Hawaiian Telcom receives $24 million to bring broadband to rural Hawaii

FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Helps Bridge the Digital Divide


Hawaiian Telcom has been awarded $24 million from a Federal Communications Commission fund dedicated to “bridging the digital divide.”

The funding, part of the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, will go toward deploying fiber broadband service to homes and businesses in unserved and underserved rural areas in Hawaii on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Hawaii Island and Molokai.

Hawaiian Telcom will be connecting 8,000 locations with 1 gigabit-per-second download and 500 megabit-per-second upload speeds by the end of 2027.

One gig speed, or 1,000 Mbps, is 100 times faster than the average Internet speed in the U.S., according to Hawaiian Telcom. One gig enables multiple connected devices to run bandwidth-intense applications like streaming video, cloud-based services and video conferencing simultaneously without sacrificing quality.

A 2019 Deloitte study found that the average U.S. household supports 11 connected devices including seven with smart screens to view content.

“The Internet has become an indispensable platform for innovation, education, healthcare and economic opportunities that’s critical to our quality of life,” said Su Shin, President and General Manager. “Hawaiian Telcom remains committed to helping to bridge the digital divide here in Hawaii by extending our fiber-powered broadband service to as many locations as possible as quickly as possible.”

Hawaiian Telcom will reach out to customers when their locations have been enabled for fiber services. Residents can also visit hawaiiantel.com, click “Check Availability,” and submit their address to see what speed their location qualifies for.

A company spokesperson notes that the federal funding doesn’t cover all of Hawaiian Telcom’s costs to deploy broadband infrastructure in these rural areas, but that they “believe in investing in our communities.”

Since 2010, Hawaiian Telcom has invested more than 500 million dollars in expanding its statewide fiber network. The company has successfully deployed broadband service across 178,000 locations including 10,000 homes and businesses in rural areas.

About Hawaiian Telcom

Hawaiian Telcom, established and headquartered in Honolulu since 1883, offers a full range of services to business and residential customers including Internet, video, voice, wireless, data network solutions and security, colocation, and managed and cloud services – all supported by the reach and reliability of its next generation fiber network and 24/7 state-of-the-art network operations center. For more information, visit hawaiiantel.com.

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