HTC vs. Spectrum

Best for fiber connections and customer support
  • Straightforward pricing
  • Excellent customer support
  • Occasional slowdowns on cable connection
Better for gigabit speeds and bundle bargains
  • Wide availability
  • Generous contract buyouts
  • More fine-print fees

Plans start at $49.99/mo.

View Plans for Spectrum

Bottom line

HTC is an internet provider based in South Carolina that offers fiber and cable internet service in Horry and Georgetown counties. It doesn’t have the vast, nationwide network of Spectrum, but it excels when it comes to customer support and straightforward pricing. It can also hit gigabit speeds in areas where its fiber network is available.

Spectrum is a much bigger internet service provider (ISP), delivering nationwide coverage —so it’s a great option if your service area in South Carolina falls outside HTC’s purview. It doesn’t have the accessible customer-service support staff or symmetrical speeds of HTC. But Spectrum gives you tons of options, ranging from subsidized low-cost plans for qualifying low-income families to gigabit speeds and TV bundle deals.

Current internet deals

HTC and Spectrum both offer a few discounts when you sign up for a bundle package.

HTC’s wireless phone customers can get $10 per month off their monthly bill by signing up for three or more services ( internet, TV, wireless, and home phone).

Spectrum will give you up to $500 to buy out your contract from another provider if you sign up for qualifying double- or triple-play bundles.

See our Best Internet Deals page for more deets on the cheapest plans and biggest discounts from other major internet providers like Spectrum. It’s updated every month to give you the scoop.

HTC vs. Spectrum internet

Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc. Spectrum
Type of service

Fiber, cable

Type of service

Cable

Price

$49.95–$134.95/mo.

Price*

$49.99–$109.99/mo.

Contract

1 yr. (no-contract plans require $100 installation)

Contract

None

Download speeds

100–1,000 Mbps

Download speeds

Up to 100–940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)

Equipment fees

None

Equipment fees

$5.00/mo. for router (optional)

Installation fee

$100.00 (waived w/ 1 yr. contract)

Installation fee

$49.99; $9.99 for self-install

Customer satisfaction

N/A

Customer satisfaction

(3.81/5)

View HTC plansView Spectrum plans

HTC vs. Spectrum packages and pricing

HTC and Spectrum both give customers a lot of options to choose from, including multiple speed tiers. Spectrum gives you faster speeds for your dollar in some cases, but Spectrum also has extra, unlisted fees that HTC includes as part of its total bill.

HTC internet packages

PackagePriceSpeed (download/upload)*Internet type
Tier 1$59.95/mo.100 Mbps/10 MbpsCable
Tier 2$89.95/mo.200 Mbps/20 MbpsCable
Tier 3$99.95/mo.300 Mbps/20 MbpsCable
Tier 1$59.95/mo.100 Mbps/100 MbpsFiber
Tier 2$89.95/mo.200 Mbps/200 MbpsFiber
Tier 3$109.95/mo.500 Mbps/500 MbpsFiber
Tier 4$134.95/mo.1,000 Mbps/500 MbpsFiber

HTC provides internet packages on a cable connection or a fiber connection. You’ll get multiple plan options on each connection, depending on where you live. Everything is similar in price, whether you’re on cable or fiber, but some of the available speeds vary slightly.

HTC’s cable plans are a little higher priced compared to the competition, but they deliver excellent speeds perfect for households with three to five people streaming video and playing online games on multiple devices.

HTC’s fiber plans are definitely the better bet if you can get them—you get faster download speeds for the most part, and you get much faster upload speeds.

A lot more time is spent downloading content than uploading it on the internet, so faster upload speed is mostly a bonus for internet superstars who work from home and need high performance to do things like running massive Zoom meetings or uploading humongous video files to YouTube.

HTC’s rates also include a modem and router, which you usually have to pay extra to rent from other providers. And you can waive the $100 installation cost if you sign up for an annual contract, instead of going with a no-contract plan. Also, there are no data caps, so you’re free to use the Wi-Fi as much as you want without worrying about overage charges.

