Hawaiian Telcom says weather-related outages could take days to fix

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Power outages are usually the first thing we hear about when the weather turns bad, like it did this past weekend.

But the rain and wind also caused problems for the phone company, and those fixes can take days or even longer.

A viewer reached out to KHON2 using the Report It feature on our website. Linda Peavy told us her phone and internet service went out Monday and is still out.

She’s not the only one. Hawaiian Telcom told her the outage is part of a general-area issue, with an estimated repair time by Feb. 17.

Peavy thinks the outage could have something to do with Saturday’s weather.

“I’m going to guess it was the dumping of rain the other day. It was very, very wet,” she said. “I don’t see why they can’t make it water-tight, so that when there’s unusual storms we won’t be affected like how we were today.”

We reached out to the company and found out bad weather is to blame for outages throughout Oahu.

Hawaiian Telcom declined our request for an on-camera interview, but sent a written response that said Saturday’s “unusually heavy rain” is the reason for several outages in Waipahu, Wahiawa, and Aiea.

We stopped by Linda Peavy’s neighborhood in the Pearlridge area and noticed a lot of repair work being done.

Hawaiian Telcom explained Peavy is part of an outage that requires replacing a large section of underground cable. About 135 customers in Aiea are affected and could see service restored as early as Wednesday.

What if more bad weather happens? Is anything being done to improve the equipment?

The company responded that over the past six years, it has invested more than a half-billion dollars in building and expanding the fiber network and systems statewide.

Hawaiian Telcom says the average wait for repairs varies based on the type of outage and a variety of factors, like weather conditions and location.

Last June, Hawaiian Telcom customers experienced an hours-long phone outage that impacted the entire state. The company traced the problem to its call-routing equipment that only allowed some calls to go through.

In December 2015, some customers were without phone service for three weeks after heavy rain soaked cables.

In November 2015, several customers were without phone service for months, which prompted the Public Utilities Commission to launch an informal inquiry into customer complaints.

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