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Bend Broadband vs. Hawaiian Telcom vs. Optimum Internet plan comparison


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Researched by
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Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 6/26/24

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Bend Broadband brand
Staff rating
3.8
Customer rating
4.0
(2)

  • Plans starting at $54.99
  • Download speeds up to 1Gbps
Hawaiian Telcom
Staff rating
3.5
Customer rating
3.5
(2)

  • Plans starting at $19.99
  • Download speeds up to 750 Mbps
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.1
Customer rating
3.8
(70)

  • Plans starting at $15.00
  • Download speeds up to 940 Mbps
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See what providers service your area.
Bend Broadband brand
Staff rating
3.8

Big speeds and big value from a small-town provider

BendBroadband offers a surprisingly strong internet service to the towns around Bend, Oregon. Despite the occasional customer service issue, we think it’s one of the most compelling options in the area.

What we like

  • Competitive pricing
  • No contracts
  • Unlimited data options
What we dislike

  • Regular price increases
  • No true budget plan
Savings tip: Bend Broadband often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Hawaiian Telcom
Staff rating
3.5

A great value if you’re ready to commit

Hawaiian Telcom packs a lot of value into its plans, but it may not be fast enough for large families who do a ton of streaming or uploading. Opt for a short contract if available because paying out half of a two- or three-year commitment here will hurt!

What we like

  • Low startup costs
  • No hidden costs
  • Great service
What we dislike

  • High early cancellation costs
  • Underutilized fiber infrastructure and a tiny footprint
  • Contracts up to 3 years
Savings tip: Hawaiian Telcom often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Optimum brand
Staff rating
4.1

Optimum offers fast internet speeds at reasonable prices

If you can get fiber internet from Optimum, you'll get great all-around service, amazing introductory prices, and fast, reliable internet. If you order online, you'll get free installation and equipment included when you sign up for a new internet plan. If Optimum's fiber internet isn't available in your area, you may be able to sign up for one of its cable plans instead. The best part is Optimum offers a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

What we like

  • Affordable prices
  • No data caps or contracts
  • Cable and fiber offerings
What we dislike

  • Limited availability
Savings tip: Optimum often has sign-up promotions for first-time customers. Call to ask a rep about current deals and discounts.
Check deals
Bend Broadband brand
Value
4.0
Surprisingly strong value for a local provider

BendBroadband looks like a local brand, but it's actually owned by TDS, which services over 1,000 communities across the country(1). Still, it offers a surprisingly strong value proposition. BendBroadband's plans are competitively priced, there are no contracts required, and the installation and equipment fees are reasonable. Taken together, it feels like you get your money’s worth, which is ultimately the most important thing when assessing value.

Our one knock here is that there’s no true budget plan available for those who don’t need 300+ Mbps internet. For single-person households, 100 Mbps is often plenty fast, so this could be a drawback if you live alone—or with a couple of people who don't stream a lot or work from home.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Bend Broadband's website
or call 1-844-733-6485 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Hawaiian Telcom
Value
4.0
Come for the price, stay for the value (and to avoid early termination fees)

Hawaiian Telcom internet provides a ton of value no matter which plan you buy, but some plans offer more value than others. If fiber is available in your area, you can get 940 Mbps for around 56% of the national benchmark price. (1) Lower speeds (those as low as 11 Mbps with a DSL connection) cost as little as a third of the national benchmark.

Hawaiian has its flaws. You may not have access to its fiber infrastructure (yet), even if it's installed in your neighborhood. We've heard of wait times of several months. Then, even its fiber speeds aren’t as fast as technology allows. If you try to end your contract early, you’ll pay for that—big time. You may also see hefty price hikes in year two—some of the biggest we've seen, in fact.

But when you consider the great service you’ll receive, low-cost equipment and installation, and a refreshing lack of hidden fees at checkout, Hawaiian Telcom gives you one more way to make your mainlander friends envy your island life.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Hawaiian Telcom's website
or call 1-844-716-2785 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Optimum brand
Value
4.0
Great value for your money

Optimum offers quality internet and great value for your money. Optimum's fiber and cable internet plans start at 300–500 Mbps, with very competitive prices that tends to beat competitors and be way less than national benchmarks (1).

For most households, 300–500 Mbps is enough for online gaming and work-from-home needs. But you can also get internet as fast as 1 gig (or 1,000 Mbps) if your household is comprised of several heavy internet users. In some areas, Optimum even offers up to 8 gig fiber internet.

If you bundle with a mobile plan, you can get even cheaper internet prices from Optimum. Here are the starting prices for Optimum's most popular internet plans, without a mobile plan:

  • 300 Mbps Fiber: $40 a month
  • 500 Mbps Fiber: $60 a month
  • 1 Gig Fiber: $80 a month

Compared to the competition, the two lower-tier plans almost always offer more speed for the money. And while you can sometimes find cheaper gig plans, Optimum still tends to be the most affordable in its markets. If you qualify only for cable internet with Optimum, you'll still get reliable, fast internet, but your speeds will be slower than the fiber offerings.

