East Hawaii News

Free Wi-Fi Installed at Panaʻewa Park Thanks to Multi-Agency Partnership

June 24, 2022, 4:00 PM HST
* Updated June 24, 11:47 AM
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Free Wi-Fi is coming to the Panaʻewa Park area as part of a scalable pilot program, the county announced Thursday.

“We are excited to work with a group of incredibly thoughtful partners to deliver free high-speed internet access to our communities,” Mayor Mitch Roth said in a press release. “All of our keiki deserve equitable access to high-speed internet, and finding creative ways to ensure that happens is all part of building a sustainable island where our keiki can thrive and succeed for generations to come. We would like to thank the Panaʻewa community for being so willing to accept this pilot project as we look to scale to other communities across Hawaiʻi Island.”

The organizations and individuals involved in the partnership to deliver the service include Hawaiʻi County, T&T Electric, Spectrum Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian Electric, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Hawaiʻi County Councilmember Sue Lee Loy, Ubicquia Smart City Applications, Sustainable Energy Hawaiʻi, David De Luz Jr. and the Hale Mua Cultural Group.

T&T Electric is responsible for installing and maintaining the Ubicquia Ubihub Wi-Fi 6 access point located atop an existing streetlight across from the Panaʻewa Gymnasium.

The streetlight router has low street visibility, provides secure data connectivity and has an effective radius of 328 feet. This device also provides streetlight dimming capabilities, energy monitoring, vehicle/pedestrian/bicycle counts and surveillance via two wide-angle lens cameras.

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“Partnering with Mayor Roth, the County of Hawaiʻi and all our affiliated entities to deliver this long-overdue service to Hawaiʻi Island residents is huge for our company as it furthers our mission to grow and improve the quality of life for our communities,” Leonard and Suellen Tanaka, president and vice president of T&T Electric, said in the press release. “This project wouldn’t be possible without the willingness and steadfast commitment of our partners and sponsors, and, for that, we are very grateful.”

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The pilot program will continue to monitor and assess the need and feasibility of providing free public Wi-Fi access as it relates to the Panaʻewa Park area. If deemed a pressing need, the county and its partners will look to scale the project accordingly.

For more information, click here.

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