HTC vs. Spectrum
Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC) is a fiber and cable internet provider in South Carolina covering Horry, Georgetown, and Marion counties. It doesn’t have Spectrum’s vast, nationwide network, but it excels in customer support and straightforward pricing. Both of HTC’s internet services offer plans with speeds up to a gigabit.
Spectrum is one of the largest cable internet providers in the US, so it’s a great option if you can’t get HTC’s internet service. Spectrum doesn’t have the symmetrical speeds of HTC’s fiber, but you get tons of options, ranging from gigabit speeds and free cable modems to introductory discounted pricing.
Current internet deals
HTC’s wireless phone customers can get $10 per month off their monthly bill by signing up for three or more services. The provider also offers cable TV, wireless, and home security services.
Spectrum will give you a free, 90-day trial of Peacock Premium when you sign up for a qualifying internet plan.
See our Best Internet Deals page for more deets on the cheapest plans and the 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|
300–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
Up to 300–1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)
|Installation fee||Installation fee|
|View HTC Plans||View Spectrum Plans|
Data effective 3/23/22. Not all offers available in all areas.
*For the first 12 months
HTC vs. Spectrum packages and pricing
HTC and Spectrum have three identical plans but HTC is the only provider of the two with fiber. That means its fiber plans generally have faster upload speeds than Spectrum’s cable plans. Both include unlimited data and cable modems as part of the pricing.
HTC internet packages
|Tier 1||$49.95/mo.†||300 Mbps||Cable, fiber|
|Tier 2||$59.95/mo.†||500 Mbps||Cable, fiber|
|Tier 3||$74.95/mo.†||1,000 Mbps||Cable, fiber|
*Speed and type varies by service area.
† Limited time offer; subject to change; requires new Internet service activation; valid to qualified members. Standard rates apply after 1 year. Other restrictions may apply.
HTC provides fiber-to-the-home internet in most of its service areas and cable internet in places where HTC still needs to upgrade. Some areas continue to offer both as HTC replaces cable with fiber, so you won’t know if a plan uses cable or fiber until you call. Prices are the same whether you’re on cable or fiber.
HTC’s fiber is definitely the better bet if it’s in your area—you get much faster upload speeds than cable internet. A fast upload speed is mostly a bonus for internet users who work from home and need high performance to run massive Zoom meetings or upload humongous video files to YouTube. The typical web surfer, however, generally downloads more data than uploads.
As for cost, HTC’s prices are cheaper than Spectrum during and after the first 12 months. The rates include a cable modem and router—Spectrum offers a free cable modem only. And you can waive the installation cost if you sign up for an annual contract instead of going with a no-contract plan.
Finally, there are no data caps, so you’re free to use the internet as much as you want without worrying about overage charges.
Spectrum Internet packages
|Spectrum Internet®||$49.99/mo. for 12 mos.*||Up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)||Cable|
|Spectrum Internet® Ultra||$69.99/mo. for 12 mos.*||Up to 500 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)||Cable|
|Spectrum Internet® Gig||$89.99/mo. for 12 mos.**||Up to 1,000 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary)||Cable|
* Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter.
** Limited time offer; subject to change; valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to any services within the previous 30 days and who have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Spectrum Internet® Gig promotion price is $89.99/mo; standard rates apply after yr. 1. Taxes, fees and surcharges extra and subject to change during and after the promotional period; installation/network activation, equipment and additional services are extra.
Spectrum offers decent prices and impressive speeds over cable. Its base plan delivers speeds up to 300 Mbps (wireless speeds may vary), up from 100 Mbps just a few years ago.
Spectrum’s fastest plan, Internet Gig, is now more affordable than ever. It reaches up to 1,000 Mbps in download speed and boasts one of the fastest cable internet upload speeds in the US: up to 500 Mbps in certain areas.
Spectrum works well for users who require advanced capabilities for working from home, content production, and other bandwidth-intensive tasks. But don’t let the big megabit numbers distract you—even speeds up to 300 Mbps are a handsome amount for most users, and the price for that package is solid.
Spectrum doesn’t have contracts, so you can cancel service after one month if you’re dissatisfied. But it’s more expensive than HTC during and after the first year. Spectrum’s Gig plan, for example, increases $25.00 to $114.99 per month by the third year. HTC’s similar plan has a standard rate of $89.95 per month—a $15.00 increase if you choose the one-year contract.
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?
Spectrum and HTC offer three identical plans with download speeds of up to 300, 500, and 1,000 Mbps. But if you compare Spectrum cable to HTC cable, Spectrum generally has the faster upload speeds—especially when you factor in Spectrum’s Gig plan with speeds up to 500 Mbps offered in some areas.
Comparing Spectrum’s cable against HTC’s fiber is a different story. HTC’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 fiber plans have symmetrical speeds, meaning the download and upload speeds are identical. However, HTC’s Tier 3 plan isn’t symmetrical—its download speeds reach up to 500 Mbps only, similar to Spectrum’s Gig cable internet plan.
Overall, go with HTC if you see both providers in your area—especially fiber if you can get it.
