Hawaii's Network Resources Available to Education

Hawaii's educational community has access to the following resources, which form the technological basis of Hawaii's educational networking infrastructure. These resources include:

HAWAIIAN

The State of Hawaii developed the HAwaii Wide Area Integrated Information Access Network (HAWAIIAN) as part of its Strategic Program Initiative for Telecommunications and Computers. HAWAIIAN consists of an inter-island digital microwave communications backbone and an emerging intra-island synchronous optical network (SONET) system. SONET carries voice, data, and T1-speed digital videoconferencing services over these transport mechanisms. It is accessible via toll-free modem calls on each island. HAWAIIAN is managed by the Information and Communication Services Division (ICSD) of the Department of Budget and Finance, and capacity on the network is made available to governmental agencies including the University of Hawaii and Department of Education.

HITS

The Hawaii Interactive Television System (HITS) provides interisland video services for the University of Hawaii, Department of Education, state agencies, and others. Point-to-point analog microwave carries four full-motion video signals from Oahu to other islands, with local ITFS distribution to some schools and hospitals. There is one return full-motion video from three of the neighbor islands (Kauai, Maui, Hawaii) back to Oahu. This one channel is currently split allowing for two return video channels. Five University campuses on four islands are directly connected through HITS for two-way video programming. In addition, HITS is interconnected with the State's other video networks and is therefore accessible from additional campuses and government facilities. Hawaii Public Broadcasting Authority (HPBA), the University of Hawaii, and the Department of Education cooperatively plan the program schedule for HITS. In January of 1995 the management of this statewide resource will become the responsibility of the Office of Information Technology at the University of Hawaii. This transfer was conceived to improve operating efficiencies and facilitate further system development and modernization.

Cable Television

Due to its mountainous terrain, Hawaii is the most heavily cabled CATV jurisdiction in America. Service is provided by seven companies on six islands. The largest of these is Oceanic Cablevision, a Time Warner subsidiary, which serves most of Oahu (where three-fourths of the State's population resides). Oceanic provides a network that connects schools via Ethernet over a hybrid fiber-coaxial cable system in a metropolitan network (Ethernet-over-CATV over CATV). Plans call for 70 schools/offices to have routers installed for ethernet- over-CATV service by June 1995. The remaining cable companies on all the islands are required to comply with the State mandates for institutional networking similar to the system currently being developed on Oahu by Oceanic Cablevision.

Hawaii FYI

Hawai'i FYI under the guidance of the Information and Communication Services Division (ICSD) of the State's Department of Budget and Finance provides an electronic services gateway for government information. Hawaii FYI allows users with a personal computer or at an ASCII terminal (located in all public schools and State libraries) to access a host of news and public information related to State, city and county government activities.

Institutional Networks (I-Net)

Cable TV is franchised on every island by the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). As part of the franchise agreements, all cable companies are required to assist the State with construction of an infrastructure development known as the Institutional Networks (I-Net). I-Net includes synchronous fiber optical connections (SONET) between State buildings (schools, government, the judiciary, UH campuses) over which video and data are transmitted. The system includes capacity on the coaxial cable networks for Ethernet-over-CATV. The SONET System will be extended to all schools and UH Campuses on Oahu by 1996-97.

Skybridge

Maui Community College, the University of Hawaii campus serving the three islands of Maui County, developed and operates this 1-channel 2-way interactive video network with sites on the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Skybridge is currently based on analog point-to-point microwave technology.

PEG Channels

Private nonprofit corporations are being established in each programming area (typically an island) to support public, educational, and government (PEG) access programming under the terms of the State's cable television refranchising agreements. All cable companies can receive HITS, which is used as a transport mechanism for statewide cable programming. On Oahu, there are now three PEG channels, including one solely dedicated to education. A dedicated higher education channel is expected to be added during 1995. University campuses on all islands and other sites connected through the Institutional Networks can originate live programming.


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