DBEDT NEWS RELEASE: Hawaii expands broadband network

Posted on Oct 15, 2015 in Latest News, Newsroom, Press Releases

HONOLULU – The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) through its attached agency, the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC) announced, as part of a public-private partnership, two new broadband facilities outfitted with state-of-the-art multi-gigabit connectivity.

A launch party was held at the Warner Brothers Studio in Los Angeles, CA yesterday to debut this new technology, which connects Hawaii to Hollywood and more than 430 studios across three continents.

“This new fiber connection is a major development in the technology linking Hawaii to the global film and creative media industry,” said Gov. David Ige. “This will help grow our local film and TV industry and potentially make Hawaii a hub for production and post-production.”

The new connection is provided by a new Hawaii-based technology company called GVS Connect. The company is supported by an initial investment of $170,000 from the State of Hawaii’s HI Growth Initiative and is a broadband pilot project designed in part to address this opportunity.

GVS Connect unveiled this new fiber service with a live real-time demonstration from Kona, Hawaii, to a screening room filled with Hollywood studio executives at Warner Bros. Studios in Los Angeles.

GVS Connect has wired up two hubs, one at Honua Studios in Kona, home to the GVS Transmedia Accelerator, a startup accelerator program focused on content and media companies. The second site is at the Homer A. Maxey International Trade Resource Center at Pier 2, an easily accessible downtown location.

Currently, slow internet speeds have meant that film and media productions shoot scenes and then either have to compress to transmit or physically courier the disk drives to Los Angeles for post-production. With GVS Connect, studios will now have the ability to transfer and simultaneously edit raw High Definition (HD) dailies to producers and studios around the world with efficiency and security.

“This type of service has the potential to boost our economy, and is a key piece of our effort to stimulate and grow technology and innovation companies in Hawaii,” said DBEDT Director Luis Salaveria. “As the state works to increase its broadband capacity with the rest of the world, we anticipate local business will want to utilize this service to maximize their operations.”

This public-private initiative delivers innovative broadband connectivity to Hawaii’s post-production, visual effects and audio entrepreneurs. Although film and creative media companies will likely be among the first customers to use this paid service, the connectivity will also be available to other businesses in need of HD video conferencing, digital collaboration and other applications requiring high-speed broadband connectivity.

“This type of private fiber connection is important to all entrepreneurs and represents another major milestone in our building of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hawaii,” explained HSDC President Karl Fooks.

Combined with the Hawaii Film Studio, incentives for production and the State of Hawaii’s Creative Lab Program focused on developing homegrown creative entrepreneurs, this new gigabit connectivity creates new possibilities for Hawaii as a strategic base for global film production.

This project is part of larger initiative by the State of Hawaii to increase its broadband capacity. Hawaii has committed $25 million to build a future broadband landing site and a major upgrade in the undersea cable infrastructure connecting Hawaii to the world. GVS Connect makes landing sites like this accessible and available to businesses.


The HI Growth Initiative is the State of Hawaii’s effort to catalyze and support an entrepreneurial, innovation-focused ecosystem. The program, run by the HSDC, supports entrepreneurial development through events, venture accelerator programs and investment funds targeted at Hawaii companies.


DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division (CID) is the State of Hawaii’s lead agency focused on strengthening and accelerating the growth of Hawaii’s Creative sectors. Comprised of the Hawaii Film Office and the Creative and Cultural Industries Development Office. Creative Lab Initiative, a program of CID, provides entrepreneurs mentoring to hone their projects, launch businesses, increase opportunities investment and global distribution.


Established in 1978, the State of Hawaii Film Office is the one-stop central coordinator for film and photographic use of state-administered parks, beaches, highways, and facilities. The office works closely with state agencies to assist filmmakers with acquiring film permits and also provides location, tax incentive, and production resource information to filmmakers.


The GTA Program is a partnership between the County of Hawaii, HSDC, the GTA Development Fund, and the GVS Accelerator. T​he GTA Program​is a two-­time Small Business Administration award­ winner as one of the top accelerators in the U.S. and i​s part of Hawaii’s “Startup Paradise” community. For more information visit w​ww.gvsaccelerator.com.

·        GVS: @gvs_accelerator
·        Sohonet: @sohonet
·        Light Iron: @light_iron
·        Hawaii Creative Industries: @CreativeHI808
·        Hawaii Office of the Governor: @govhawaii
·        Big Island Film Office: @filmbigisland
·        Foreign Trade Zone: @FTZ9
·        Warner Bros: @warnerbrosent
·        #FilmHawaii
·        #RethinkHawaii

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Media Contacts:

Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism  
Christine Hirasa
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Email: Christine.M.Hirasa@dbedt.hawaii.gov
Website: dbedt.hawaii.gov

GVS Connect
Tiffany Taylor

Erika Kauffman
E-PR HI – (808) 779.5477
E-PR CA – (323) 521.9597