a price for life guarantee on three of its common internet speed tiers in an apparent move to attract and retain broadband customers from churning to cable.

On its Nevada website, which was cited by a Broadband Reports user forum, the service provider revealed pricing for three main speed tiers: 1.5 to 25 Mbps service is $40, 25-80 Mbps service is $50, 81 to 100 Mbps service is $60, and 101 Mbps to 1 Gbps service is $80 per month.

Eligible customers can have the option of either purchasing their modem for $100 purchase or renting it for $10 a month.

However, the telco has not indicated if it will replicate similar pricing in other markets.

RELATED: CenturyLink narrows broadband losses in Q4, sets new capital spending strategy

A CenturyLink spokesperson told FierceTelecom in an e-mail that the new pricing is about tightening its bond with existing and new broadband customers. 

"In an effort to help enhance the customer experience, CenturyLink is offering Las Vegas residential customers new simplified pricing options for broadband and phone services," the spokesperson said. "While a broadband cost recovery fee won’t be part of these offers, the fee will still apply to other broadband service offers in Las Vegas."

The spokesperson added that "CenturyLink will evaluate the response to our new offer before considering expanding these pricing options to additional markets in the future." 

Eliminating fees

Nevada customers will also rejoice that the service provider is doing away with its broadband cost recovery fee (ICRF). CenturyLink began implement the fee in 2013. In April 2016, according to a Broadband Reports article, the service provider raised the fee to $4.

CenturyLink said the fee applied to broadband customers with the exception of high-speed internet customers with Price for Life.

The service provider justified the fee on its website as a way to support the upkeep of its broadband services and the supporting network.

“This fee helps defray costs associated with building and maintaining CenturyLink's High-Speed Internet broadband network, as well as the costs of expanding network capacity to support the continued increase in customers' average broadband consumption,” CenturyLink said on its site.  

Bulking up broadband

But eliminating fees and simplifying its broadband packages could be part of the service provider’s broader effort to revamp its broadband customer base—one that has seen ongoing declines in recent quarters. CenturyLink attributed its ongoing broadband declines to its effort to clamp down on nonpaying customers.

While CenturyLink won’t release its first quarter 2017 results until May 3, the service provider reported in the fourth quarter that it only lost 5,500 customers to end the period with a total of 5.95 million broadband customers.

Broadband losses are never a good sign, but being able to narrow them to less than 6,000 is far better than what it saw in previous quarters. In the second and third quarter, CenturyLink lost 66,000 and 40,000, respectively.

CenturyLink set a goal to have 10.5 million, or over 85% of addressable broadband-enabled units, at 40 Mbps or higher speeds in its top 25 markets by 2018. Within that time frame, the telco said it will have 7 million, or over 55% of addressable broadband-enabled units, at 100 Mbps or higher.

Increasing available speeds to existing customers is CenturyLink’s first priority to reduce churn and make customers stickier. The service provider has been seeing greater demand for 40 Mbps speeds.

This article was updated on April 24 with additional information from CenturyLink.