September’s featured speaker was Mr. Burt Lum, State of Hawaii Strategy Officer. As a longtime supporter and collaborator between industry and government sector Burt was adamant about how Hawaii needs to look at its critical data infrastructure to stay competitive for the future. He gave us a brief and informative briefing on the “Hawaii Broadband Initiative”, which to tell you honestly, was a bit depressing as those that have lived in Hawaii for decades will attest that this is just how the system works or doesn’t work in the islands! Knowing that the vast majority of people in Hawaii know nothing about his topic, me included, I found this information to be an eye opener and also a head scratching kind of briefing as I wondered how Hawaii could be such an important jewel in the Pacific for things like Tourism and Trade but such a nonessential part of the data superhighway rolling along past our shores!
Mr. Lum discussed how “Data” is the future as we don our electronic skin which controls, monitors and manipulates all aspects of daily life! We as consumers know this is the future and Broadband or 5G is that future with its ability to give us more Bandwidth, Low Latency, and Low Power Budget! This initiative started about 10 years ago in Hawaii as the Broadband Task Force and was give the key objectives to identify and establish a forward looking vision for Hawaii’s data needs. It looked to create a one stop broadband authority, stimulate demand for broadband service, and welcome transpacific fiber cabling to Hawaii! Ten years later we are still trying to just get our funding approved and allocated as efforts to date have brought mixed and somewhat confusing results! Because of this delay in becoming a viable location many of today’s cables for Broadband transpacific bypass Hawaii as we are looked at as just a “retail outlet” for now and the future. Mr. Lum’s determined passion for this enterprise game changing data infrastructure in Hawaii will set the tone for the coming years as his organization works to bring the Broadband Initiative to our shores with a viable timeline of 2021(IOT) setting Hawaii on the map as a neutral carrier land on station enabling our islands to become a relevant and sustainable industry leader of the future in the Pacific.
The Chapter recognized Sgt Andrew Pascuzzi as the Young AFCEAN of the month, Opeta O’Brien as AFCEAN of the Month, and CWO4 Vanderla Akaka as the Senior Government Leader.