Complaint / review / scam report
Oceanic Cable
Oceanic Cable Molokai, HI

Complaint / review text:
I think the name should be changed to Titanic Cable because the ship and the cable system are disasters. The RMS Oceanic and Britannic had long useful careers...

Measuring Broadband America site says Time Warner provides about 90% of their "up to" speeds during peak times. On Molokai, Oceanic Time Warner is lucky to provide even 10% of the already half-RoadRunner WAVE service we receive. For everyone more than 2 miles from town, "broadband" internet service is a monopoly for Oceanic. Molokai does not get RoadRunner ("up to" 10Mbps Down, 1Mbps Up) offered on the other islands. We have WAVE Plus ("up to"5Mbps Down. 38Mbps Up).

For the past year, evening download speeds deteriorate to kilobit/second rates. We pay the same monthly rate as RoadRunner customers but get far less. When I complain, Oceanic says the problem is limited bandwidth and not their fault. If not their fault for designing and operating an inadequate system to serve the customers, who is at fault? Guess it must be our fault for greedily expecting RoadRunner speeds just because we pay RoadRunner rates.

Last August, Oceanic President Bob Barlow told THE DISPATCH cable service on Molokai would be changing soon. "We are updating microwave to both Molokai and Lanai and that will remedy some of the issues that we've been having, I'm confident they'll be done by the end of the year." He went on to say service on Molokai would still not match service on the other islands until a fiber optic cable replaced the current microwave. He predicted that would happen within six months (mid-February?)

Four months later, service has not improved. Sunday, 2 December 2012 at 2107, I had 553Kbps download on the Hawaii Broadband Initiative test site.

Why spend money to improve service when you have a monopoly and can charge whatever you want? Oceanic HAS spent money on the Molokai system, not to fix the known bandwidth problem but to make it even worse. They added service to some large areas on the west end and all three Kawela Plantation subdivisions. Recently, they added Kalaupapa service. More customers (revenue) using an already inadequate system. No upgrade of the microwave feeding the Molokai system has been made, better service doesn't generate more revenue.

If "Impersonating an ISP" were a crime, Oceanic would be guilty as charged. As for the requirement that a franchise holder be "fit, willing and able to provide service" - Oceanic fails the test. If the DCCA renews their Lahaina franchise, our Hawaii regulators will also fail the test. Commerce trumps Consumer Affairs, again.

I'll end with a quote I think apropos for Mr. Barlow:

"As you are aware, the factual position is somewhat at variance with what has been stated by you."

Zail Singh to Rajiv Gandhi

Well, it is the end of the year.  What has Oceanic actually done?

The UPGRADE Mr. Barlow told THE DISPATCH would be made by the end of the year?  I'm not sure what you call them but Molokai had three system load leveling main controllers.  Middle of December, two more were added.  Speeds seemed to improve, fewer Kbps but low 2Mbps in the evenings is the best I see.  I tried to stream a Smithsonian feature 2 December and it could not even hold a stream at the lowest of the 5 "Quality" levels the Roku indicates (4 dots and "HD").  HBI Test Site results were less than 1Mbps.

The microwave remains the same old unit that has been feeding Molokai for at least the past the 6 years I've had service.

Analog CATV now looks like a third generation VHS tape copy in a light snow storm.

Internet service continues to be shaky.  Random down times are the norm for Molokai.  December 2012 was particularly bad.  On 6 December it was down from 0800-1200.  On the 28th, down 14 times from 1900-2100 as logged by my AirPort Extreme.  Other random down times during December were frequent.

Since the middle of December 2011 (NOTE that is 2011) I have had kilobit downloads in the evenings.  I gave up trying to stream a movie.  For grins, I hooked up my Roku a few months ago.  Started a RetroVision movie but it buffered so much I decided to watch a DVD.  Came back to the Roku stream 2 hours later - the movie was at 12 minutes.  The remaining 1:48 elapsed was buffering.

Bob Barlow went on record with THE DISPATCH stating upgrades "... that will remedy some of the issues that we've been having, " would be made by the end of the year.  I do get into the low 2Mbps speeds more often now but that hardly qualifies as much of a remedy.

Contact information:
Author: Contact with Author

Offender: Oceanic Cable

   State: Hawaii   City: Honolulu
Address: 200 Akamainui Street
Phone: 8086258282

Category: Internet & Web

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