Project Grant


Grant Description
Purpose: Hawaiian Telcom, Inc is proposing to build an economically and environmentally sustainable, open access middle mile infrastructure that will benefit unserved and underserved communities and improve the resiliency of existing broadband services in the state of Hawaii.

Project Urgent consists of 15 new terrestrial and undersea routes and over 600 kilometers of fiber. The digital divide is particularly prevalent in Hawaii communities that are unserved or underserved, especially on islands like Maui, Molokai, Kauai, and Hawaii Island, rural Oahu communities - Waianae, Nanakuli, North Shore, and Hawaiian Home Lands, which are "tribal" lands set aside for homesteads for Native Hawaiians having at least 50% Hawaiian blood. These areas are particularly vulnerable, and Hawaii is ranked amongst the worst states in the nation in terrestrial broadband coverage (54%) and amongst the slowest average download speeds.

Project Urgent also addresses climate-related risks such as coastal flooding and erosion and the impact from natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions and fires, tsunamis, and hurricanes.

Activities and Expected Outcomes: The applicant's goals for the proposed project are:

(1.) Build 15 new terrestrial and undersea routes throughout the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, and in the surrounding waters of the Pacific Ocean. The proposed routes will be economically and environmentally sustainable, and open access, which will benefit unserved and underserved communities, including Hawaiian Home Lands.

(2.) Improve the resiliency of existing broadband services in the state of Hawaii by mitigating the impact of climate change.

(3.) The proposed funded middle mile infrastructure will improve broadband capability, availability, and affordability to unserved and underserved communities. Communities that will benefit from the project include: Kauai: Wailua, Anahola, Kekaha, Waimea; Oahu: Wahiawa, Nanakuli, Waianae, Waimanalo; Maui: Napili, Lahaina, Waiehu, Keanae and Hana; Hawaii: Districts of Hamakua and Puna; Molokai: Kalua Koi, Maunaloa, Ualapue.

(4.) Decrease the cost of broadband services to anchor institutions, businesses, and end-users that currently rely on satellite or legacy copper-based services.

Intended Beneficiaries: The proposed installation will take place throughout the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii, and in the surrounding waters of the Pacific Ocean. It will target rural, underserved, and unserved communities on each island and protect against climate change. The project will create a resilient network, maintain affordable rates, and provide the middle mile backbone for the applicant and other providers, laying the foundation for increased broadband penetration. It will allow for the enablement of last mile connectivity that will benefit businesses and beneficiaries located on Hawaiian Home Lands and other underserved and unserved communities. The project is expected to result in a material reduction in end-user consumer broadband prices and the cost of broadband services to anchor institutions and businesses. It will also have considerable economic benefits for the state of Hawaii.

Hawaii ranks #2 in the nation for military personnel serving in the state in relation to the total population. Home to the US Indo-Pacific Command, Hawaii is one of six geographic combatant commands and is responsible for oversight of half of the globe, including Russia, China, and North Korea where national security interests run high. Hawaii has a total of 11 military bases statewide representing all branches, and the proposed project will greatly enhance the resiliency to several key military installations, benefiting national security interests of the United States and the Department of Defense.

Subrecipient Activities: The applicant does not intend to subaward funds.
Place of Performance
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813-2808 United States
Geographic Scope
Single Zip Code
Related Opportunity
Hawaiian Telcom was awarded Project Grant 1540MM982 worth $37,356,955 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology in July 2023. The grant has a duration of 5 years and was awarded through assistance program 11.033 Middle Mile (Broadband) Grant Program. $50,109,574 (57.0%) of this Project Grant was funded by non-federal sources.


Last Modified 6/21/23

Period of Performance
Start Date
End Date
5.0% Complete

Funding Split
Federal Obligation
Non-Federal Obligation
Total Obligated
43.0% Federal Funding
57.0% Non-Federal Funding

Activity Timeline

Additional Detail

SAI Number
Award ID URI
Awardee Classifications
For-Profit Organization (Other Than Small Business)
Awarding Office
Funding Office
Performance District
Mazie Hirono
Brian Schatz
Ed Case
Modified: 6/21/23