Page 4 - MidWeek Kauai - Feb 17, 2021
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               Hawaiian Telcom’s top executive Su Shin is moving as fast as she can to meet the growing demand for broadband service across the state.
 he story of Su Shin is about speed, or more specifically, the fast-moving fiber network that
single home and we don’t have fiber to every single business in the state today ...”
range of communication and tech- nology services, including phone, internet and TV options — is more than capable of expanding its broad- band reach. Just in the past decade alone, the company has invested more than $500 million to grow its fiber network in Hawai‘i, all while deploying broadband service across 178,000 locations, which include 10,000 homes and businesses in rural areas.
increase fiber broadband service to both unserved and underserved ar- eas across the state.
president in its 138-year history. “For me, my career path has been one of being at the right place at the right time.”
    seems to be on her mind a lot these days.
But it’s coming. Patience is key, she notes, particularly at a time when so many people have become stay-at-home workers or students and might be wondering why it’s taking the fiber infrastructure so long to be fully built.
All of which is good news for Ha- wai‘i’s speed-conscious consumers. “The immediate challenge ahead for us is how we can move more quickly to deploy fiber to more communities, to more residences, to more businesses,” explains Shin. “I’d say it’s both our biggest chal- lenge and our biggest opportunity. Wehavetobeabletogettoaplace where more folks have access to high-speed internet and broadband.”
While there’s an element of good fortune to her story, it’s also true that Shin brought her own set of qual- ifications to the job. Beyond her ability to effectively communicate with others, she’s also blessed with innate qualities that have served her well during her speedy ascent to the top of the telecommunications landscape. Those traits include the inquisitive and determined sides of her personality that first drove her to become a broadcast journalist in the 1990s.
That’s what happens when you assume the helm of a local tele- communications company and the indispensable need for broadband speed is everywhere — in homes, in businesses, in schools, in cars.
“I think what happens often in this day and age with our cell phones and our Wi-Fi access, is that (broadband connectivity) almost feels magical,” Shin explains. “But it isn’t magical; there’s a ton of work, a ton of plan- ning, a ton of effort that goes into us being able to expand that fiber network.
Not that Shin would ever com- plain about the dizzying demand for ubiquitous service. Exactly one year after being named president and general manager of Hawaiian Telcom, she still intends to have fiber — which transmits digital in- formation almost as quickly as the speed of light — be accessible to all.
Last October, for example, the company put the finishing touch- es on its fiber expansion project on Moloka‘i, where hundreds of homesteaders in Kualapu‘u and ‘Ualapu‘e were finally able to en- joy the benefits of digital connectiv- ity. And buoyed by last week’s an- nouncement of a $24 million award from the Federal Communications Commission, the company plans to
hin’s rapid rise to prominent business leader in the commu- nity can best be described with
“It’s my curiosity and my un- willingness to take the first answer I get,” states Shin, who some may
“We’re constantly planning, en- gineering and building fiber,” says Shin. “We don’t have fiber to every
“So, it’ll happen ... I just wish it could happen way faster.”
her own words: nontraditional and unique.
Thankfully, Hawaiian Telcom — which continues to provide a broad
“I didn’t envision this,” admits Hawaiian Telcom’s first female

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