Spectrum Internet packages

PackagePrice*SpeedInternet type
Spectrum Internet®$49.99/mo.Up to 100 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)Cable
Spectrum Internet® Up to 200$49.99/mo.Up to 200 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)Cable
Spectrum Internet Ultra$69.99/mo.Up to 400 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)Cable
Spectrum Internet Gig$109.99/mo.Up to 940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)Cable

*For the first 12 months. Speed varies by service area.

Spectrum offers impressive speeds and decent prices over its cable network. It doesn’t give you the fiber upload speeds of HTC, but you can still get superb, near-gigabit speeds. So Spectrum works well for users who require advanced capabilities for working from home, content production, and other bandwidth-intensive tasks.

However, don’t let the big numbers distract you. Even speeds up to 100 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) is a handsome amount for most users, and the price for that package is solid.

Spectrum doesn’t have any contracts, so you can switch anytime if you’re dissatisfied with your service. And, like HTC, you also won’t have any data caps.

Pro tip:

If you participate in government assistance programs—or simply want the most affordable plan possible—look into Spectrum’s Internet Assist program, which provides low-cost service to families who qualify. It gives you speeds up to 30 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary) at a vastly reduced price.

HTC vs. Spectrum: Who has the fastest internet speed?

Internet speeds

Between HTC and Spectrum, HTC delivers the fastest internet speeds, offering a fiber package capable of reaching 1,000 Mbps for download speeds and 500 Mbps for upload speeds.

Spectrum comes in close behind HTC, with an up to 940 Mbps plan (wireless speeds may vary). Since it’s over a cable network, it may be more readily accessible compared to HTC’s 1,000 Mbps fiber option (which is available only in some areas). However, Spectrum’s plan has much slower upload speeds, topping out at just 35 Mbps.

Honestly, you probably won’t notice the lower upload speed since most of what we do online involves download speed. But if you do a lot of uploading in your day-to-day—like Zoom meetings or working over Google Cloud—then go with HTC.

Test your speed

Not sure what speed your Wi-Fi is currently at? Use our speed test tool to get a readout of your internet speed so you can decide if you need something faster.

Internet types

HTC offers fiber and cable internet, while Spectrum offers cable internet. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two types of connections:

Internet typeConnectionAvailability (for % of total US pop.)*Max download speedMax upload speed
FiberFiber-optic cabling40.77%2,000 Mbps2,000 Mbps
CableCopper coaxial cabling88.79%1,000 Mbps50 Mbps

Cable runs through the coaxial, copper wiring originally laid by cable TV companies. Fiber operates over bundled fiber-optic cabling, delivering Wi-Fi through light signals.

Fiber is generally faster than cable internet. Both HTC and Spectrum are capable of reaching download speeds of around 940–1,000 Mbps (the maximum speed for most national providers). But, like other fiber providers, HTC’s fiber packages have much faster upload speeds, owing to fiber’s smoother and more consistent connection.

HTC’s fiber network also doesn’t experience speed slowdowns during peak usage hours, which is a common occurrence with cable, since cable networks are connected through neighborhood-wide nodes in which everybody’s feeding off the same signals.

Alas, fiber is available only in some parts of HTC’s service area, and you’ll have to settle for slower (but still very fast) speeds on its cable network. With its cable network, Spectrum can bring the heat with up to 940 Mbps speeds (wireless speeds may vary) across much wider parts of South Carolina.

TV bundle deals

Spectrum and HTC both provide cable TV in addition to internet, with packages starting at under $50 per month. With either provider, you can get 200+ channels along with popular features like on-demand viewing, online streaming, and cloud DVRs. For a little extra moola, you can order deluxe packages for kids programming, sports, and/or premium channels like HBO®.

