Erika Engle

Oceanic’s oceanic
cable streamlines
statewide service

It's right under your nose. Well, it's actually pretty far under your nose. OK, it's at the bottom of the ocean.

It is an undersea fiber-optic cable network that will eventually deliver Oceanic Time Warner Cable of Hawaii's services uniformly throughout the state and provide redundancy in case of an accidental cut or break in the line.

The Prisma DT digital transport system by Georgia-based Scientific-Atlanta Inc. enhances Oceanic's connection between its Mililani headquarters and its cable TV and high-speed Internet customers on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island. Kauai's connection is a work in progress.

The system delivers Oceanic's video-on-demand and cable channel programming, major broadcast television programming, residential high-speed cable modem service and high-speed data service for government clients, but it doesn't reach all of its customers yet.

"We're still putting the final touches on Kauai," said President Nate Smith.

Oceanic, the state's only cable company, has two upgrades under way on the Garden Island, one for the physical plant and the other to provide video-on-demand, Smith said.

"We're upgrading individual neighborhoods on Kauai, and have been for awhile now. We hope to have knocked on every Kauai door in our service area by the end of this year," he said.

The upgrade allows Oceanic to store video-on-demand content on servers at Mililani and send it to neighbor island servers, which needn't replicate the master site's content, according to a statement from Scientific-Atlanta.

The Hawaii cable is the longest stretch supported by the mainland company.

If the name Scientific-Atlanta seems familiar, you may have seen it on your set top converter box. The company also makes the equipment that stores Oceanic's video-on-demand content.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at:


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