Updated: September 26, 2023
Hawaiian Telcom has completed its fiber expansion throughout the island of Lāna‘i, marking another step towards closing the state’s digital divide. Lāna‘i residents and businesses island-wide now have access to Hawaiian Telcom’s high-speed internet Fioptics.
“We’re pleased to have reached this important milestone of completely enabling Lāna‘i with fiber during our 140th anniversary year of serving Hawai‘i,” said Su Shin, Hawaiian Telcom’s President and General Manager. “Broadband is the foundation for growth and innovation which is especially important for our rural communities. It unlocks new possibilities for Lāna‘i residents and businesses as the island is being redefined as a self-sustaining community.”
“Reliable digital access is critical to providing the best quality of life for Lāna‘i residents,” said Kurt Matsumoto, Chief Operating Officer of Pūlama Lāna‘i. “Weʻre pleased that Hawaiian Telcom is investing in vital infrastructure to support Lāna‘i schools, healthcare providers and businesses to keep pace with the rest of the world. Their support strengthens our commitment to become a sustainable community and creates more economic opportunities for our residents and businesses.”
One of the organizations looking forward to improved connectivity is Lāna‘i Kinā‘ole, Inc., a community-based, nonprofit home healthcare agency.
“Our broadband connection is our lifeline,” said Valerie Janikowski, RN, Program Administrator of Lāna‘i Kinā‘ole, Inc. “We use it constantly for meetings, to assist clients with telehealth appointments, to communicate with our partners and to attend local town hall or other government gatherings. Because our island is more remote, broadband is an absolute necessity here on Lāna‘i.”
“With all the stressors introduced by the pandemic, there has been a steep increase in the need for counseling and remote professional services,” said Janikowski. “Our community members, adults and youth really rely on internet connections for activities, services and support.”
Hawaiian Telcom is Hawai‘i’s only provider of 100% fiber internet known as Fioptics. Powered by fiber connections directly to individual homes and businesses, Fioptics delivers the fastest upload speed in the state, up to 500 megabits per second (Mbps).
Fiber-optic cables carry 10,000 times more bandwidth than copper cables and fast upload speeds provide a superior experience with video calls, file uploads, and security cameras. In addition to transmitting data at the speed of light, fiber cables are more energy-efficient, more durable and less susceptible to elements such as water and electromagnetic interference.
Since 2010, Hawaiian Telcom has invested more than $1 billion to expand its fiber footprint, maintain and increase capacity of its communications network, and support its integrated communication solutions for its business, residential and wholesale customers. Last year alone, Hawaiian Telcom invested more than $160 million to expand and support its fiber network expansion efforts.
Residents and businesses can visit hawaiiantel.com/fioptics to check if their location qualifies for Fioptics. Lāna‘i residents may qualify for free internet service through August 2024, courtesy of the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation’s HI Connect Broadband Project. For information, visit hawaiiantel.com/hiconnect or call Hawaiian Telcom at 808-643-3456.
Hawaiian Telcom also participates in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program that offers a discount of up to $30/month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75/month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a discount to purchase a device from participating providers. For information about ACP eligibility and enrollment, please visit fcc.gov/acp.