Originally posted on Data Center POST

University of Hawaiʻi (UH) and Ocean Networks, Inc. (ONI) have announced a monumental $120 million public-private partnership to construct the Hawaiian Islands Fiber Link (HIFL). This transformative submarine optical fiber cable system aims to connect the Hawaiian Islands, revolutionizing high-speed broadband internet access throughout the state. The project is a key component of Connect Kākou, the state’s broadband initiative, marking it as a top priority under the Josh Green administration.

Governor Josh Green, M.D., expressed his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “This inter-island cable system will leverage the once-in-a-generation federal investment for technological infrastructure, and position our state for long-term economic growth.” The resulting network will be open to all carriers, supporting a wide range of telecommunications carrier and enterprise traffic, including anticipated high-capacity demands for healthcare, education, research, public service, commerce, and government uses.

Ocean Networks, Inc. (ONI) will play a pivotal role in the supply, construction, operations, and maintenance of the inter-island cable system. Partial funding will be provided through a federal grant, with ONI securing the remaining funds through private equity and secured debt. Once online, HIFL will serve as the inter-island backbone of Connect Kākou, processing a high volume of data with minimal delay.

Under the direction of Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke, Connect Kākou is poised to guarantee the state’s long-term internet connectivity. Exceeding over $500 million in federal grants, state funds, and private matching funds, the initiative is committed to connecting the unconnected and providing everyone the opportunity to access reliable, affordable, high-speed internet.

Garret Yoshimi, UH Vice President for Information Technology and CIO, expressed satisfaction in partnering with Ocean Networks, Inc., citing their significant industry experience. He emphasized, “It’s an honor for UH to play an important role in connecting Hawaiʻi to the future.”

Cliff Miyake, VP Business Development of Ocean Networks, Inc., echoed the sentiment, saying, “We are delighted to collaborate with the UH and proud that ONI has been selected to build and operate the new HIFL submarine cable system. The HIFL system will provide critical improvement to the broadband infrastructure for the State of Hawaiʻi.”

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