RCN and Spectrum deliver lightning-fast internet, which is why drawing a clear line between them is hard. These two Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer Internet plans of up to 1Gbps via their respective fiber networks. One challenge is that their fiber internet is limited in availability.
With such internet speeds, you can expect that the two of them offer more than the standard family’s needs. For people that want reliable and snappy browsing capabilities, best streaming and gaming experiences, RCN and spectrum Internet is a thing to go for.
This brief has compared and contrasted these two ISPs in terms of their internet speeds, prices, reliability, data packages, and a couple of other dimensions. The two company’s fiber internet plans should offer the much-needed internet for your business or household needs.
Spectrum and RCN Compare Internet speeds
RCN offers ludicrous internet speed that meets the needs of many households and businesses. The company was rated 2nd fastest ISP in the US by PC magazine in 201i8. Another thing that makes RCN internet the best in terms of speed is its gigabit plan. I usually believe that 1Gbps is enough internet to stream 150 episodes of a certain Movie at the same time. Would you need all that speed for your streaming and normal browsing or gaming needs? Definitely no.
The 1Gbps is enough internet for people with home-based businesses such as Freelancing and an online retail shop. That rate of the internet will offer seamless browsing abilities and, at the same time, make sure that all the operations of the business are met and addressed adequately.
Unfortunately, some of the ISPs don’t offer the advertised internet speeds. This is not the case with RCN, but their Internet speeds are hampered by the fact that the company runs a cable network in some areas. I am trying to mean that the RCN upload speed will always be a fraction of its download speed.
According to the spectrum official website, they offer reliable, fast, and good internet speeds ranging from 200Mbps to 940Mbps. However, they advise people that their wireless speeds may vary. But I can agree with them when they say that their Internet speed is the right speed for gamers, streamers, and many other high internet users.
But it’s easy to notice that Spectrum doesn’t offer many options for their download speeds. Though, the speeds they offer are great for streaming your favorite movie or show on Amazon Prime video or getting online for a PlayerUnknown’s Battleground match.
Although Spectrum claims to offer Internet speeds starting from 200Mbps, their 100Mbps plan is widely available to businesses and Households. The 100Mbps plan is enough for heavy streamers and to run basic home security systems.
The fastest internet-only plan on Spectrum is 940Mbps, which is enough for all household and business uses. Regardless of whether you have a freelancing business or a household with ten heavy streamers, 940Mbps is far beyond enough.
But those are the Download speeds we find on their website. Let’s find out, do you think RCN and Spectrum offer the advertised Download and upload speeds on the ground? I have come across a couple of people complaining that RCN and Spectrum offer slower than advertised Internet download speeds. But this is not the impression you get with data from Federal Commissions Communication (FCC).
The FCC reports show that Spectrum delivers faster than advertised Internet speeds. The Spectrum Internet speed score comes at 114.8%, which means that you can get a 14.8% increase in download speeds beyond the advertised internet speeds.
This is good news for spectrum users, but I have still come across people claiming that Spectrum needs help on their speed department. The best of all things is that Spectrum has no annual contracts for their internet-only plans. So, if the advertised Internet speeds don’t match what you’re getting, you can easily deal with it.
- No contracts
- Wide availability
- No data caps
- Flexible data plans
- Good and reasonable prices
- Throws in a free modem
- The installation cost is relatively lower
- Download speeds can be lower than the advertised plans
- Poor customer care
RCN internet pros
- High-speed plans
- Flexible plans
- No data caps
- Relatively helpful customer care
- No contracts
RCN Internet cons
- Limited availability
Monthly cost, Data allowances, and Value for your money
Many people take time to shop for Internet service providers for one major thing, lowering their monthly internet bill. This means that to some of us, Internet cost and the budget is one big determinant of the decision we make in this case.
If you fall into that category, RCN is the ISP to go for. First, RCN has more Internet options, and their internet plans are priced reasonably. RCN offers a 25Mbps internet for only $25 per month. Third, 155Mbps internet comes at a price of $49.95 every month. Comparing the same download speeds from Spectrum, you will be required to pay $44.99 for the 30Mbps plan. The Spectrum 200Mbps is currently at $49.99, and the company can buy out all the contracts up to $500 in case someone is stuck in a contract.
The spectrum internet speeds vary with location, which is why two people living in different cities in the country can end up paying the same for different Internet speeds. With that said, it’s easy to realize that the Spectrum Internet plans are comparatively higher than those of RCN. For that reason, we will have to give RCN an advantage in this category.
These two Internet Service providers don’t present a data cap limit. This is good news for heavy internet users. It means they can stream, browse, and play away all the music online without any worries. Consequently, you shouldn’t worry about overcharges or any other costs incurred before the end of the month.
In this category, RCN and Spectrum end in a draw. So, let’s check other categories and their similarities and differences to help you make a sound decision.
