BY SCOTT SIMON FOR HAWAIIAN TEL COM – To assist Hawaii residents and their family and friends in Japan after the catastrophic earthquake and ensuing tsunami, Hawaiian Telcom is offering all of its residential home phone customers free phone calls to Japan through April 15, 2011.  For customers with Hawaiian Telcom Long Distance service, free calling will be retroactive to calls placed on March 11, 2011.

“Hawaii’s people have always had a strong connection to Japan – for many local residents, Japan was once home.  In this time of crisis, we’d like to make it as easy as possible for our customers to contact family and friends in Japan who may have been impacted by these tragic events,” said Eric Yeaman, President and CEO of Hawaiian Telcom.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Japan during this most difficult time,” Yeaman added on behalf of the Company.

Home phone customers with Hawaiian Telcom International Long Distance plans who are making calls to Japan during the free calling period do not need to make any changes to their accounts in order to take advantage of this program.  Customers who do not have Hawaiian Telcom as their international long distance provider must call 643-0929 to designate Hawaiian Telcom at no cost, then begin free calling to Japan.

The program will cover any direct call to Japan.  Calls to operators or directory assistance will continue to be charged at the usual rate.  Hawaiian Telcom also cannot override charges incurred by residential home phone customers for any calls using a different international long distance carrier.

If unsure, Customers should call Hawaiian Telcom at 643-0929 to verify their provider.  Customers should go to hawaiiantel.com/callJapanFree for the terms and restrictions applicable to this program.  Hawaiian Telcom recommends its High Speed Internet service to contact family and friends online through email, or social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, during infrastructure challenges in Japan that may prevent telephone calls from being connected.

Customers are also encouraged to refrain from extended telephone conversations due to the limited available capacity of Japan’s communications network.

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