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LETTER: Island-Wide Fiber-Optic Lines Needed

March 2, 2015, 10:18 AM HST
* Updated March 2, 10:19 AM
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Hawaiian Telcom’s main fiber-optic trunk cable for West Hawaii was
damaged three times over the past year (twice in the same week). These
outages were a major inconvenience for anyone making a purchase or
trying to make a phone call. In addition, residents living from Waikoloa
to Pahala were not able to call 911 to report any emergencies.

The lack of redundancy is the culprit of these outages. Oceanic Time
Warner Cable and Hawaiian Telcom have a fiber-optic cables going from
Kawaihae to the Kona area. Oceanic’s fiber traverses along Queen
Kaahumanu Highway and Hawaiian Telcom’s goes along Highway 190.

However, these fiber-optic cables end in the Pahala area and don’t
circle the island. So, a simple tree limb can knock out service to a
large part of our island.

The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs estimates it will
cost 6 million dollars to extend the fiber-optic cable between Volcano
and Pahala, which will eliminate this dead zone and create a true
fiber-optic ring around the Big Island. This added redundancy will help
minimize these recent outages in the future.

I hope the County of Hawaii, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaiian Telcom
and the Federal government can work together to help resolve this issue,
as our economic well-being and public safety is at stake if this not
resolved soon.

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Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

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