125 Years Of Telephoning

By Joel Matsunaga
Wednesday - June 11, 2008
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Joel Matsunaga

By Joel Matsunaga
Vice President of External Affairs for Hawaiian Telcom.

Hawaiian Telcom has always been a company of innovation, and as we celebrate our 125th anniversary in August, we’re working harder than ever to continue to bring reliable communications to the state.

Past highlights include: Bringing home our Network Operations Center by consolidating activity performed in eight locations on the Mainland to a single location in Hawaii. This move streamlined our operations so we can keep an eye on our network 24-7 and react quickly to any problems.

Launching higher speed Internet service (7 and 11 Mbps) and to continuing to expand its availability throughout the state.

Introducing Call Choicesm Visual Voicemail, which allows people to sort voicemail messages on their computer and listen to messages in any order. This exclusive call-management service can forward calls to another phone number, ring a second number if you don’t pick up, or send less important calls directly to voice mail. Call Choice is available for virtually any wireless number and is one of the most robust call-management systems you can get.

Most recently, we’ve focused on simplifying our bundled services. Our new myChoice Plus plan offers our unbeatable land line service plus all 13 of our premium calling features such as Caller ID, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling and Anonymous Call Block for just $55.95.

All this innovation isn’t surprising if you look at our history. King Kalakaua granted a charter forming Mutual Telephone Company in 1883, and in 1910, Honolulu became one of the first cities in the world to have dial telephone service. In 1977, Hawaiian Telephone led the way by installing the world’s first fiber optics telecommunications system.

Hawaiian Telcom staff
Hawaiian Telcom staff: (from left) Robert Westervelt, Phyllis Freitas, Joel Matsunaga, Denise Kahakui and Ryan Freitas

But while we have made a lot of progress, we’re celebrating our 125th anniversary by rededicating ourselves to taking better care of our customers and remaining on the cutting edge of technology. We’re a locally managed and driven company, and we’re here to stay.

To do that, we must continue to innovate.

We are transforming into a company that provides not only the latest in telecommunications but also digital and video capabilities that today’s customers expect.

We are planning to offer Hawaii an alternative to cable television and are working hard to bring this to the marketplace.

This summer we’re giving away free corded phones to our residential customers. These classic phones don’t require electrical power to operate, so the next time the power goes out you can rest assured that you can call emergency services or be in contact with your doctor or loved ones should you or anyone in your family need help. Customers will receive detailed information soon.

And those are just some of the exciting programs that we’re going to announce in the coming months.

But the story of Hawaiian Telcom has never been about the wires and infrastructure. It has been about our people, our employees - all here in Hawaii - who keep things running and who are dedicated to serving you. They stand behind every phone call you make. When I see the passion with which our people do their jobs, I can’t help but be inspired.

So I’d like to thank all the employees and retirees who have worked for this company for the last century and a quarter. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. With your continued support, we look forward to serving our customers for another 125 years and more.


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