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Wireless broadband OK’d for homesteads

DHHL to create own wireless network

The Maui News

The Federal Communications Commission has approved applications by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands that will provide wireless broadband services to homesteads in Maui County and on Kauai, DHHL announced Monday.

This will allow DHHL to utilize 117.5 megahertz of the 2.5 gigahertz band spectrum to create its own wireless networks, said Sen. Brian Schatz.

The department will work to obtain funding and build out the infrastructure needed to broadcast wireless broadband across the spectrum, said DHHL Deputy to the Chairman Tyler Gomes. The spectrum covers Maui/Lanai and Molokai, DHHL spokesman Cedric Duarte said.

“We won’t be able to determine the coverage areas until we procure a contractor to design the system,” he said.

DHHL is hoping to get the initial systems up and running within the next two years per the license agreement.

DHHL has two years from the date of the granting of licenses to submit evidence that the department is providing service coverage to 50 percent of the population in the license areas. Five years after the license is granted, DHHL must show it is providing service coverage to 80 percent of the population.

The department submitted its applications for unassigned spectrum in response to a Rural Tribal Priority Window after petitioning the FCC for a waiver in March. Only federally recognized tribes or Alaska native villages could apply for spectrum in the window.

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