We love Optimum's low starting prices, 2-year price lock, and 60-day money back guarantee. You get free installation when you order online with equipment included. Plus, Optimum regularly offers bonus perks with its more premium plans, such as a $50 or $200 Optimum Prepaid Mastercard with qualifying orders in certain areas.

Pricing details vary by location. Visit
Optimum's website
or call 1-844-719-8066 to speak with a rep.
See pricing
Bend Broadband brand
Performance
4.5
BendBroadband delivers with excellent performance

Performance-wise, BendBroadband holds its own against competing internet service providers. There are plans available ranging from 300 Mbps to 1 Gbps, and reports indicate that the service is reliable. If we had to knock BendBroadband for anything performance-wise, it would be a lack of speeds above 1 Gbps—some cable competitors are offering up to 2 Gbps speeds, and we’d like to see the same from BendBroadband. These faster speeds can be useful for customers who download a large number of media files or frequently watch multiple concurrent 4K streams, for example. There are also data caps to be aware of, with overage charges up to $30 per month.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-733-6485 to speak with a Bend Broadband rep or
go to its website.
Hawaiian Telcom
Performance
4.5
Fast, reliable fiber for the price, but it could be better utilized

Hawaiian Telcom uses an infrastructure of fiber, cable, and DSL. About 215,000 homes and businesses have access to Hawaiian’s fiber network. (2) That accounts for about half of Hawaiian's infrastructure, (3) which is impressive for a small provider. The other half is mostly DSL mixed with a bit of cable, which don't perform as well. The good news is Hawaiian is replacing its legacy cable and DSL lines, so if you don’t have access to its fiber network yet, you probably will within a few years.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-716-2785 to speak with a Hawaiian Telcom rep or
go to its website.
Optimum brand
Performance
5.0
Optimum internet is fast and reliable

Optimum performance is solid. With speeds up to 2 Gbps (12000 Mbps) in some states, there’s enough bandwidth available for even the heaviest of streaming households. Even the lowest-tier plans offer plenty of speed for most use cases. The cable service is generally very reliable, as well, and usually even faster than advertised, with better latency than any cable competitor. (2)

Optimum offers fiber internet service in some of its coverage areas, which offers extra reliability and symmetrical speeds. That’s an excellent feature for content creators and anyone who shares a lot of large media files. Recently, it started offering home internet plans up to 5 Gbps, a speed that’s nearly impossible to beat.

Available speeds vary by location. Call 1-844-719-8066 to speak with a Optimum rep or
go to its website.
Bend Broadband brand
Equipment and installation
4.0
A fantastic mesh Wi-Fi system and affordable installation

BendBroadband has jumped on the mesh network bandwagon and offers what it calls TDS Wi-Fi+. For those unfamiliar with the term, a mesh network is a system of multiple wireless routers that help spread your network over a larger area without losing signal strength. The result is fuller coverage of your entire home, with no weird dead spots or dropped connections. It’s often a big improvement on traditional single-router setups.

The TDS Wi-Fi+ set up is about $15 per month, plus $5 per month for each additional extender you need (most homes should be fine with the default). Customers can opt for a cheaper, standard equipment setup for $10 per month. However, many customers report problems with this router and opt to get their own(2).

BendBroadband also offers options for installation. You can opt for a free self-install kit. Or you can choose professional installation for around $50, which is one of the lower installation fees we’ve seen. In areas that aren’t eligible for self-install, the professional fee is waived, so it won’t cost you anything to get set up.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Bend Broadband plans
available in your area.
View plans
Hawaiian Telcom
Equipment and installation
3.5
Hawaiian offers good installation and gear

Hawaiian Telcom charges a moderate $9.99 to use its modem. You could use your own modem to save money, but you won’t be able to add Hawaiian’s Whole Home Wi-Fi or upgrade your service to Premier Value, Hawaiian’s tech plan. If you do go with Hawaiian’s modem, you can also rent between one and three Google Wi-Fi pods for just $7 per month total. Unless you live in a McMansion (more than 4,500 sq. ft.), you shouldn’t have any dead spots. Some of our top providers don't charge rental fees, and we would like to see Hawaiian Telcom follow suit, but we still love these low rates.

Both self-installation and professional installation are free, but you may need to cover a $34.99 activation fee (waived during some promotions). That’s steeper than most activation fees, but since professional installation usually costs $75 or more, you’ll still save a ton—and not have to worry about setting it up yourself. Plus, if you have a professional install your internet, they will repair any damaged wiring at no cost.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Hawaiian Telcom plans
available in your area.
View plans
Optimum brand
Equipment and installation
4.5
Free professional and self-installation

Optimum offers a fairly standard wireless gateway with most of its fiber and cable plans. The combined modem and router are usually free, but may cost you $10 per month in some areas. You can also add Wi-Fi extenders for $3 each per month, which is handy for larger homes and offices (and not a bad price, either).

