University of Hawaii System, Ke Ala ‘Ike

Ke Ala ‘Ike: Connecting Hawaii’s Public Schools, Community Colleges and Libraries

Given Hawaii’s challenging topography, most community-serving institutions in the state rely on slow copper-based Internet service and face limited broadband availability. As a result, critical challenges exist in providing broadband-based services, especially in remote sections areas such as Hana on Maui and the islands of Molokai and Lanai. The University of Hawaii System is proposing to address this concern by expanding and enhancing a statewide fiber network to bring high-speed middle-mile service to the market and reliable connectivity to schools, libraries, and other community anchor institutions. The Ke Ala ‘Ike ( “pathway to knowledge”) project intends to deploy and enhance direct fiber optic connectivity to all community colleges and their remote distance learning centers, all public K-12 schools including public charter schools, and all public libraries on six islands. The project plans to provide 10 Gbps connectivity to institutions of higher education, 1 Gbps connectivity to K-12 schools and libraries, and backbone infrastructure to Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the Big Island with 10 Gbps-capacity inter-island circuits.

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BTOP In Action
A construction crew works outside an elementary school.

The University of Hawaii System provided access to more than 340 community anchor institutions through June 2013 as part of the Ke Ala ‘Ike, “pathway to knowledge,” project. Additionally, University of Hawaii System has deployed more than 400 new network miles and upgraded approximately 650 network miles. Once complete, the statewide network will provide high-speed Internet access to every public school, higher education facility, and public library statewide.

One K-12 school, Blanche Pope Elementary, received upgraded services, at speeds of up to 1 GB, in time to begin the 2012-2013 school year. In November 2012, Blanche Pope Elementary was selected as one of Hawaii’s nominees for the Blue Ribbon Schools program in recognition of academic achievement. In addition, the Ke Ala ‘Ike project is working with the Hawaii Department of Education to help struggling schools in areas that have many economically-disadvantaged and native Hawaiian students. The project has already connected four high schools in these zones.

Reports and Documents
Award Documents