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Fast, free WiFi coming to big piece of Kakaako

By Andrew Gomes

LAST UPDATED: 12:29 p.m. HST, Mar 4, 2014

The evolving Our Kaka'ako neighborhood in urban Honolulu is going to have some super-fast free WiFi.

Kamehameha Schools, which is adding new retail and residential rental and condominium buildings on nine blocks in Kakaako under a master plan called Our Kaka'ako, announced Tuesday that it is building a free wireless network for public use throughout the area.

"It is free, it is fast and it is available to anyone who wants to use it," said Erin Kinney, a Kamehameha Schools development manager.

The network is being built by Hawaii Dialogix Telecom. Some coverage in the area became active Saturday, though it will take two weeks to finish the "Our Kaka'ako" network.

Kamehameha Schools and Hawaii Dialogix said the network will be the biggest, fastest, free system in the state.

The landowner and telecom firm said data transfer speeds will typically be at least five times faster for downloads and 50 times faster for uploads compared with most home and coffee shop networks.

In a demonstration in a Cooke Street warehouse, the Our Kaka'ako WiFi connection performed a speed test registering a 138-megabit-per-second download speed and a 103 Mbps upload speed compared with a paid 4G LTE wireless service registering 5 Mbps upload speed and a 12 Mbps download speed.

The nine blocks of Our Kaka'ako span 29 acres and are generally bounded by Ala Moana Boulevard and South, Halekauwila and Cooke streets.

"It will be seamless," Kinney said. "You're not going to get cut off when you walk block to block in the master plan."

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