Free WiFi Really Hits The HT Spot

Alison Young
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October 24, 2007
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HT Spot
HT Spot

On top of just coming out with its fast 11 Mbps Internet service, Hawaiian Telcom recently announced free WiFi access for its customers at any HT Spot.

If you are an existing Hawaiian Telcom High Speed Internet (HSI) customer, you should take advantage of this excellent service.

There are more than 100 of these HT Spots around the state located at all Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Hawaii locations, Ala Moana Center, Restaurant Row, around downtown Honolulu and Waikiki. Additionally, note there are HT Spots in Kailua, Hawaii Kai, Manoa, Ewa Beach and Pearl City on Oahu, Kapaa on Kauai, Kona and Hilo on the Big Island, and Kahului on Maui. Plans are in place to further expand the network.

“Mobility is a highly desired element for our high-speed customers,” said Michael Fry, Hawaiian Telcom’s senior Internet product manager. “This enhancement provides them with the freedom and flexibility to connect to the Internet when they’re out on the go. It also increases the value of our service and strengthens customer loyalty,” he added.

I tested the connection while sitting on a nice cushy leather chair sipping on a latte from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. I figured the ultimate speed test would be to watch my Slingbox from there. Oh, just in case you don’t know what a Slingbox is, it’s a device that allows you to watch your home TV from your computer or cell phone via the Internet.

While watching my Slingbox, the speed was pretty decent at about 2.5 Mbps download with nearly no lag time. As with Hawaiian Telcom’s High-Speed Internet at home service, the HT Spots have a stated maximum connect time of up to 11 Mbps.

After sitting at the coffee shop for about 20 minutes, I walked across the parking lot to Starbucks to compare it to T-Mobile Hotspot’s speed. It was definitely not as fast. There I received 1.4 Mbps (download), with tons of lag, lag, lag! The video was coming in sporadically, and it was frustrating to watch. Because of that, I left after only a couple of minutes. It’s all right for regular Web surfing, but definitely not for streaming video.

T Mobile
T Mobile

Skywave, a Honolulu-based company that offers Internet connectivity solutions, powers these HT Spots.

“HT Spots are the perfect complement to Hawaiian Telcom’s already robust high-speed offering,” says Joshua Beil, Skywave’s co-founder. “Every Hawaiian Telcom customer, from working professionals to students, can take advantage of Skywave’s existing and future WiFi locations to find a convenient location to wirelessly surf the Net.”

Skywave co-founder Matthew Ganote adds, “We have integrated seamlessly with Hawaiian Telcom so that its customers can use their existing e-mail and password to access our WiFi network.”

Hawaiian Telcom HSI customers should take advantage of and enjoy this free ride. If you’re not a customer yet, keep this in mind as another perk to subscribe. Check out for more information (or call 643-0805) and a complete list of all HT Spot locations, or visit


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