Hawaiian Telcom to wind down FTTH, IPTV investments in 2017

A Hawaiian Telcom executive says that it will begin winding down its FTTH and IPTV investments in 2017 as it reaches the end of its aggressive buildout.

CEO Scott Barber told investors during the Stephens 2016 Spring Investment Conference that the next-generation build for FTTH is nearly completed. The service provider has currently built out to 190,000 of the 300,000 homes on Oahu. Ultimately, Hawaiian Telcom will build to 220,000 of those homes.

"We'll probably conclude around 220,000 homes and the remaining 80,000 are military housing or condominium buildings that are under contract with a competitor," Barber said. "That particular buildout will conclude in the first half of 2017."

Barber added that will bring FTTH to Greenfield housing developments as they emerge on Oahu.

"We will have a little bit of success-based build out construction to go to," Barber said. "Some of the condo buildings are under construction over the next five years, but it's really small when compared to the overbuild that we have been doing for the past five years which has been 30,000 to 50,000 homes per year."

Leveraging a GPON architecture, Hawaiian Telcom has also jumped on the 1 Gbps bandwagon, offering the service to homes where it has equipped with fiber.

Although it does not break out how many customers are actually using the 1 Gbps service, the telco noted during its first quarter call that more of its customers are purchasing speeds ranging from 21 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

During the quarter, the telco enabled 5,000 additional households with fiber, increasing the total number of households to 195,000 with 61 percent of those capable of using fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology.

Barber noted on its first quarter 2016 earnings call that "43 percent of our total residential internet customers are 21-meg to 1-gig speed compared to 33 percent in the same period a year ago and 22 percent in the same period just two years ago."

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