We think Spectrum is a better pick when it comes to bundles. It’s easier to get exactly what you want and get a quote right away when you’re signing up on Spectrum’s website. We also like Spectrum’s online streaming capabilities more compared to HTC’s streaming options. HTC customers have gone to the company’s Facebook page to complain about the lack of on-demand availability.

HTC vs. Spectrum fees and contracts

HTC and Spectrum both go easy on extra fees.

Spectrum doesn’t impose annual contracts, so you won’t need to worry about early termination fees (ETFs). HTC gives you the option of essentially paying $100 for no-contract service, or waiving the $100 for an annual contract.

Both providers don’t have data caps—and thus no data overage charges. And Spectrum charges a reasonable $5 per month for a modem/router, while HTC includes the modem and router device as part of the total bill.

HTC fees

FeesAmount
Installation$100 (waived w/ 1-yr. contract)
Modem/router rentalN/A (included with service)
Late fee1.5% of bill
Reconnection fee$25
Early termination fee$100
Data overage chargesN/A

With HTC, you get a modem and router included free with your package (although you’ll have to return it when you discontinue your service). And if you miss a payment, HTC’s late fees aren’t too bad. You’ll have around a week to make your payment—otherwise your service will be disconnected, and you’ll need to fork over a $25 reconnection fee.

Installation is a bit pricey, but you can waive the installation cost by signing up for an annual contract. If you have to break your contract early—for example, if you move or are dissatisfied with your service—then HTC will charge you $100 as an early termination fee. So basically you’ll break even by getting the one-year contract, since, if you have to break it early, you’ll just pay the $100 that you saved on installation.

Spectrum fees

FeesAmount
Installation$49.99 ($9.99 for self-installation)
Modem/router rental$5.00/mo.
Late fee$8.95
Early termination feeN/A
Data overage chargesN/A

Spectrum doesn’t have contracts, so you won’t need to worry about early termination fees. It also doesn’t do data caps, so no overage fees either. Installation is on the cheaper end by ISPs’ standards, costing $49.99 for professional installation—and just $9.99 for a kit to let you do it yourself.

Late payments will sting you in the pocketbook, costing $8.95 per missed payment. But the modem/router rental won’t run you much at $5 per month. Many internet providers charge twice that. (Then again, HTC doesn’t charge anything at all.)

Internet contracts

Spectrum doesn’t have contracts on its Internet packages. All of its plans run month to month, leaving you free to cancel and switch providers anytime without shelling out big bucks in early termination fees (ETFs).

With HTC, you have two options: contract or no contract. For no contract, you pay an ostensible $100 installation fee. If you choose the contract, then you get the fee waived. Yay! However, if you quit early, then you’ll pay a $100 ETF.

Editor’s pick

We like Spectrum’s no-contract policy because it’s simple, straightforward, and goes easy on the customer.

HTC’s approach is a little more complicated, saving you $100 if you sign up for a year but then hitting you with the $100 ETF if you back out early.

HTC vs. Spectrum equipment

Renting a modem and router

HTC includes a modem and router at no extra cost with your internet package—all you have to do is return it once you discontinue your service.

You’ll pay $5 per month to rent a modem and router combo with a Spectrum Internet plan. Obviously, that’s not as good as free, but it’s much lower than what other major ISPs charge.

Renting a modem/router from your provider is definitely the easiest approach to get your Wi-Fi up and ready. You won’t have to shop around and drop big bucks upfront on hardware. If you have technical issues, customer support will be familiar with the device and help you troubleshoot.

Buying a modem and router

However, there are some advantages to owning your own devices.

Many routers come with lots of extra functions, boosting your Wi-Fi signal or improving your Wi-Fi speeds for activities like streaming and gaming. They also often have better security configurations, including options for setting up firewalls and guest networks.

And while $5 a month is pretty cheap, buying your own equipment also lets you save some mun-muns in the long run if you’re planning on sticking with the same provider for a while.

Pro tip:

If you have gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps or faster), you’ll need an up-to-date router to achieve maximum velocity. See our guide to the fastest gigabit routers for a list of the top performers.

