Hawaiian Telcom works non-stop to restore Waipahu service

Hawaiian Telcom says it will work around-the-clock to repair a phone outage in Waipahu.
Hawaiian Telcom says it will work around-the-clock to repair a phone outage in Waipahu.

Hawaiian Telcom says crews will be working around the clock to fix a phone outage in Waipahu following KHON2′s story on Thursday, but a storm hitting the state could dampen efforts to repair the problem for 180 customers.

Customers say they were kept in the dark about the problem and were simply told they could be without a landline until April 6.

“I can’t believe it’s something that would take that long to repair,” said Waipahu resident Ben Johnson.

“I wanted to say, ‘My God, why that long?’” said Waipahu resident Sharlene Shishido.

Hawaiian Telcom says recent rains damaged underground cables, which are difficult to get to.

KHON2 went to Hawaiian Telcom’s main office in downtown Honolulu Friday, but for the second day in a row, officials did not want to talk on camera.

Off-camera, a spokesperson said a large cable must be replaced and crews will now be working around the clock to fix the problem. The company believes they may be able to restore service by Wednesday and some residents could have their landlines back sooner, but weather could affect the timeline.

If residents are without phone service, their calls can be forwarded to a working number, but some might not have that option.

“It bothers me that my mother-in-law is without emergency use now because she relies only on the phone,” Johnson said.

When asked if Hawaiian Telcom could provide cell phones to customers who don’t have one, just to use until their phone can be fixed, a spokesperson said the company does have a limited amount of cell phones they can loan out on a case-by-case basis.

After our original story aired Thursday night, a Molokai resident also wrote in, saying her family had been without service for a month. KHON2 reached out to Hawaiian Telcom immediately and then, this morning, good news for the Molokai family — the service came back on.

“Just this morning with the assistance of Channel 2 News,” said Molokai resident D. Lee.

In a statement, the spokesperson said “Thirty days for a response is not acceptable to us,” and the company is working with staff to speed up response times.

If you would like to know how to forward your calls to your cell phone, or to request a loaner cell phone, call Hawaiian Telcom at 611 or 643-6111.

If you would like to file a complaint with the state Public Utilities Commission about any utility, you can call 586-2020 or click here.

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