Hawaiʻi Expands Broadband Network, New Gigabit Connection
Two new broadband facilities outfitted with state-of-the-art multi-gigabit connectivity have been established, connecting Hawaiʻi to Hollywood and more than 430 studios across the three continents.
State officials with the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism through its attached agency, the Hawaiʻi Strategic Development Corporation made the announcement with a launch party held yesterday at the Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles.
“This new fiber connection is a major development in the technology linking Hawaiʻi to the global film and creative media industry,” said Gov. David Ige in a press release announcement. “This will help grow our local film and TV industry and potentially make Hawaiʻi a hub for production and post-production.”
The new connection is provided by a new Hawaiʻi-based technology company called GVS Connect. The company is supported by an initial investment of $170,000 from the State of Hawaiʻi’s HI Growth Initiative and is a broadband pilot project designed in part to address this opportunity.
GVS Connect unveiled the new fiber service with a live real-time demonstration from Kona, Hawaiʻi, to a screening room filled with Hollywood studio executives at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles.
GVS Connect has wired up two hubs:
- One hub is at Honua Studios in Kona, home to the GVS Transmedia Accelerator, a startup accelerator program focused on content and media companies.
- The second site is at the Homer A. Maxey International Trade Resource Center at Pier 2.
Currently, slow internet speeds have meant that film and media productions shoot scenes and then either have to compress to transmit or physically courier the disk drives to Los Angeles for post-production. With GVS Connect, studios will now have the ability to transfer and simultaneously edit raw High Definition dailies to producers and studios around the world with efficiency and security.
“This type of service has the potential to boost our economy, and is a key piece of our effort to stimulate and grow technology and innovation companies in Hawaiʻi,” said DBEDT Director Luis Salaveria in a press release. “As the state works to increase its broadband capacity with the rest of the world, we anticipate local business will want to utilize this service to maximize their operations,” said Salaveria.
This public-private initiative delivers innovative broadband connectivity to Hawaiʻi’s post-production, visual effects and audio entrepreneurs. Although film and creative media companies will likely be among the first customers to use this paid service, the connectivity will also be available to other businesses in need of HD video conferencing, digital collaboration and other applications requiring high-speed broadband connectivity.
“This type of private fiber connection is important to all entrepreneurs and represents another major milestone in our building of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hawaii,” said HSDC President Karl Fooks.
State officials say that combined with the Hawaiʻi Film Studio, incentives for production and the State of Hawaiʻi’s Creative Lab Program focused on developing homegrown creative entrepreneurs, this new gigabit connectivity creates new possibilities for Hawaiʻi as a strategic base for global film production.
The project is part of larger initiative by the State of Hawaiʻi to increase its broadband capacity. Hawaiʻi has committed $25 million to build a future broadband landing site and a major upgrade in the undersea cable infrastructure connecting Hawaiʻi to the world.