Hawaiian Telcom extends fiber-based broadband to 5K rural sites

Island of Hawaii, small business owner vacation
A majority of Hawaiian Telcom's fiber deployments use FTTP technology to enable gigabit speeds. (Image: Island of Hawaii Visitor's Bureau)

Hawaiian Telcom has expanded its fiber-based broadband service to 5,000 rural areas in Hawaii, an initiative partly supported by its participation in the FCC’s CAF-II program.

This fiber network expansion includes the first CAF-II deployment on Molokai.

Nearly 70% of the deployments use fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, enabling access to 1 Gbps internet service, which Hawaiian Telcom was the first in Hawaii to launch in June 2015.

RELATED: Cincinnati Bell to invest $20M to upgrade Hawaiian Telcom fiber network

After the initial 1 Gbps launch, Hawaiian Telcom expanded 1 Gbps availability by more than 50% to more than 140,000 residences and businesses on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i, Maui and the Big Island. In 2016 Puʻu Lani Ranch and Puʻuanahulu on Hawai‘i Island were the first CAF-eligible areas enabled for broadband with FTTP technology.

Fiber-based broadband is now available in parts of these communities: Eden Roc, Fern Acres, Fern Forest, Glenwood, Hawaiian Acres, Hakalau, Kaiwiki, Kalapana, Kalōpā Mauka, Kapoho, Kurtistown, Leilani Estates, Milolii, Nanawale Estates, Nīnole, Ocean View Estates, Orchidland, Ouli, Pa’auilo Mauka and Waikii Ranch on Hawaii Island, Huelo on Maui, and Kaluakoi on Molokai.

In 2015, Hawaiian Telcom accepted about $26 million in CAF-II support to deploy a minimum of 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream to over 11,000 unserved locations by 2020.

While this latest build is focused on rural areas, the service provider overall has continued to make progress in equipping the more populated areas of its territory with fiber as well.

During the third quarter, Hawaiian Telcom fiber-enabled 1,000 additional consumer households on O'ahu, including success-based bulk multidwelling units and greenfield single-family homes, bringing total NGN households to 205,000, or approximately two-thirds of total marketable households on O'ahu.

But the fiber deployment in Hawaii will continue for some time.

Hawaiian Telcom’s soon-to-be new parent Cincinnati Bell has agreed to invest $20 million to improve and build out Hawaiian Telcom’s next-gen fiber network statewide within four years of the close of the merger.