Test your speed
Unsure about your Wi-Fi’s current speed? 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. Technically, the two types don’t have a maximum speed—think of them as highways with speed limits enforced by providers. However, here are the maximum download and upload speeds currently offered to residential customers:
|Internet type||Connection||Availability (for % of total US pop.)*||Max download speed||Max upload speed|
|Fiber||Fiber-optic cabling||40.77%||10,000 Mbps||10,000 Mbps|
|Cable||Copper coaxial cabling||88.79%||1,200 Mbps||500 Mbps|
Cable internet relies on existing cable TV lines with a copper-clad core (coaxial cables) to deliver internet using radio waves. Fiber internet operates over cables with glass cores to deliver internet using light signals (think Morse code).
Fiber is generally faster than cable internet in upload speed. Both HTC and Spectrum can reach download speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps (the maximum speed for most national providers). But, like other fiber providers, HTC’s fiber packages have much faster upload speeds due to the way fiber providers distribute bandwidth over the newer connections.
HTC’s fiber internet is available only in some parts of its service area, so you may have to settle for cable until HTC upgrades the area.
Spectrum’s cable internet can bring the heat with up to 1,000 Mbps speeds (wireless speeds may vary) across much broader parts of South Carolina.
TV bundle deals
Spectrum and HTC both provide TV service in addition to internet, with packages starting at under $60 per month. With either provider, you can get 120+ 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 premium channels like HBO®.
We think Spectrum is a better pick for pairing TV with internet, mainly because it’s easier to get exactly what you want and get a quote right away when you’re signing up on Spectrum’s website.
HTC vs. Spectrum fees and contracts
HTC and Spectrum both go easy on extra fees. For starters, neither provider has data caps, so you won’t see data overage charges.
If you’re concerned about possible early termination fees (ETFs), Spectrum doesn’t impose annual contracts, so no worries there. But you’re obligated to keep the service for at least one month to enjoy the promotional discount.
Meanwhile, HTC charges $100 if you discontinue service at any time before your one-year contract ends. There is no ETF if you take the no-contract option.
Finally, Spectrum charges a reasonable $5 per month for its router or WiFi access in its gateways, and $3 per month for each WiFi Pod—there’s no fee for its modem. HTC includes the modem and router as part of the total bill.
|Installation||Up to $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|
HTC doesn’t charge monthly rental fees for its equipment. Plus, if you miss a payment, HTC’s late fees aren’t too bad. You have around a week to make your payment before HTC disconnects your service and you’re hit with a $25 reconnection fee on the next bill. Installation can be a bit pricey, but you can waive the cost by signing an annual contract.
|Self-installation and service activation||$19.99|
|Spectrum WiFi Pod installation||$49.99|
|Spectrum WiFi Pod fee||$3.00/mo. for each unit|
|WiFi access fee||$5.00/mo.|
|Late payment fee (after 21 days)||$8.95|
|Service activation fee||$9.99|
|Insufficient funds fee||$20.00|
|Phone payment fee||$5.00|
|Internet reconnection fee||$9.99|
|TV reconnection fee||$4.99|
|Equipment upgrade fee to Internet Gig plan||$19.99|
|Early termination fee||No fee|
|Data overage charges||No charges|
Spectrum doesn’t have data caps, so there are no overage fees. Installation is on the cheaper end, costing $49.99 for professional installation—$19.99 for the self-install kit which includes activation. The WiFi access fee won’t run you much at $5 per month—many internet providers charge twice that (except for HTC, which doesn’t charge anything at all).
Spectrum doesn’t have contracts. Instead, it offers discounted pricing for 12 months, but you must keep the service for at least one month to get the discount. After that, you can cancel service without shelling out big bucks in early termination fees (ETFs).
With HTC, you have two options:
- One-year contract – Get free installation and a discounted rate for 12 months. This option does not renew. The ETF cost is $100.
- No contract – Pay up to $100 in installation fees and HTC’s standard rates.
HTC does not list the no-contract option on its website. An agent gives you this option when you call to sign up for new internet service.
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 up to $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
HTC provides all the equipment you need for fiber or cable internet at no extra cost—just return the devices once you discontinue your service.
Spectrum doesn’t charge a monthly fee to use its modem or gateway. But WiFi costs $5 per month whether you use Spectrum’s standalone router or access WiFi from the gateway. Spectrum’s WiFi Pods are $3 per unit per month, which can add up if you want whole-home coverage.
Renting a modem, router, or gateway from your provider is definitely the easiest approach to get your Wi-Fi running (unless you get fiber). 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.
However, there are some advantages to owning your own devices.
Buying a modem and router
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, you can save some mun-muns in the long run by buying your equipment rather than renting if you plan to stick 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. Some customers complain about service outages and slowdowns, while others 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, HTC is about average for installation. You can get a waiver on installation costs if you sign up for a year-long contract, and in most cases, HTC will have your installation all set up within three to five business days after you sign up.
Spectrum’s $19.99 self-installation is a good deal, and it should be available for most customers since most households already have cable TV lines. This hands-on option 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, Georgetown, and Marion 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.
HTC is the best internet provider if you want great customer service and great prices. Each plan includes rent-free equipment and unlimited data, so you’re free to use as much internet as you please. It’s the cheapest of the two in Horry, Georgetown, and Marion counties too—and the most reliable if you can get HTC’s fiber.
If you want internet and TV at a discount, go for Spectrum instead. It doesn’t lock you down with a contract, so you can quit at any time after the first month. You get unlimited data too, just like HTC, but Spectrum is more expensive than HTC for the long term.
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. It 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. Plus, it’s cheaper too—even after 12 months.
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.