HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's been bankrupt and has laid off employees but now Hawaiian Telcom is branching out. It's now up on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange and is delivering competition to the local cable television market.
Hawaiian Telcom had a media demonstration to show off some of its features like recording four shows at once and playing them back on any of the eight television's you can have in your house. It all sounds nice but they're not saying what it will cost.
"I think it will be good actually because it will be some competition. Maybe all the prices will come down everywhere," said Richard Webb, Kailua resident who likes the idea of Hawaiian Telcom cable service.
Cost is the biggest question. They will offer various packages but they are not saying how much they'll charge.
"If you want to bring us a sample of a real life bill from a competitor we'll do the same we'll price it out and show you all the different pieces to it and show you what our comparative pricing will be," said Lester Chu, Hawaiian Telcom Business Development Executive Director.
For "competitive reasons" they won't even say which neighborhoods can get the service. It will be several years before they reach all of Oahu. In the meantime they are contacting the select few customers that qualify. While they would like to expand to everyone quickly, they say it's better to do it correctly, which is why they are launching in stages.
"Give us some time to stage it and do it the right way," said Chu.
In our unscientific web poll more people chose Oceanic Cable although Hawaiian Telcom did come in second above satellite carriers Direct TV and Dish Network. And in the comment section people weren't kind.
Joseph Lozada wrote "I gave Hawaiian Tel a chance for many years but customer service never improved so I made the switch and so far very pleased with Oceanic Cable."
"Why go through the humbug of changing to HT? Anyway, I don't trust them to give better service," said Lee Michimoto.
"Hawaiian Tel cannot even get a simple telephone product right. Audacious move to get into something they don't even know," wrote Yasuo Ogawa.
"And that gets right to the point, we are a different company, we've gone through various stages in our history, and right now we're saying this is going to be a service that's different. We will have a great customer experience, a white glove experience is what we call it internally to make sure that every customer likes what they get from a content standpoint, a pricing value standpoint and also from a service standpoint," said Chu.
Customers will be able to bundle Hawaiian Telcom's television service with its phone and internet options or they can get each service individually. Nearly 250 people have been testing the cable for the past six to eight months.
Hawaiian Tel did issue its new channel lineup. Sports fans may be happy because the NFL Network is listed under their basic plan along with other sports channels.
As for more details on when you can sign up you'll have to wait to see.
To view Hawaii Telcom's complete TV channel line up, click HERE.