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During these unprecedented times, can you imagine not being able to "Netflix and chill" or get real-time information on the coronavirus? The Internet: it's an invaluable innovation that enables us to connect worldwide – to work, shop, play games, watch movies, research, view photos, and more.
On Oahu, internet can be provided in these technology types by a range of companies:
Internet is offered in a variety of speeds, including some of the fastest available in the world. The average Hawaii internet speed is 61.7 megabytes per second (mbps), and if you have this speed, you will need to wait patiently for some pages or videos to upload. Compared to other states in the United States, Hawaii is ranked 27th in broadband access, which is impressive for the most isolated island chain on Earth. As of August 2020, around 97 percent of Hawaii residents had access to broadband internet service providers offering internet at 100 mbps or faster.
People living on Oahu have internet service providers that can offer 1 gigabit broadband internet, which is about as fast as the internet can be at this time. More than 50% of people in Hawaii have access to fiber-optic internet service providers, which are known to be some of the fastest and most reliable internet options.
Different Oahu internet providers will offer seasonal deals, so it is important to shop around and compare internet options and prices. Companies like Hawaiian Telcom offer internet at 500 mbps at a cost of $45 per month, as of August 2020. However, people living on islands other than Oahu may not have such affordable options for accessing the internet; as of March 2020, only around 51 percent of Hawaii residents had access to an internet plan that was $60 per month or less, meaning internet in Hawaii is not as affordable as in other U.S. states.
Typically Hawaii internet providers offer three ways to install Wi-Fi in your home: professional installation, self-installation with your own equipment, and self-installation with internet kits from the company.
When using the internet company to install the Wi-Fi, you will need to be present and have at least a four-hour time frame during the installer’s pre-scheduled visit. Find a spot where you want the internet to be installed and clear the area of furniture beforehand. A good spot for the internet modem is where you will be using the internet most, or in a central location in the home so it can reach all parts of the house.
If you choose to install the internet yourself, you will need a few devices:
The internet service provider will typically give step-by-step instructions, and you will plug in all the devices, connect them, and then turn them on. Most internet providers in Hawaii will also give technical support over the phone if you decide to DIY your internet installation.
While Hawaii has a limited number of Internet providers, here are the top five to get Internet service on Oahu, with the top three providing the latest fiber optic internet technology:
Hawaiian Telcom. One of the largest Internet providers in Hawaii, Hawaiian Telcom offers several home and business internet packages with ongoing servicing options.
In addition to fiber packages, which are the most popular due to their speed, Hawaiian Telecom also offers DSL and cable internet service in addition to home phones, wireless, and TV technology.
Spectrum. Offering fast internet along with free modems, antivirus software, and unlimited data, Spectrum allows you to have WiFi in your Hawaii home while staying connected with multiple devices. Speeds start at 100 mbps, and you can upgrade for even faster speeds. Spectrum was once known as Oceanic Time Warner Cable but merged with Spectrum in 2017.
Spectrum has WiFi hotspots across Oahu, allowing Spectrum in-home internet users to access the net at popular places across the island. Spectrum also has business packages as well as bundles to get access to internet, cable TV, home phones, and mobile devices.
Hawaii Dialogix Telecom. Catering more to businesses, this fast-growing internet service provider on Hawaii offers fiber-based (“hyperfiber”) services with speeds up to 1 gbps. They also offer fixed wireless for customers in hard-to-reach areas, offering Ethernet based services with speeds up to 1 gbps. Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) is another internet solution they offer for customers on Oahu, providing a cost-effective, high-speed Internet connection.
Boost Mobile. Offering WiFi Hotspot plans, you can share high speed 4G LTE data with up to 10 wireless devices, like laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, cameras, and more. The amount of data is limited each month, with the beginning package being 50 GB for $50 per month. You must have a hotspot device, which is sold separately and can connect to fast internet anywhere a Boost mobile signal is found – whether in your home, car, or office.
Verizon. Offering 4G and 5G mobile hotspots, Verizon offers Jetpack devices that enable multiple devices to access a hotspot. They offer a variety of data plans, and you will also have to pay for the device, which can connect to tablets, smartphones, laptops, cameras, gaming devices and more. Unlike a home Wi-Fi router, a Jetpack is portable, so you can access the internet in your Hawaii home – or in your car, on the beach, at a café, or more.
While Hawaii does not have as many internet service providers as some places in the Mainland, we do have two top companies – Hawaiian Telecom and Spectrum – that offer fast internet at a reasonable price with average service. Different Oahu internet providers often compete against each other, so do your research on the company, know what your internet need is, compare prices, and ask about ongoing support.
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