PC Magazine: HawTel, Time Warner Oceanic provide slow Internet connections

by billso on Thursday, 7 June 2007

From this morning’s Hon­olulu Adver­tiser: the June 26 issue of PC Mag­a­zine has ranked the state of Hawaii next to last for Inter­net speed. Only Alaska is slower. The PC Mag­a­zine arti­cle has an inter­ac­tive map that shows over­all results and details for each state.

These find­ings have some face valid­ity, as both states are non-contiguous parts of the nation. Almost every packet that comes into Hawaii is deliv­ered on a cable or through a satel­lite. Main­land ISPs can con­nect to sev­eral dif­fer­ent back­bones as needed to reduce latency and increase reli­a­bil­ity. In the 50th state, we get what we get. Given the state’s small pop­u­la­tion, it’s not sur­pris­ing that Hawaii barely shows up in Akamai’s net­work per­for­mance charts.

PC Mag­a­zine col­lected results from 40,000 users around the US between May 2006 and April 2007. The mag­a­zine didn’t reveal how many Hawaii users par­tic­i­pated in the test.

Still, Time Warner Oceanic and Hawai­ian Tel­com will be field­ing ques­tions from res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial cus­tomers for the next few days. Alan Pol­lock, VP of Mar­ket­ing for TWO said that company’s ser­vice is “much faster than Hawai­ian Tel. it’s not even close.” In fact, TWO has used the tagline “fastest Inter­net ser­vice in Hawaii” for sev­eral years.

PC Magazine’s num­bers tell a dif­fer­ent story, in this graphic from the Adver­tiser.

While PC Mag’s exec­u­tive edi­tor, Jeremy Kaplan, guess that Hawaii’s loca­tion played a part in the state’s poor per­for­mance, both Haw­Tel and TWO claim that fac­tor doesn’t mat­ter. Pol­lock claimed that rural users who par­tic­i­pated in the PC Mag­a­zine tests may have hurt TWO’s num­bers. But that claim con­tra­dicts the company’s advertising.

Haw­Tel chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer Mike McHale said the com­pany was pleased with its rank­ing, but he dis­puted the state’s poor per­for­mance in the survey.

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