Hawaiian Telcom to tap wireless spectrum to extend broadband reach

Company acquires Licenses for four neighbor island counties


Using wireless spectrum licenses acquired by its parent company Cincinnati Bell, Hawaiian Telcom will further expand broadband coverage in Hawaii. Licenses were acquired for Hawaii, Kalawao (Kalaupapa on Molokai), Kauai and Maui counties.

The wireless spectrum licenses were won as part of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Auction 105 for Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) Priority Access Licenses (PAL). The FCC announced the results of this auction on September 2, 2020.

Hawaiian Telcom President and General Manager Su Shin said the company will use the wireless spectrum licenses primarily to deliver broadband service of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to residents and business customers that are located outside the company’s current fiber network, which spans nearly 5,000 route miles throughout the island state.

“The wireless spectrum is another tool we can leverage to deliver our world-class broadband service to more local residents and businesses in certain areas of our state where it’s not feasible to build out fiber infrastructure,” Shin said.

The wireless spectrum will enable Hawaiian Telcom to deliver broadband service using transmitters and receivers and radio waves instead of cables. The FCC will award the licenses at the end of this year and services are expected to launch starting in 2022.

“As a local provider that’s committed to Hawaii, we understand that broadband connectivity is critical to maximize economic development, education, and quality of life initiatives throughout our state,” Shin said. “This reality has only been reinforced by the work from home and remote learning environments as well the growing telemedicine requirements in our rural communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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