Preparing for Severe Weather

With Hurricane Season in full swing, the need for reliable communications is more important than ever. That's why it is always a good idea to have landline phone service with a corded phone - since they do not require electricity and will work during a power outage. While cellular and cordless phones are ideal for keeping you mobile, these new technologies may not always work when the power goes out.

At HTC, we are committed to helping our customers stay connected to their family and friends at all times and we understand that the importance of doing so increases during emergency situations. So, we're prepared to do whatever it takes to keep all of our phones operating. But for safety's sake, we urge everyone to have at least one corded phone in their home at all times.


Report An Outage

HTC customers are advised to request repair service by dialing 611 toll free from any HTC exchange or 843-365-2186. An online form is also available for customers with internet access to use in reporting an outage as well. Click HERE to report an outage.

When severe weather hits, customers can rest assured that HTC is working with other local utility companies to restore service as quickly as possible. Sometimes, the loss of electrical power can result in the interruption of voice, video and data services. HTC utilizes generators as an alternative power source to maintain service for as long as possible. If you experience problems with cable television service and have power, it is possible that the equipment serving the area may still be without power. As soon as the primary power source is returned to our equipment, service will once again be fully active.

The objective is to restore service to the largest number of customers in the shortest possible time. However, safety is the primary concern during the restoration period. The intent is to restore services to the entire service area as uniformly, and as safely, as possible. HTC appreciates your patience.


Limit Phone Use

HTC strongly urges residents to limit the use of their home and wireless telephones during periods of severe weather. Too many callers can jam telephone lines or towers and leave emergency personnel with busy signals or dropped calls. By keeping the lines clear, emergency personnel can communicate quickly and efficiently.

Residents should refrain from calling 911 unless it is an actual emergency. Should you need information on the storm or emergency preparedness, you can contact Horry County Emergency Management at 915-5150 or Horry County's Information Line at 915-5005. Residents should stay tuned to their local television and radio broadcast stations for current weather updates.

HTC appreciates your patience.


Benefits of Landline Services

Residents should consider favoring traditional landline phone service versus voiceover Internet protocol (VOIP)/digital and wireless service for emergency situations and adverse weather conditions.

As we continue to monitor severe weather conditions during hurricane season, residents should consider the many benefits of retaining landline phone service for emergency situations and adverse weather conditions. With digital phone and wireless services becoming more popular, HTC is informing the public of the many disadvantages these services offer in times of crisis whether natural or manmade. HTC realizes the importance of telecommunications services and provides sound communications solutions in emergency situations and severe weather.


Better Service with Landline

Research has proven that landline phones provide much better service than digital and wireless phones when it comes to power outages, 911 emergency calls, alarm monitoring services and call quality. Tom Vitt, HTC Director of Marketing states, "While digital and wireless are growing service choices for home telephone users, they have several disadvantages that are often not brought to the attention of the consumer. However, landline connections are still far superior for emergency needs and services. When it comes to phone service, traditional landline connections cannot be beat."


Power Outages

Traditional telephone service is not affected by power outages, but VOIP relies on other equipment such as a modem plugged into the electrical grid, phone adapters, routers, etc. that all rely on power. No electricity, no phone. It is recommended that consumers purchase battery backups for VOIP equipment so that when the power goes out, they'll provide temporary power. But, even with battery back-up, digital phones cannot compare with a corded landline phone powered by a network that has no dependency on the power supply in a home or office. Consumers should consider maintaining one traditional telephone line so power outages will not disrupt your ability to receive calls.


911 Calling

The best way to see how much more digital and wireless phones have to learn from the "old-fashioned" telephone networks is to look at how 911 calls are handled. Normally, VOIP calling services are not directly in sync with city or county 911 locator systems. This results in emergency operators being unable to see home addresses if users make an emergency call for assistance and are unable to talk or for some reason become disconnected. While many digital phone service providers originally chose not to offer any support for 911, it is beginning to change due to the FCC ruling in May 2005 to make it necessary for all providers to support 911.

With wireless phones come another set of challenges for public safety and emergency response personnel, as well as wireless service providers. Because wireless phones are mobile, they are not associated with one fixed location or address. While the location of the cell site closest to the caller may provide a general indication of the caller's location, that information is not always specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller in an efficient manner. Existing wireless location services may miss the location of a phone by up to 100 yards, a significant distance in times of emergency.


Wireless Network Challenges

In addition to the issues mentioned above, wireless phone service is not a sound replacement for landline phone service. Essentially, wireless phones work through line-of-sight transmission and if there is something between the phone and the nearest cellular antenna or tower, calls may not be able to be transmitted. Severe weather, building materials and heavy foliage are just a few of the things that can interfere with signal transmission and render wireless phones ineffective.

"While digital and wireless services may be the wave of the future, we strongly encourage users, as well as those who have switched to digital or wireless exclusive phone services, to stay or return to traditional landline service for safety, connectivity and ease of use," said Vitt. "Landline phones are a time-tested, reliable service that is essential to any home or business owner."


Incentive

To provide customers with an incentive to retain landline service especially during natural disasters and other emergency situations, HTC provides cost savings for consumers who choose to keep a landline phone in addition to a mobile phone. Customers can enjoy the benefits of security and reliability of a landline phone as well as the convenience and mobility of a wireless phone for one low monthly price.  Call 843-369-8987 for more information.
 

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