Expansion of high-speed internet coming to Hawaiian Islands with undersea cable project

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The University of Hawaiʻi and Ocean Networks, Inc. are partnering to construct a submarine optical fiber cable system that will connect the Hawaiian Islands and improve and expand high-speed broadband internet throughout the state.

With a price tag of $120 million, the project, the Hawaiian Islands Fiber Link (HIFL), is a key component of Connect Kākou, the state’s broadband initiative, a top priority of the Gov. Josh Green administration. Under the direction of Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke, Connect Kākou will ensure reliable and affordable access to high-speed internet for everyone.

HIFL will be a carrier-neutral, open-access system with landing sites on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kauaʻi, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi that will improve the state’s inter-island and regional connectivity. According to a press release from the University of Hawai‘i, the system will have 24 fiber pairs with a design life of 25 years and is expected to be ready for service in late 2026.

The project is being overseen by the UH System Office for Information Technology with support from the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi.


“This inter-island cable system will leverage the once-in-a-generation federal investment for technological infrastructure and position our state for long-term economic growth,” said Green. “The resulting network will be open to all carriers and sufficiently robust to support all manner of telecommunications carrier and enterprise traffic, including anticipated future high-capacity demands supporting healthcare, education, research, public service, commerce, and government uses.”

Ocean Networks, Inc. is responsible for the supply, construction, operations and maintenance of the inter-island cable system. Partial funding will be provided through a federal grant, and the remaining funds will be secured by the company through private equity and secured debt.

“As the most isolated populated place on the planet, we face unique communications challenges and rely on submarine cables to stay connected,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Improving our submarine cable infrastructure to ensure Hawai‘i remains connected to the world and everyone in the state can get reliable, high-speed internet has been a focus of mine, and the federal funding we secured last year and this new agreement will help make that a reality.”


When it goes online, HIFL will be able to process a high volume of data with minimal delay and will be the inter-island backbone of Connect Kākou.

“This is just one part of our plan to guarantee the state’s long-term internet connectivity,” said Luke. “Connect Kākou has over $500 million in federal grants, state funds, and private matching funds available as we work towards connecting the unconnected and make sure everyone has access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet.”

Garret Yoshimi, UH VP for Information Technology and & CIO said they are pleased to be partnering with Ocean Networks adding it’s an “honor for UH to play an important role in connecting Hawaiʻi to the future.”


Cliff Miyake, VP Business Development of Ocean Networks, Inc., is also excited about the collaboration with the university.

“The HIFL system will provide critical improvement to the broadband infrastructure for the State of Hawaiʻi,” he said.

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