If you sign up for 1 gig fiber internet, you'll get a free WiFi 6E included to help ensure you get the fastest WiFi speeds. This WiFi technology will help your entire household get great WiFi coverage. This technology is perfect for busy households and provides amazing internet performance and minimal lag. In fact, you can connect over 100 devices to your WiFi!

If you want to use your own equipment instead of Optimum's free gear, you may run into difficulties. Optimum doesn't list compatible equipment and requires at least some third-party modems to be purchased from its stores.

With Optimum installation, you can do it yourself or have a pro help, and either way is free. If you order online, you can opt for a free standard professional installation or pay $59 for a premium installation, where the tech will configure Wi-Fi on up to six devices for you. While other providers may offer to set up your main device during installation, we haven’t seen such an extensive guarantee elsewhere. This could be a selling point for less tech-savvy customers.

Equipment and installation options can vary widely depending on
Optimum plans
available in your area.
View plans
Bend Broadband brand
Customer experience
3.0
Occasional customer service hiccups hamper an otherwise excellent ISP

Living with BendBroadband has its ups and downs. The day-to-day experience is solid for most customers, and the speeds seem to be consistent with what’s advertised. However, a few customers complain about regular price hikes and unreliable service that drops occasionally. Some customers also report poor customer service over the phone.

Because BendBroad is now owned by TDS, we would expect some changes in customer service moving forward. However, TDS rates about the same for customer service as Bend, so you may experience different issues and still feel the overall level of satisfaction.

Visit Bend Broadband's website
or call 1-844-733-6485 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Hawaiian Telcom
Customer experience
2.0
Customer service needs some improvement

We love that you can get started for around $35 and that the tech will automatically repair wiring if needed. But if you want additional technical support, you'll need for Hawaiian’s rather pricy Premier Value upgrade ($15.99 per month for two years). With it, a technician can help you with wire maintenance and Wi-Fi optimization, internet security for up to 10 devices, and priority for technician appointments. But we'd probably skip it at this price tag.

Unfortunately, many customers report problems with billing and customer service. If you go with Hawaiian, check your bill carefully and be prepared to sit on hold if you call in with issues.

Visit Hawaiian Telcom's website
or call 1-844-716-2785 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
Optimum brand
Customer experience
3.0
Good customer experience overall

Optimum provides a good customer experience overall. Both types—cable and fiber—are fast and stable. We haven’t seen any major complaints about Optimum's reliability, which is impressive. We think the day-to-day experience with Optimum is pretty great.

Optimum does have some customer service complaints, with one of the lowest ratings of all providers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) (3). Most of the complaints we’ve seen involve a poor experience dealing with customer service reps. Optimum does offer solid online support options, so you may be able to get around these issues. And, of course, not everyone has a poor experience.

Visit Optimum's website
or call 1-844-719-8066 for more information on contracts and money-back guarantees.
Go to provider
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Bend Broadband
4.0
(2)
5 Star
50%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
B
Brittany from West Chester , OH
Bend Broadband Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 8-29-2022
Okay okay I’ll be there in about a minute. I don’t have a phone number on my account so I’m just. Okay okay I’ll let you know when I get home from the.
M
Maryfrom Bend, OR
Bend Broadband Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 6-22-2022
The internet speed has improved,as has connectivity. They need to lower their prices and improve their customer service.
Hawaiian Telcom
3.5
(2)
5 Star
0%
4 Star
50%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
R
Ravenfrom Waipahu , HI
Hawaiian Telcom Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 12-2-2022
Hawaiin Telecom has been okay, but the speed could be better
J
Janicefrom Honokaa, HI
Hawaiian Telcom Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 6-24-2022
Hawaiian Telecom is good because they brought fiber optics to a rural location via a federal grant. They also are expedient in their service. However, I feel that they can improve by conducting regularly maintenance and check on customer’s network.
Optimum
3.8
(70)
5 Star
26%
4 Star
46%
3 Star
16%
2 Star
8%
1 Star
4%
D
Debbiefrom Cullowhee, NC
Optimum Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
Reliable with few issues. Just wish the cost wasn’t so much.
B
Bobbifrom Bridgeport, CT
Optimum Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
I am very satisfy with my service .I been a customer for years.They are a good value and very reliable.
L
Lyndafrom Sod, WV
Optimum Customer for 1+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
Optimum currently provides a fast and mostly reliable internet connection. However, the price is not a value at all.
J
Janetfrom Bronx, NY
Optimum Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 6-17-2022
very good service. always available in my area. a sure deal
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Endnotes and sources
1. "About Us," TDS. Accessed 15 December 2022.2. "How is BendBroadband?" Reddit. Accessed 15 December 2022.
Endnotes and sources
Endnotes and sources
1. “2022 Urban Rate Survey – Fixed Broadband Service,” FCC. Accessed 20 October 2022.2. "Measuring Broadband America," FCC. Retreieved Dec. 10, 2022.3. “Internet Service Providers,” American Customer Satisfaction Index. Accessed 15 June 2022.