Hawaiian Telcom accepts $26M in CAF II funds to extend broadband to 11K new locations

Hawaiian Telcom will take $26 million in the FCC's Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF-II) funding to extend 10/1 Mbps capable broadband service to over 11,000 unserved rural locations.

With a focus on neighbor islands in Hawaii, the telco is now working on a deployment timeline for the six-year period, beginning in 2015 through 2020.  

Scott Barber, president and CEO of Hawaiian Telcom, said in a release that "CAF Phase II support will allow us to deploy service to island communities that currently have no access to high-speed Internet."

The telco said that the CAF-II support will replace the current $1.9 million Universal Service Fund (USF) support it receives.

Through the first phase of the CAF program, Hawaiian Telcom used nearly $1.4 million to deploy broadband service to over 500 locations within the Orchidland Estates subdivision in Keaʻau on Hawaii Island. It is currently deploying service to another 1,300 additional locations in the Hawaiʻi Ocean View Estates, Honaunau, Keaʻau, Mountain View and Volcano communities, targeted for completion by the end of this year. Each of these locations qualify for 4/1 Mbps speed services.  

Broadband expansion continues to be a factor for Hawaiian Telcom, particularly on the FTTH front. During the second quarter, the service provider said it reached 175,000 homes with FTTH service and has also launched a new 1 Gbps service.

Hawaiian Telcom joins a growing group of telcos to accept CAF II funding. Fellow ILECs FairPoint, Frontier and Windstream all previously announced their intent to take specific amounts to reach more unserved parts of their territories.

However, larger telcos such as AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) have yet to announce whether or not if they are going to accept CAF II funding.

For more:
- see the release

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