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Hawaiian Telcom internet reviews

Hawaiian Telcom
Staff rating
Customer rating
Price: $19.99 - $129.99/moSpeed: 3 Mbps - 750 MbpsChannels: 350+DVR storage hours: 130
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Headshot of Kathryn Casna
Researched by
Kathryn CasnaSenior Staff Writer
Headshot of Bri Field
Reviewed by
Bri FieldAssigning Editor
Updated 2/7/23

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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

Our expert assessment

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.

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.

This provider has room to grow when it comes to speed, too. Unlike other kinds of internet, fiber allows for symmetrical download and upload speeds of up to 10 Gbps. (4) Unfortunately, Hawaiian’s fastest plan is only 940 Mbps down and 500 Mbps up. While these speeds are plenty for most households, large families with multiple online gamers, YouTube creators, or video callers might be disappointed.

Equipment and installation
Hawaiian kills it when it comes to 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.

Customer experience
Decent customer service—baked into your plan or à la carte

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.

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Hawaiian Telcom customer ratings overview

Hawaiian Telcom
5 Star
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1 Star
Our reviews come from real customers who weren't incentivized to leave a review. The rating distribution typically shows a range of experiences and opinions that helps you get a sense for the average customer experience, not just extremes.

Top reviews from Hawaiian Telcom customers

Ravenfrom Waipahu , HI
Hawaiian Telcom Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-12-02
Hawaiin Telecom has been okay, but the speed could be better
Barbarafrom Kailua , HI
Hawaiian Telcom Customer for 8+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-10-30
It' rare that my internet is down or slow. I use it all hours of the day and night and it' always there.
Larryfrom Ewa Beach, HI
Hawaiian Telcom Customer for Less than a year
Reviewed on: 2022-10-26
Very happy with them Speed is sufficient
Janicefrom Honokaa, HI
Hawaiian Telcom Customer for 4+ years
Reviewed on: 2022-07-07
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.
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Endnotes and sources