These two companies offer deals for their new customers every month of the year. You can check on their website to see some current Spectrum and RCN deals and promotions. Today, Spectrum has joined other Internet providers to implement the initiative Keep America Connected Pledge due to Covid-19. For that reason, Spectrum is offering public Wi-Fi hotspots and also waiving all the late payments for their current users.
An important thing to consider is that Spectrum has continued to offer internet to all the people regardless of their ability to pay. The company is currently offering two months of Free Internet and Wi-Fi to homes that have Pre-K through college.
As a new customer, you can save up to 31% by joining the Charter spectrum Internet 100Mbps plan. You will be offered a promotion price that will save you money significantly.
RCN is currently offering coupon codes on their Internet and TV packages. Therefore, you can join their 500Mbps and Digital TV in Boston and use the Coupon code MAFREE. This way, you will get free first month and Free Installation.
Note: The promotions and these deals may vary depending on your situation and location. Additional information is that you can get RCN Internet-only deals in Chicago and save significantly on installation with the Code: CHFAST. Check out for more promotions and deals on RCN.
Customer support comparison
Are you surprised that Internet companies can make the whole world a village, but they cannot manage to answer your calls for basic technical issues? This is very common in the US, and among the most hit companies are Internet service providers and Communication companies.
RCN and Spectrum are no exceptions. Many people are complaining about the RCN customer care. Though, this company has a couple of good reviews from its customers and a fantastic score in major commissions. RCN is ranked first in the HighspeedInternet.com Customer satisfaction survey.
On the other hand, Spectrum is a big ISP, but it’s one of the least rated ISPs in the market. According to the data available in The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) scores, which rates ISP’s customer service every year, Spectrum is rated 63/100 for the year 2020, which is considered below the average score of 65/100. Though, this score is an improvement from 2019’s score of 59/100.
While we are all happy to see the improvement in Spectrum’s Customer service, that score is below average and not a good rating at all. We’re obviously expecting a higher score next year.
With that said, I would obviously give RCN credit in terms of Customer support reliability and dependability. I personally believe that RCN customer care offers better services for their customers.
Service Availability Comparison
These two ISPs are available in almost the same areas in the US. This means that it’s not a fair fight in terms of availability and coverage. As we all know, Spectrum is a Nationwide Internet provider, while RCN falls on the category of regional ISPs. RCN, therefore, serves the northeast and Midwest while Spectrum serves the whole country.
The areas where RCN has the greatest coverage are New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. The RCN cable internet can be accessed by an estimated number of 4.1 million Americans. This pushes RCN to the 8th position in terms of cable internet availability.
RCN also offers fiber and copper internet to another 171 zip codes. This internet is available for businesses in all those areas.
On the other hand, Spectrum offers internet in 46 states but has the greatest coverage in California, New York, and Texas. The spectrum cable Internet is available to about 102.7 Million people leaving it on the second position of cable providers in the US. Their fiber internet is available to 5,899 zip codes.
In terms of availability and coverage, Spectrum wins the battle because their internet and other services are available widely to all people. Spectrum offers Internet services to 46 states as opposed to the seven states that RCN offers.
Bundled Internet + Phone and TV comparison
Like other ISPs, Spectrum and RCN offer their customers a great chance to save and have peace of mind with their Bundle packages. Users can Bundle Spectrum or RCN internet with Phone and TV. The two companies have a couple of Double and Triple play Bundle packages.
Taking a closer look, someone would agree with me that RCN has more Bundle package options, and all their bundles are reasonably priced. Delving deeper, you will notice that some of these Bundle options are available in certain areas in the country.
What sets Spectrum and RCN apart is the fact that Spectrum Bundle packages are available nationwide. The prices may be higher but the fact that you can Bundle Internet with TV and Phone from wherever you are in the country, makes Spectrum Internet the best for people looking to Bundle internet and other services.
Contracts, equipment, data caps and fees
Unlike some Internet service providers, Spectrum will never throttle your internet or charge an extra coin in a month for your plans. This is the best thing because people can use their data as they wish without any worries.
Spectrum doesn’t also come with any contract, but people are expected to pay installation and Wi-Fi activation fee, which is comparatively expensive. From Spectrum, you’ll get a free modem with the internet. This is good news because you’ll not have to pay for Spectrum rental equipment.
The professional installation for Spectrum’s 100 and 400Mbps plans is reasonable, but going for a 940Mbps plan is outrageous at its best. You will have to pay $49.99 for professional installation for the first two plans and $199.99 for Spectrum’s Gig plan. You will also have to pay a self-installation fee of $9.99 and a Wi-Fi activation cost of $9.99.
On the other hand, RCN is one of the few ISPs that has done away with their data caps. This is true for all the plans that are available on their site. This indicates that you can binge, browse, and the game as much as you want without any worries.
With RCN, the price is locked down for 12 months, but there’s no contract, and you can cancel at your will. There’s no early termination fee, but people are required to pay $50 for RCN’s standard installation. But there’s a coupon for that, and you can end up saving significantly. These people will also add an activation fee of $9.99, which comes once.
