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mel
July 27th, 2004, 09:26 AM
The headline say it all:

Oceanic Takes On Verizon (http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2004/Jul/27/bz/bz02a.html)

Starting in November Oceanic Cable will start rolling out local and long distance telephone service in direct competition with Verizon Hawaii. Will this be a good thing for consumers? Hopefully so, as it brings on more competition and more choice, though we are still limited to 2 rather large companies.

If Oceanic's local/long distance rates are for a flat fee and are cheaper than what Verizon (or its successor (http://www.hawaiithreads.com/showthread.php?t=635)) has to offer, I could be tempted to check this out. However I am not that comfortable in letting only one company be the end all and be all for all of my communications services (I currently don't have internet service from either)....

What do the others around here think?

adrian
July 27th, 2004, 10:03 AM
Phone and internet service from Verizon; Digital Cable from Oceanic.

Which one to pick to take over my house? Tough one.

If I were Verizon, I'd start a cable service, to compete directly w/ Oceanic. wonder if they'll get discounts if you let Oceanic "take over your house" w/ phone, internet and cable?

pzarquon
July 27th, 2004, 10:39 AM
While I'm all for broader competition, I always hesitated when a new, startup phone carrier appeared, because they just as quickly could disappear. At least when it's another "corporate titan" entering a market, you can feel a little more secure that they'll stick around... although perhaps a little less secure that they've got your best interests in mind. And Oceanic has its own infrastructure, versus someone who's basically going to resell you access on Verizon's network.

This is certainly an interesting development, although Oceanic is jumping into untested waters as far as Internet-based voice phone service (VoIP) goes. And Verizon has its own version coming out... albeit one that, like national provider Vonage, requires out-of-state area codes.

I've never used VoIP, but my only experience with "phones over the Internet" several years ago were not inspiring.

Maybe it's my basic training in IT and things like disaster recovery and redundancy and the like, but even if Oceanic had a perfect "triple threat" package of TV, Internet and telephone, I wouldn't take it. Putting all your eggs in one basket sounds dangerous to me. When Oceanic's RoadRunner network went down a few months ago, the fact that we still had a modem in our PC, a phone line, and an available dial-up ISP account is the only thing that saved our hide that day.

mel
July 27th, 2004, 11:26 PM
I echo your sentiment about putting all your eggs in one basket. The way things are, when the cable goes off it only affects my TV (and for other people both TV and internet).... the phone stays on... usually no matter what. If the electricity goes off, well you ain't got power, you ain't got cable, and no internet (broadband or dialup unless your battery on a laptop is charged and you have dialup... in that case the internet will work through the phone line).....

In times of emergency it seems the landlines are the most reliable (to a degree). Electricity goes out, and cable goes out too it seems. I don't know if phone through cable will be independent of both electricity and power. My guess would be not.

For this reason I guess it may be a good idea to just stick with the old fashioned Verizon landline.

One other thing. Will other long distance phone companies have access to Oceanic's cable phone lines (or whatever it is that they are offering phone service through)...

I know for the longest time local internet companies wanted to get in on Oceanic's broadband line to offer their own broadband. So far the cable TV industry has prevented the smaller internet companies from using their broadband fiber optic network to offer similar services.

However long distance companies have the right to offer their service through the local phone company landline, and we have to pay for that (which I think sucks especially if you don't do mainland long distance calling).

Will this access issue apply to Oceanic and also rekindle the possibility of having the internet companies get into the cable broadband? Oceanic like the phone and electric company run their lines through public rights of ways and probably should allow other companies access to the network.

This is kind of a thorny and complicated issue. What do you think?

helen
July 28th, 2004, 07:25 AM
One other thing. Will other long distance phone companies have access to Oceanic's cable phone lines (or whatever it is that they are offering phone service through).

I am more concerned about the local phone company. If one person uses Verizon and tries to call the person down the street who uses Oceanic will that call be billed like a long distance call (at hopefully a much lower rate)?

mel
July 28th, 2004, 07:31 AM
That's a good question. If such is the case I would not want to be calling someone on a competing service if I get billed for the call.

pzarquon
July 28th, 2004, 08:00 AM
I am more concerned about the local phone company. If one person uses Verizon and tries to call the person down the street who uses Oceanic will that call be billed like a long distance call (at hopefully a much lower rate)?I think the key is the area code. If you sign up with Oceanic's Internet phone system, you get an 808 area code. As far as I know, with both Verizon's solution and that of other third party providers like Vonage, you're limited to an area code where they have a network hub, in other words, a mainland area code. So definitely, if you're using a "regular" phone and I'm on Vonage, there'll be a long distance charge even if we're neighbors.

For a while I used a free fax-to-web, voice-to-web service, and it gave me an 801 area code. Obviously it was a hurdle for local people wanting to contact me that way. I ended up springing for a full account that gave me a number here in Honolulu.

helen
July 31st, 2004, 09:37 AM
Here is another interesting question. If you are on a different local phone company who will list your phone number in the white pages phone book?

mel
July 31st, 2004, 03:43 PM
I think the key is the area code. If you sign up with Oceanic's Internet phone system, you get an 808 area code....So definitely, if you're using a "regular" phone and I'm on Vonage, there'll be a long distance charge even if we're neighbors.

