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Hawaiian Telcom broadband customers up 4% last year

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Hawaiian Telcom said its number of high-speed internet customers rose by 4 percent in 2010 from a year earlier while its traditional access-line business continued to shrink.

The state’s largest phone company, which emerged from bankruptcy protection last fall, said that it had 99,700 business and residential high-speed internet accounts last year, up 3,700 from 2009. Although its access-line business fell by 6 percent to 441,187 customers last year, the decline was smaller than the 8 percent drop in 2009, the company said in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hawaiian Telcom’s next major product offering is expected to be television service that it will deliver to customers over its telephone lines.

“With the launch of Hawaiian Telcom TV we will be positioned to capture a share of the significant TV and entertainment opportunity that we currently do not address today by bringing choice to the marketplace and changing the way Hawaii consumers experience video entertainment,” said Eric Yeaman, Hawaiian Telcom president and chief executive officer.

The company is in the midst of negotiations with the cable television of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs for a video franchise license for Oahu. Hawaiian Telcom did not disclose an expected launch date for the new service.

Shares of Hawaiian Telcom rose 50 cents to close at $26.50 today in over the counter trading.

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