Sparklight offers data plans ranging from 100GB to 1.5TB to meet the needs of our customers. Please see below for frequently asked questions relating to our data plans.
Fargo, ND / Odessa, TX / Emporia, KS customers on the "Plus" Internet plans, please click HERE to view the Data Plan FAQ for this area.
Customers on our "Plus" Internet plans* who signed up with us after Jan. 2, 2019, please click HERE to view the Data Plan FAQ. *Excludes Fargo, ND / Odessa, TX / Emporia, KS.
- Q. What is a data plan and why do you have them?
A: High Speed Internet data plan is a set amount of data or Internet usage you are provided each billing cycle. Data plans offer an initial allocation of service "bytes" which is replenished each billing cycle. Bytes are the units by which Internet usage is measured. How often our customers use the Internet and what they use the Internet for varies greatly. Our customers find our High Speed Internet data plan extremely generous. Monthly plans more fairly reflect how our customers are using their services and help Sparklight maintain competitive monthly rates for all our customers.
- Q: Do I have a data plan?
A: All residential Internet services have a data plan, as outlined in our Acceptable Use Policy. In general, the faster Internet plans have a higher data plan.
- Q: Will Sparklight alert customers when their remaining data usage allocation is exceeded?
A: Sparklight will notify you when you exceed your data usage plan. Our customers also have the option to Opt-In to data usage alerts when they reach 75%, 95%, and 100% of your data usage. Click HERE for directions on how to enable these notifications.
The best way to be aware of your bandwidth is to check your bandwidth usage periodically through your Customer Portal. Note: The alert message will only be displayed within a web browser (Example: Internet Explorer). The alerts will NOT display through items such as video streaming or online games.
- Q: How will I know the amount of data usage I have used during the current billing cycle?
A: Sparklight has a personalized section in your online account, which will give you up-to-date, detailed information on your daily and monthly data usage. This is available by logging into the Customer Portal.
- Q: What if I go over my data usage for the month?
A: If you exceed your data usage plan 3 times within a 12 month period you will automatically be upgraded to the next data usage plan tier. After 3 months you will be allowed to change your service plan if you choose to do so at that time. Simply call us and request to modify your services.
- Q: What is and is not counted towards the data usage?
A: Any task using the Internet is counted. This includes checking email, surfing the Internet, uploading and downloading documents, pictures and files, downloading and streaming music and movies, gaming, online chat, visiting social media sites, and VOIP telephone service. Sparklight Phone service data is not counted as part of data usage.
- Q: What is a usage meter?
A: A usage meter is a program used to measure the amount of data you are using and is available to you 24/7. You can view this usage meter on your online account.
- Q: How do I know that my usage is being gathered accurately?
A: Data collection is gathered using an industry-standard protocol called IPDR (Internet Protocol Detail Record). IPDR is a software-based technology that counts data usage on a per-subscriber basis using the customer's cable modem MAC address. Since a MAC address is used to collect data usage, upstream and downstream data usage for any device(s) connected through or to the modem is collected.
NetForecast is a 3rd party company that independently audits the accuracy of Internet Service Providers' data usage meters, drawing on a decade of experience auditing meters for ISPs serving 80% of US wireline Internet customers.
NetForecast performed active reference tests on Sparklight's broadband internet in which a NetForecast PC and server generated the only traffic on dedicated test lines. NetForecast performed independent traffic measurements, obtained hourly usage meter records from Sparklight for each location, and compared NetForecast's measurements with Sparklight's records.
Netforecast recently released a report validating the accuracy of Sparklight's broadband data usage meter system. According to the president of NetForcasting, Peter Sevcik, it was determined that Sparklight's meter is accurate and better than the industry standard.
You can view the complete report HERE
- Q: What are some tips for reducing my bandwidth usage for my high-speed internet service?
A: Verify that your wireless Cable Modem is pre-secured with a password. Please be mindful when providing this password to other residents that each device that connects will be using additional bandwidth. If you are unsure if your wireless security information, please view the following article for further detail: Locating Wireless Security Key Bandwidth usage is directly affected by the video quality of each program used. For example, watching a movie in high definition will use more bandwidth than watching a movie in standard definition. Depending on your preferences, you may want to consider limiting your viewing experience to a lower quality. This will limit the amount of bandwidth the video will consume. The following links from some major 3rd party streaming providers include information and tips on managing the video quality for their service. Note: Most providers will have similar quality settings, though you may need to check with your specific provider for additional details if it is not listed below. Netflix Hulu YouTube
- Q: What is a gigabyte?
A: A gigabyte (GB) is a measure of data storage capacity. It is roughly equal to a billion bytes. For a better understanding of how much usage 1 GB is, please try our Usage Calculator. This will give you a good estimate of how much data several types of activity will consume. However, each service can have a different level of optimization than our estimates provide, and your total usage may vary.