Updating of Kauai Internet equipment temporarily leaves customers without e-mail, Web access

Many customers of Kauai Internet, one of Kaua’i’s main providers of a connection to the Internet, has been without e-mail access and a Web connection.

The process of upgrading “very outdated, unstable and unreliable” equipment at Kaua’i Internet (hawaiian.net) meant some of the Internet service providers’ customers endured days without e-mail or Web access, said one of the company’s new owners.

But come Monday, all of those problems should have been worked out, and Kauai Internet’s dial-up and DSL (digital subscriber line) customers should join those who are already enjoying fast connections with the new system, said Jay Kokora, one of the new owners of the business.

“Kaua’i Internet was bought by a group of local residents two months ago,” he said. “Since that time, we have been driven to upgrade the system in every capacity. It has been our number-one focus to improve and upgrade all of our systems for all of our customers.”

Since buying the business for an undisclosed amount from Gregg Gardiner, owner of 101 Things to Do on Kaua’i and chairman of the board of directors of the Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative, Kauai Internet seems to have been beset with problems, though.

John Sydney Yamane, the founder of Kauai Internet, now runs the Nawiliwili-based Hawaii Link ISP service.

Kauai Internet clients including County of Kaua’i employees who use the KauaiGov.com system maintained by Kauai Internet have endured days of e-mail outages, and have not been able to access e-mails coming from outside the county’s local area network, according to a spokesperson for the County of Kaua’i.

After changing dial-up numbers for its roughly 2,800 Kaua’i customers, and other customers across Hawai’i, many of those customers became frustrated by hearing busy signals or recorded messages stating that “all circuits are busy” when they tried to go online to either send or receive e-mail, or get on the Web.

On Friday, a recorded message on the Kauai Internet technical-support line spelled out the problem:

“At the present time, we are experiencing the following technical challenges. Our mail server is near completion of being upgraded. For the time being, you will not be able to receive or send e-mail, until the upgrade is complete.”

The server was expected to be up before the end of the business day Friday.

For Kaua’i dial-up customers experiencing busy signals, an alternate dial-up number was offered.

Some other Kauai Internet subscribers said their e-mail had been down for several days. Some customers have left Kaua’i Internet for other ISPs.

An O’ahu-based, technical-support staff member for Kaua’i Internet said Kaua’i-based technicians were working on the problems.

The company’s Kaua’i customer-service number had a recorded message.

Kokora said the outages are part of the upgrade process, and he appreciates the patience customers have shown. The company is lowering its basic dial-up rate from $20 to $18, and installing an e-mail spam-filtering system that should be operational by Monday.

“I think that there’s a transition going on, certainly, that has caused a few inconveniences here and there. I certainly appreciate all of their patience and their understanding in this process.

“But I think, by beginning of business on Monday, the service that all of our customers are going to be provided is going to be excellent, top-notch, 100 percent better than what it was two weeks ago,” he promised.

Staff Writer Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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