Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Until recently I have been a reasonably satisfied customer of Oceanic Time Warner. A few weeks ago it seems they had problems with a cable in the ocean, and internet has been hopeless ever since. I've had a couple of conversations with their customer service but our problems persist. Basically, what I have been told is they have a temporary solution until the cable is fixed (should have been weeks ago) and in the meantime some areas are being throttled.

Whatever it is, I can't even open my GMail.

So I called Hawaii Telecom. They tell me they don't service my address (we live up on St. Louis Heights.) That surprised me. A lot. It's not like we live in an isolated area. There are telephone poles in our street.

We are at the point of getting desperate. My wife goes to the UH library at night to do work she could easily have done at home if we had internet. For the past weeks I've been living off of my iPad, but it only goes so far for doing real work.

So what would be a possible alternative? Are there any other decent providers?

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Have you considered Clearwire?

They've been spotty early in their 4G WiMax deployment (and I've been a vocal critic of that), but the service has been much better in recent months. There's still some throttling, especially to streaming sites like YouTube in the evenings, but I suspect that's got more to do with upstream providers like TWTelecom.

Otherwise, maybe you could get a CradlePoint PHS-300 or CTR-500 router and share the bandwidth from most phones that can be USB-tethered -- if you've got a reasonable data plan that can support it.

I'd have also suggested Mobi PCS, but have heard it's a bit spotty in deep Manoa area, so it's probably equally bad in St. Louis Hts.
Thanks for the suggestion Laurence.

I did look at Clear but was a bit hesitant. 6Mps is decent but I have had poor experiences with wireless internet services before, it never seems to get you close to the speed advertised. But I can try for 14 days and a low teaser rate for the first two months, so I guess it's worth a try. If anything we can use it to bridge this horrible period at Oceanic, the $40 early termination fee is not too bad. I plan to claw back some money from Oceanic while their problems persist anyway.
Just to set the expectation -- with Clear 4G in Hawaii, you can usually expect 1Mps to 1.5Mps on average; with 6Mps peak to a well-connected host like At least, that's been my personal experience. Of course, I went to extremes when Clear was having problems -- like mounting my modem in the attic for the best possible signal.

HTH. :-)
I agree with Laurence - go with ClearWire. We have some customers that are using it for their office and they had the same experience as Laurence. It was initially problematic, but now its working well.
I'm able to stream Hulu over Verizon when tethering. I think I've seen it peak around 2mbps. More than adequate.
Well, our Clear modem arrived Tuesday. It works OK, but definitely not fast. I have run some speed tests on different days and different times of day and get a range from 0.5Mbps to 3Mbps. Average is round about 1Mbps, like Laurence predicted. But it comes in bursts. I tried watching a YouTube movie and it halted about every minute or so. At least we can actually do some work again.

It will have to do. But I can't wait until Oceanic TW fixes their cable.
My parents live on St. Louis Heights also, but at the bottom of the hill, near Dole St. They get Hawaiian Telcom DSL but the connection speed is pretty slow.

At night around 10:30 pm, it slows down to a neva-mind-do-someting-else crawl.

For comparison, look at what my friend in the "backwater" city of Hamamatsu gets in Japan.

It's really too bad that with all the fiber that's supposed to connect Hawaii to the rest of the world that there really isn't a residential broadband option available that's faster than 2mb/s. What's crazy is that I could get a faster connection in Chengdu, China than I can here in Hawaii. Hawaii, you can do better!

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