Hello... 808 also covers the neighbor islands and if you call outside of Oahu you get billed for long distance. So the bottom line is you better be calling someone on this island or the respective island you reside on, in order to avoid long distance charges. What I hope is that there is no service connection fee if you are on Verizon and make a local call to someone on Oceanic and vice versa.

Also the issue with the phone books... I would take it that either a third party would do the listings or each company, Verizon and Oceanic would have their own phone books with possibly their own white and yellow pages that would go out to only their own subscribers.... so maybe if you want to know so and so's phone number but he/she is not on the service you use, don't expect to find that name in your phone book.

I would not mind if white pages listings were discontinued altogether and we all had unlisted numbers. Too many marketers use those white page listings to find you (though lucky we now have the national do not call list) and with the growing problem of identity theft you probably don't want total strangers to look you up too.

If you think about it, a lot of people are already not listed in the white pages because they simply have a cell phone that they use as their main phone... cell phone = no white pages listing... and that is good! :)

The only people who need a phone book are businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies. We already have a few fledgling yellow page directories that are not directly connected to the main phone service.

pzarquon
August 1st, 2004, 07:10 AM
Hello... 808 also covers the neighbor islands and if you call outside of Oahu you get billed for long distance.Yeah, but isn't it pretty obvious now that this "extended service" is wholly fabricated? I mean, if it can be cost effective for the very same companies to allow you to call New York on your cellular phone with absolutely no extra charges, how can they say you still have to pay extra to cover the "infrastructure" between here and Maui?

Still, it's a plausible explanation for how, even with an 808 area code on Oceanic's VoIP service, you could still get charged somehow for dialing from a Verizon land line.

Konaguy
August 2nd, 2004, 06:29 PM
Another thing to consider is atleast on the Big Island if the power cuts out
you will lose your dial tone if you have only Oceanic's VoIP service. This
is not a problem with Verizon landline though since Verizon has redundant
power supplies at their central offices.

Konaguy
August 21st, 2004, 09:14 AM
http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/52463
http://www.scientificatlanta.com/customers/Source/7002076.pdf

Miulang
August 22nd, 2004, 05:00 PM
VOIP has made incredible progress in assuring QOS and elimination of things like jitter and echoing (I used to work in corporate telecommunications for a large company here in Seattle), and for large enterprises, it currently is a legal way to avoid toll charges.

However, the states and the feds really really want to get their hands on this "lost revenue" so most of the utility commissions in each state plus the feds are in the courts right now trying to get some of that income back through legislation.

Justice Green (the judge who issued the breakup of Ma Bell way back in the 1980's) would be rolling over in his grave right now if he could see what "competition" is doing to the telecommunications industry today. We've gone from a monopoly to an oligopoly. At least with a monopoly like Ma Bell, if something went wrong with your phone, you called one number and they came out to fix the problem, no questions asked. Today, if you have a problem with your phone, you call one vendor and they tell you it's not their problem. So you call the other vendor and they say call the first vendor.

My guess, based on what's happened here (in the Seattle area, we have 2 phone companies who didn't compete against each other in the past because one only had customers on the Seattle side of Lake Washington and the other (amazingly, Verizon) had the east side of Lake Washington except for a few phone exchanges), is that Carlyle will dump phone service in Hawaii as soon as it can find another buyer. I hope Oceanic can make a go of their VOIP services because at least Oceanic knows Hawaii.

And totally disavow yourselves of the notion that competition will keep your rates low. We have all kinds of competition up here and I swear, Qwest and Verizon are in cahoots with each other because as soon as one company submits a tariff to the utility commission, the other one will do the same. It's never about who can charge less with these companies; it's all about who can propose a tariff that will bring in more money to the shareholders first.

Miulang

Konaguy
September 13th, 2004, 05:03 PM
http://www.americasnetwork.com/americasnetwork/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=117970

Konaguy
November 17th, 2004, 05:29 PM
http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2004/11/15/smallb2.html?page=2

Oceanic service delayed

Despite earlier reports that Oceanic Time Warner Cable was launching its digital phone service in November, the company says it won't be ready to offer the service to customers until the end of 2005, and then only on a select basis.

The service will be offered only to Oceanic customers with a broadband Internet connection. However, customers who use Road Runner, AOL or EarthLink will receive a discount.

Time Warner already has rolled out its digital phone service in San Diego, New York and Green Bay, Wis. said Alan Pollock, vice president of marketing for Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

"It's been extremely successful everywhere," he said. "Hawaii is one of the last ones to roll it out."

pzarquon
May 20th, 2005, 09:54 AM
Until stories like these hit the headlines, I hadn't even thought about 911 access using a VOIP provider. And of course power outages also present problems for such services versus a standard landline.

Baby's death prompts 911 rule (http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2005/May/20/bz/bz18p.html)

"Anyone who dials 911 has a reasonable expectation that he or she will be connected to an emergency operator," he said. Internet phone service, known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, shifts calls from wires and switches, using computers and broadband connections to convert sounds into data and transmit them via the Internet... Unlike traditional phones, which have a fixed address that a 911 operator can quickly call up, Internet phone service can be mobile. Someone with a laptop who signs up for service in Arizona, for example, may end up calling 911 for an emergency while on a trip to Boston.
Oceanic, I imagine, wouldn't have much of a problem with 911 service here, since they have a region-specific operation. But with Hawaiian Telcom still getting settled and local VOIP providers still getting their footing, this is certainly a wrinkle that'll take some work to iron out.