ShakaNet wires up Kahului Airport
Internet provider expanding to neighbor isle airports
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Honolulu-based ShakaNet Inc. has finished wiring up Kahului Airport as part of a seven-year lease agreement with the state to provide Internet service.
The Maui airport now has 27 Internet kiosks as well as pay-per-use Wi-Fi access at its gate areas.
Kahului Airport is ShakaNet's second airport project, following the first one at Honolulu International Airport. That contract lasts until 2010.
ShakaNet, a five-year-old wireless Internet service provider that is also aiming to furnish Waikiki with free Wi-Fi, also has contracts to put kiosks at the Kona and Hilo airports on the Big Island.
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ShakaNet Inc., a wireless Internet service provider, has completed outfitting Kahului Airport on Maui with 27 Internet kiosks and Wi-Fi access at the gates.
It has exclusive rights to provide the Internet service at Kahului for seven years under the lease agreement, and also has contracts to provide Internet access to the Hilo and Kona airports on the Big Island.
At Kahului Airport, travelers with laptops will be able to connect to the pay-per-use Wi-Fi at any gate area, or go to one of 27 Internet Kiosks. Rates are $6.95 for a two-hour Wi-Fi connection, and $8.95 for the entire day.
ShakaNet, founded in 2002 by Meeta and Nam Vu, provides public Internet access via Wi-Fi hotspots and custom, locally-built automated Internet kiosks at more than 40 locations in the state's four major islands.
In 2003, ShakaNet won a five-year contract to outfit Honolulu International Airport with Internet access. That contract has been extended to 2010, according to Vu.
The ShakaNet Wi-Fi or kiosk accounts can be used at any of ShakaNet's 40-plus locations, which include various Waikiki hotels and Pearl Harbor.
At the hotels, the Internet kiosks cost 15 cents a minute or $12 an hour.
A wireless Waikiki project, launched two years ago, is still in the works, according to Nam Vu, chief technology officer of ShakaNet and a member of the Hawaii Broadband Task Force.
Nam said the coverage so far extends from Kapiolani Community Park to Liliuokalani and Kalakaua Avenues.
Wi-Fi access is expanding across the state as an increasingly crowded market of Internet service providers launches new products and initiatives.
The city recently began offering free Wi-Fi in Chinatown, which extends from River and Hotel Streets to Fort Street Mall provided by Tri-net Solutions.
Hawaiian Telcom in October struck a deal with Skywave Broadband Inc. to provide more than 100 hot spots throughout the state, including all Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlets. Oceanic Time Warner Cable in July introduced its customers to free Road Runner Speed Zones in various parts of the state, including downtown Honolulu and Waikiki.
Clearwire Corp., a broadband provider founded by one of the cellular phone industry's pioneers, entered Honolulu in the summer of last year. Clearwire also has volunteered to provide free Wi-Fi access at Kalakaua District Park in Kalihi for the city.
ShakaNet also provides free Wi-Fi services for the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and is working on extending that access to Thomas Square across the street.
Internet service provider ShakaNet is expanding its airport kiosk and Wi-Fi network to the neighbor islands.
* Projected number, subject to change.