Unlike Spectrum that throws in a free modem, RCN will charge a monthly rental fee of $5-$15 depending on the equipment you’re using. For people looking to stay longer on RCN, it’s better to buy your router and other equipment.
Customer Reviews – What People Are Saying About Internet Service?
If we have to believe online customer reviews, then Spectrum would be left with a whole room for improvement. This is because more customers are complaining about their services, speeds, prices, and customer support responsiveness.
Some common complaints about these two ISPs are slower than advertised internet speeds, Unhelpful customer care especially with Spectrum and unexpected price increases. However, I think Spectrum has more complaints because it offers its Internet services to a relatively larger area.
On Highspeedinternet.com, Spectrum has gunned an overall 3-star rating from all the 755 people that have already submitted their reviews on the site. Cristopher M left a two-star review claiming that his download and upload speeds are perfect, but the service is inconsistent. This is a common problem with Spectrum, meaning that most of their customers are complaining about the same.
Another review from S B shows that customer support is not helpful. He said that the service and the support don’t generally care. The service technicians and the customer reps are not good friends. He also adds that what you’re promised is not what you get.
RCN though offering Internet services to a relatively small area, many people are complaining about their internet speeds and customer support. Nonetheless, the reviewers sound generally pleased with the RCN’s services and their efforts to keep RCN customers happy. The customer support is relatively helpful with helping with setup, notifying the subscribers of the best plans, and issuing refunds.
RCN has also seen a couple of reviews from their previous and current users. Out of the many reviews available on Consumeraffairs.com, RCN has a high number of positive reviews. Though, a review from B of Bethlehem, PA, shows that it’s not a very good Internet service provider. His review was dropped on May 19, 2020. The reviewer starts by saying that he’s not working because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He adds that RCN will jack your bill up to $28 out of nowhere, and the same support will not listen to you.
Even when this reviewer called the technicians, they said this is the amount the RCN needed to run, which was obviously rude and unprofessional. The reviewer leaves simple advice that people should avoid RCN unless they’re ready for surprises. The good thing is that RCN got in touch with him and seemed to care about the review.
Another review from Alexander of Chestnut Hill, MA seems to suggest that the RCN internet connection is stable and Decent, but very soon, this company will dry your financial reserves in bills. The company increased his bill for the last three months, and there were a couple of fees that went up too.
With that information, I would credit RCN for this round. That is because their customers seem more pleased than those of Spectrum internet.
In case you’re not happy with these two Internet providers, you can consider other alternatives, as discussed below. These alternatives may not be available in your area, but there are chances that you can get a super clean and appealing deal incase their services are available.
Verizon is a perfect alternative to RCN and Spectrum. It’s a fast internet solution based on 100% Fiber-Optic. It’s a provider of super-fast and reliable internet. One good thing about Verizon FiOS is that it’s available in the same areas where RCN and Spectrum Internet is available. They also offer internet-only plans of up to 1Gbps.
Google Fiber is coming to the market at a very high speed. It is an ultra-fast internet service provider that provides Internet-only plans and a couple of packages for all internet users in the US market. Unfortunately, Google Fiber is not available widely in the market. This is a challenge, but a couple of improvements make it a viable alternative for people living in areas where it’s available. For the last few years, Google fiber has extended its wings and would soon offer its internet and other services to a wide area. Another drawback is that Google Fiber announced to leave the TV plans and focus more on its Fiber internet.
Wow offers its services in the southeast and Midwest areas, making a good alternative to Spectrum Internet. They offer internet and several other services. For people that want to change their Internet from Spectrum to another Internet service provider, it’s important to consider Wow Internet.
Is Spectrum Internet better than RCN?
Based on the comparisons done above, there are chances that Spectrum and RCN battle is not an apples-to-apples showdown. The reason for this is because Spectrum is a nationwide provider, while RCN is a regional provider. But RCN beats Spectrum in many areas.
Is Spectrum available in my area?
Spectrum is a nationwide Internet service provider offering internet and other services to more than 102.7Million people. To check whether their services are available in your area, check on Spectrum’s official website.
Is RCN available in my area?
I agree. Spectrum is a regional ISP and may not be available to everyone in the continental USA. Though, you can check on the RCN website to see whether their services are available to you.
Who is the winner? Spectrum or RCN?
Spectrum and RCN comparison is really a tough one. This is because they have distinctively different coverage and availability. Spectrum is available in a larger area than RCN, but I will pronounce RCN the winner for their many choices of Bundle packages, prices, customer reviews, and several other key categories.
Spectrum and RCN are different ISPs that are available in almost the same areas, but RCN is available in a relatively smaller area. However, RCN has emerged the best in many key categories, a reason why I’ve declared their Internet, TV and Phone packages, and internet Only plans the best for heavy streamers, gamers, and browsers.