HTC vs. Spectrum customer service

HTC wasn’t featured in our annual customer satisfaction survey, which focuses on major national ISPs. But it gets decent reviews from customers on Facebook. Though some complain about service outages and slowdowns, many praise the dedicated customer service.

Spectrum gets middle rankings in our customer satisfaction survey, coming in sixth place out of 15 providers for the categories of customer service and tech support.

Installation and setup

Horry Telephone Cooperative, Inc.

Installation fee: $100 (waived w/ 1-yr. contract)

Installation type: Pro install

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

N/A

 

Schedule an installation

Spectrum

Installation fee: $49.99 ($9.99 for self-installation)

Installation type: Pro and self-install

Installation customer satisfaction rating:

(3.97/5)

 

Schedule an installation

Judging from reviews online, HTC is about average for installation. You can get a waiver on installation costs if you sign up for a yearlong contract, but you may have to wait a week or more before a technician will come out to get your internet service up and running.

Spectrum also gets average ratings for its installation, landing in sixth place out of 15 providers for installation and setup on our latest customer satisfaction survey. Lately it’s been promoting its self-installation option, which comes with a kit that you can get for $9.99. This saves you money, though you may need some basic techie skills to plug all the cables into the right places.

HTC vs. Spectrum availability

HTC’s service area covers Horry and Georgetown counties in the top northeastern corner of South Carolina. It’s available across major cities like Myrtle Beach, Conway, and Georgetown along with smaller towns and rural communities.

Spectrum covers most of the same area—as well as other parts of South Carolina. It’s available in 227 towns and cities across the state, including all the best-known locales in the Horry-Georgetown area.

Type in your zip code to see if you can get HTC or Spectrum in your area:

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Symmetrical upload and download speeds on fiber
  • Free modem/router with internet service
  • Great customer support

Cons

  • Expensive gigabit package
  • High price for no-contract option
  • Limited cable TV features

Pros

  • Simple no-contract policy
  • Excellent contract buyout for TV bundles
  • Affordable option for low-income families

Cons

  • Average customer satisfaction rankings
  • Extra fee for renting modem/router
  • Limited accessibility to low-income plan

Our verdict

HTC is the provider for you if you’re looking for great customer service, lots of plan options, and the biggest fiber network in northeast South Carolina. It has no data caps, so you’re free to use as much Wi-Fi as you please, and the router and modem are included with the price. You also can get a waiver on installation costs if you sign up for an annual contract—not bad.

Go for Spectrum if you need a subsidized, low-income option or want to bundle with TV. It’s a little more straightforward when it comes to contractual obligations—basically, it has no contracts, so you can quit anytime.

However, if you can get on HTC’s fiber plan, go for it. It’s the fastest and most reliable service you can get in Horry or Georgetown counties.

Want to see if HTC is available in your area? Type in your zip code below to find out:

HTC vs. Spectrum FAQ

Which is better: HTC or Spectrum?

HTC internet is better than Spectrum Internet if you’re interested in fiber service and symmetrical upload and download speeds.

However, HTC’s fiber plans cost a bit more than Spectrum’s cable plans. But HTC has excellent customer service and robust speeds on its cable internet plans. We say go with HTC if you just want internet and especially if you want fiber internet.

Author -

Peter Holslin has spent more than a decade writing for Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless other publications. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008. Since then, he has roved from city to city and lived overseas, mastering his craft as an editor, staff writer, and freelancer while also acquiring ninja-like skills to address feeble Wi-Fi speeds and other internet challenges.

Editor - Cara Haynes

Cara Haynes has edited for HighSpeedInternet.com for three years, working with smart writers to revise everything from internet reviews to reports on your state’s favorite Netflix show. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span (buffering kills). With a degree in English and editing and five years working with online content, it’s safe to say she likes words on the internet. She is most likely to be seen wearing Birkenstocks and hanging out with a bouncy goldendoodle named Dobby, who is a literal fur angel sent to Earth.

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