Hawai’i Broadband Network Gigabit Connection Expanded
Two new broadband facilities outfitted with state-of-the-art multi-gigabit connectivity have been established in Hawai’i. The sites will connect Hawai’i to 430 studios across three continents, including Hollywood.
The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s attached agency, the Hawai’i Strategic Development Corporation, made the announcement following a launch party at the Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles, Calif.
“This new fiber connection is a major development in the technology linking Hawai’i to the global film and creative media industry,” said Governor David Ige. “This will help grow our local film and TV industry and potentially make Hawaii a hub for production and post-production.”
GVS Connect, a new Hawai’i-based technology company, is providing the new connection, supported with a $170,000 investment from the state’s HI Growth Initiative, and is a broadband pilot project designed in part to address this opportunity
The new fiber service was unveiled live with a real-time demonstration from Kailua-Kona to a screening room at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles that was filled with Hollywood studio executives.
Two hubs have been wired by GVS Connect, one at the Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona, home of GVS. The second is at the Homer A. Maxey International Trade Resource Center at Pier 2 on Oahu.
Slow internet speeds have meant that film and media productions shoot scenes that either have to compress to transmit of physically courier the disk drives to Los Angeles for post-production.
Now, with GVS Connect, studios will be able to transfer and simultaneously edit raw High Definition dailies to producers and studios around the world both fast and safely.
“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 Hawai’i,” said DBEDT Director Luis Salaveria. “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.”
Film and creative media companies will likely be among the first customers to use this paid service, however, 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 Hawai’i,” explained HSDC President Karl Fooks.
Along with the Hawai’i Film Studio, incentives for production, and the State of Hawai’i’s Creative Lab Program focused on developing homegrown creative entrepreneurs, this new gigabit connectivity creates new possibilities for Hawai’i as a strategic base for global film production.
The state has committed $25 million to build a future broadband landing site and a major upgrade in the undersea cable infrastructure connecting Hawai’i to the world, making this recent program just one part of a larger initiative.