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Hawaiian Telcom’s Top Secret Cable TV Service: How Much, Where Service is Available Company Won’t Say

Phillip Dampier July 12, 2011 Broadband Speed, Competition, Consumer News, Hawaiian Telcom, Video 1 Comment

If this is a new way to attract customers, it’s sure stumping marketing experts who are questioning Hawaiian Telcom’s launch of its new cable TV service to compete with Time Warner Cable’s Oceanic Cable.  Nobody knows where exactly the service is available for sale, or for how much, and HawTel officials are not saying.

“If you call Hawaiian Telcom and ask them about the service, they essentially say ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ and they are the phone company!” says Oahu resident and Stop the Cap! reader Dan Ho, who first discovered HawTel was getting into the cable business from Stop the Cap!  “I realize we’re talking about another form of U-verse here, but that could still be a good thing for Hawaiians who cannot get Oceanic Cable and are stuck with HawTel’s awful DSL service.”

HawTel’s new fiber-copper hybrid network tested successfully for 250 mystery families who participated in a secretive beta-test.  The new service is expected to be sold mostly in a packaged bundle with extra high speed DSL (presumably up to 25Mbps), a central DVR terminal that can record up to four shows off the company’s digital cable TV package concurrently, and unlimited phone service.

Lester Chu, a HawTel spokesman, wouldn’t tell reporters the prices for the new service, instead offering to accept bills from competing providers and allowing HawTel to competitively bid for your business.  The company also wouldn’t say where the service was for sale, “for competitive reasons,” added Chu.

But HawTel has been licensed to provide service on the island of Oahu, and intends to rollout the service in contiguous service areas, so once the first new customers do go public, we’ll be able to ascertain where the service is slated to be delivered next.

HawTel says they will begin targeted advertising to alert residents when the service will be available.  That traditionally means direct mailers, door hanger tags, and door-to-door visits from sales teams hired by HawTel.

“It’s a crazy way to build excitement for the product, by keeping it a secret,” Ho believes. “More important, I suspect their pricing is not going to be very good if they require customers to bring in a current bill from a cable competitor in order to get a quote.”

Ho should know, he’s a marketing professional himself.

“I suspect the company wants face time with a customer to explain away the lack of visible savings by instead talking up the features they will offer that Oceanic Cable does not,” Ho suggests.

Among those features – the four-recordings-at-a-time DVR, the 250-channel all digital lineup, and the presence of NFL Network, a network Time Warner Cable systems have perennially refused to carry on their basic digital tier because of its cost.

KITV-TV in Honolulu opened their newscast with the mysterious launch of Hawaiian Telcom’s new TV service.  (2 minutes)

KHON-TV in Honolulu covers HawTel’s introduction of cable competition on the island of Oahu, even though company officials won’t say where it’s available or for how much.  (Loud Volume Warning!) (1 minute)

 

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Marc says:

    Very inconvenient. they tell us cable TV is available but won’t tell us the price or area’s available. What kind of business is this. No wonder they have trouble with there business. Tis is just plain stupid!!!!!!

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