Seeing the Light

Sometimes, you don’t know how good you have it until you are
about to loose it.

ThePhoneCompany is always an easy institution to trash. I
mean, for most folks, the phone company you have is not by
choice. Rather, it’s a regulated monopoly and the one you get
is based on where you live. And for the most part, it’s the
least evil way of doing it (I could go into the economics of it
but that’s a post for another day).

But you know, for the most part, I’ve had excellent service
from our phone company – Verizon Hawaii. Especially if you
compare it to our CableProvider – TimeWarner Oceanic.

For example, you may remember my experiments in the past
running dual Internet access via DSL from Verizon and cable
modem from TimeWarner. The cable modem would loose its
connection on a daily basis (and usually more than once a day)
while the DSL would just keep working.

When I call TimeWarner service I would wait on hold for more
than 30 minutes at a time only to be told a technician couldn’t
possibly come out to check things earlier than two weeks later.
When they finally did arrive, of course, everything would be

On the other hand, in the last two years or so that I’ve had
DSL, I’ve only had two outages. When I called (at around 10:00
am) I got a person on the second ring and he arranged for a
technician to arrive that afternoon (he came around 2:30pm).
The problem turned out to be a wiring issue across the street
caused by some construction going on. Things were fixed by

The second was over this past weekend and involved one of
their routers, which they fixed about six hours later.

I even found out recently that Verizon is rolling out fiber
to the door. Once that is completed, you can choose 15Mbps or
30Mbps. That’s right, 15Mbps or 30Mpbs to your house.
Unfortunately, Verizon Hawaii is being bought by another
company, the Carlyle Group (see the story
). So my guess is fiber to the house won’t happen for

I hope, should the sale go through, the Carlyle group will
invest money into upgrading the systems, including fiber to the
house. But given its business plan, I don’t think that’s going
to happen (taking on 1.5 billion in debt, then promising not to
increase rates for 10 years. Yeah right. Wanna’ buy some beach
front property on the Big Island?). My guess is (insert
disclaimer here), even what we have now will deteriorate. But
what can you do? It’s ThePhoneCompany.



Comments are closed.