Friday, November 27, 2015         

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With bankruptcy over, Telcom plans Net TV

The phone company will renew a license application in its bid for cable customers

By Alan Yonan Jr.


Hawaiian Telcom officially emerged from bankruptcy yesterday and said it now plans to develop new services, including Internet-based television.

The company had been working on the TV service while in bankruptcy and will soon renew its application for a cable license with the state, said Eric Yeaman, Hawaiian Telcom chief executive officer.

"We have a dedicated, full-time team that has completed development of the product. We're going through testing and the results are going well," Yeaman said at a news conference to announce the end of the company's bankruptcy.

Hawaiian Telcom, the largest telephone company in Hawaii, filed for bankruptcy in December 2008. It finalized its emergence from bankruptcy yesterday after earlier receiving approval from the Public Utilities Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

Hawaiian Telcom's previous owner, the Carlisle Group, had applied for a cable franchise license in 2006 but suspended development after it ran into financial difficulties.

The proposal received widespread support at a public hearing in 2006, with proponents saying they would welcome a new competitor in a market dominated by cable provider Oceanic Time Warner.

Yeaman said the company is also boosting investments in its fiber-optic network, which provides the basis for its business data services and its high-speed Internet.

Through its reorganization, Hawaiian Telcom was able to reduce its debt to $300 million from $1.2 billion.

The company also will convert about $600 million of senior secured debt to $160 million in common stock, Yeaman said. The shares will initially be traded over the counter and later on the Nasdaq exchange. There are no plans to issue additional shares to raise capital, he said.

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