Maui Business

FCC Awards $24 Million to Hawaiian Telecom for Rural Broadband Deployment

February 3, 2021, 12:25 PM HST
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Hawaiian Telecom was awarded $24 million by the FCC to continue deploying fiber broadband service to unserved and underserved rural areas in Hawaiʻi. Photo Courtesy: Hawaiian Telecom

The Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund has awarded Hawaiian Telecom $24 million to continue deploying fiber broadband service to unserved and underserved rural areas in Hawai‘i.

The funding will enable more than 8,000 locations with 1 gigabit speed download and 500 megabits per second (Mbps) upload by the end of 2027.

One gig speed means downloading 1,000,000,000 bits per second or 1,000 Mbps, which is 100 times faster than the average Internet speed in the United States.

One gig enables multiple connected devices to run bandwidth-intense applications like streaming video, cloud-based services and video conferencing simultaneously without sacrificing quality.

2019 Deloitte study found that the average U.S. household supports 11 connected devices, including seven with smart screens to view content.

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“The Internet has become an indispensable platform for innovation, education, healthcare and economic opportunities that’s critical to our quality of life,” said Su Shin, Hawaiian Telecom President and General Manager. “Hawaiian Telcom remains committed to helping to bridge the digital divide here in Hawai‘i by extending our fiber-powered broadband service to as many locations as possible as quickly as possible.”

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Since 2010, Hawaiian Telcom has invested more than $500 million in expanding its statewide fiber network. The company has successfully deployed broadband service across 178,000 locations, including 10,000 homes and businesses in rural areas.

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