Hawaiian Telcom scrambling to restore internet, phone service

Four days after Darby, some businesses still suffering impacts
Published: Jul. 29, 2016 at 2:30 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 29, 2016 at 4:12 PM HST
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Rain from Tropical Storm Darby (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Rain from Tropical Storm Darby (Image: Hawaii News Now)

KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Five days after Tropical Storm Darby dumped nearly a foot of rain on Oahu, many Hawaiian Telcom customers remain without phone or internet service.

The company said its crews are working overtime to restore service."

"Our crews have been working extremely long hours of overtime to restore services," said Su Shin, executive director of communications at Hawaiian Telcom. "More customers will continue to be restored daily."

Shin didn't say exactly how many customers don't have service, but did say the company's phone lines are being inundated with calls.

The problem has been traced back to an underground copper cable on Mokauea Street near Nimitz Highway. Shin said heavy rains severely damaged the cable, and that work to repair it started Tuesday.

Businesses affected by the outage say it's costing them money.

"When we got into work on Monday, the Internet was down. We were told by Hawaiian Tel that it would be up by the afternoon. Of course it was not up by the afternoon. Wait until the next day, they said," said Michael Tam, president and CEO for Martin & MacArthur.

The fine wood furniture business was still without Internet service as of Thursday night.

A few blocks down, at Art Source and Designs, a custom framing shop and gallery, business has been at a standstill.

"It's affecting my business by not being able to do to the transaction, to complete the transaction. I would have to wait until my line is back up before I can input any type of sales transaction," owner Diane Ko said.

"I'm frustrated with not getting a clear answer of when my line will be back up. They told me August 3. It sounds questionable as far as if that's gonna happen. So at this point, I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back up and running," she said.

Ko and Tam said they can't wait until next week for their service to be restored.

"If you could imagine a business of any sort, big or small, being off of Internet for 10 days, it frustrates me because we have 14 stores around the islands and in Las Vegas and our internet service is critical for our business," said Tam.

Hawaiian Telcom said because of high call volume, customers are encouraged to web chat at their website instead of calling.

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