HTC vs. Spectrum
Excellent customer support
Occasional slowdowns on cable connection
Plans start at $49.95/mo.
Generous contract buyouts
More fine-print fees
Plans start at $49.99/mo.
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
|Type of service|
|Type of service|
1 yr. (no-contract plans require $100 installation)
Up to 100–940 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
$5.00/mo. for router (optional)
$100.00 (waived w/ 1 yr. contract)
$49.99; $9.99 for self-install
|View HTC Plans||View Spectrum Plans|
Data effective 10/7/2020. Not all offers available in all areas.
*For the first 12 months
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
|Package||Price||Speed (download/upload)*||Internet type|
|Tier 1||$59.95/mo.||100 Mbps/10 Mbps||Cable|
|Tier 2||$89.95/mo.||200 Mbps/20 Mbps||Cable|
|Tier 3||$99.95/mo.||300 Mbps/20 Mbps||Cable|
|Tier 1||$59.95/mo.||100 Mbps/100 Mbps||Fiber|
|Tier 2||$89.95/mo.||200 Mbps/200 Mbps||Fiber|
|Tier 3||$109.95/mo.||500 Mbps/500 Mbps||Fiber|
|Tier 4||$134.95/mo.||1,000 Mbps/500 Mbps||Fiber|
*Speed varies by service area
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
|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.
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?
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.
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 type||Connection||Availability (for % of total US pop.)*||Max download speed||Max upload speed|
|Fiber||Fiber-optic cabling||40.77%||2,000 Mbps||2,000 Mbps|
|Cable||Copper coaxial cabling||88.79%||1,000 Mbps||50 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.
Neither provider has 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.
|Installation||$100 (waived w/ 1-yr. contract)|
|Modem/router rental||N/A (included with service)|
|Late fee||1.5% of bill|
|Early termination fee||$100|
|Data overage charges||N/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.
|Installation||$49.99 ($9.99 for self-installation)|
|Early termination fee||N/A|
|Data overage charges||N/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.)
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.
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.
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 slightly below average ratings for its customer service in our customer satisfaction survey, with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5. Spectrum may be behind some other major providers in cultivating new ways to interact with customers, as just 19% of Spectrum customers say they’ve used online chat to interact with the ISP, and only 7% say they’ve used Spectrum’s app.
Installation and setup
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’s $9.99 self-installation is a good deal, and it should be available for most customers since most households are already wired for cable internet. 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.
Pros and cons
- Symmetrical upload and download speeds on fiber
- Free modem/router with internet service
- Great customer support
- Expensive gigabit package
- High price for no-contract option
- Limited cable TV features
- Simple no-contract policy
- Excellent contract buyout for TV bundles
- Affordable option for low-income families
- Below average customer satisfaction rankings
- Extra fee for renting modem/router
- Limited accessibility to low-income plan
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
Peter Holslin has more than a decade of experience working as a writer and freelance journalist. He graduated with a BA in liberal arts and journalism from New York City’s The New School University in 2008 and went on to contribute to publications like Rolling Stone, VICE, BuzzFeed, and countless others. At HighSpeedInternet.com, he focuses on covering 5G, nerding out about frequency bands and virtual RAN, and producing reviews on emerging services like 5G home internet. He also writes about internet providers and packages, hotspots, VPNs, and Wi-Fi troubleshooting.
Editor - Cara Haynes
Cara Haynes has been editing and writing in the digital space for seven years, and she's edited all things internet for HighSpeedInternet.com for five years. She graduated with a BA in English and a minor in editing from Brigham Young University. When she's not editing, she makes tech accessible through her freelance writing for brands like Pluralsight. She believes no one should feel lost in internet land and that a good internet connection significantly extends your life span.