$87 million fiber broadband infrastructure project to be launched by Hawaiian Telcom
An $87 million fiber broadband project to expand middle mile infrastructure is coming to the State of Hawai‘i.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration awarded Hawaiian Telcom $37 million from a highly competitive grant and the company will be providing $50 million in matching funds and in-kind contributions.
In addition to this middle mile project, Hawaiian Telcom has already invested more than a billion dollars since 2011, $500 million in just the last five years, to expand fiber and support broadband access to the people of Hawaiʻi.
This National Telecommunications and Information Administration grant is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America program and the Internet for All Initiative. More than 260 grant applications were submitted in late 2022 and more than 30 grant recipients were awarded $930 million for the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program.
Hawaiian Telcom was the only Hawaiʻi recipient of the grant, which invests in building regional networks that connect to national Internet networks.
“This project … will expand broadband access across the islands, unlocking limitless potential for innovation, education, telehealth, collaboration, and so much more,” said Su Shin, president and general manager of Hawaiian Telcom.
Middle mile infrastructure carries large amounts of data over long distances, increases capacity to local networks, boosts network resiliency, and helps connect unserved regions to the Internet backbone. Hawaiian Telcomʻs $87 million project will build 15 new middle mile fiber routes, over land and undersea to better connect the islands.
“Our top priority is to create positive change in Hawai‘i. We need reliable internet connectivity for all residents, from keiki to kūpuna, wherever they reside in Hawai‘i, so they can access all the opportunities and benefits that broadband can offer,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “As a state, we are working hard to increase digital equity and are grateful to all of our industry partners for their continued investment to expand more fiber infrastructure statewide and for aggressively pursuing federal support.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S.