State to air HawTel's plan for TV
The state said yesterday it has accepted Hawaiian Telcom's application for a franchise to provide television service in Hawaii over the company's high-speed Internet network.
The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has 120 days to make a decision on the company's request, which would let Hawaiian Telcom begin the television service before year's end if the franchise is granted.
The agency is accepting public comments on the application, and will hold a public hearing on the matter July 19. The public can comment on Hawaiian Telcom's proposal in writing or orally at the meeting.
Sean McLaughlin, a spokesman for Hawaii Consumers, a media policy advocacy group, encouraged people to voice their thoughts about Hawaiian Telcom's proposal, which would offer an alternative to service provided by Oceanic Time Warner Cable.
"It's a very important opportunity to express their needs and interests to a local media provider," McLaughlin said.
Hawaiian Telcom's application comes as the company struggles with billing errors and customer complaints related to its implementation of a new operations system.
Ann Nishida, a company spokeswoman, said Hawaiian Telcom is "very focused on improving customer service but we also have our eye on the future and will live up to the promises we made when Hawaiian Telcom was created."