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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     June 22, 2006

Release M-69-06

 

 

MAYOR ANNOUNCES FREE WI-FI IN CHINATOWN

 

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced today at the Chinatown Summit that the City will establish a public-private partnership with Internet service-provider EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK) in a test to provide free, wireless, broadband access throughout Chinatown.

 

            “As part of our commitment to the revitalization of Chinatown, we are happy to partner with EarthLink to bring new capabilities and to stimulate economic development in this community,” said Mayor Hannemann.

 

            “The City will also be testing new public safety technologies that the Wi-Fi environment makes possible,” the mayor added. “We hope the result will be a safer and more economically vibrant Chinatown.”

 

            EarthLink has emerged as one of the leaders in municipal Wi-Fi development, having been awarded contracts in Philadelphia; Anaheim, California; Milpitas, California; and New Orleans.

 

            “Chinatown has long been one of Honolulu’s most historic neighborhoods, and adding EarthLink’s municipal Wi-Fi will add to its allure,” said Donald Berryman, executive vice president of EarthLink and president of the ISP’s municipal networks unit.  “Our no-cost solution gives residents and visitors an easy way to access the Internet, while at work or at play in one of the most interesting cultural areas on the island.”

 

            “We also are excited to work with Hawaiian Electric Company to help them test next-generation utility applications and services leveraging our Wi-Fi network,” Berryman added.

 

            As a unique feature of this Honolulu project, EarthLink will partner with Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) to provide connectivity to test a variety of utility applications.

 

            “Broadband Wi-Fi has potential to enable applications that can result in better service for our customers and future, new customer offerings,” said Karl Stahlkopf, senior vice president for energy solutions and chief technology officer for HECO.  “We look forward to being an active partner with EarthLink and the City in this progressive program.”

 

            The Wi-Fi program will test various utility applications, including advanced electric metering and energy conservation initiatives.

 

            “This pilot project provides the City not only the ability to test and evaluate the technology for present and future needs, but also to work through the various legal and administrative processes,” said Gordon Bruce, the City’s chief information officer.

 

            The Chinatown Wi-Fi demonstration project will begin later this summer and continue for approximately one year.

 

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Contact:

Keith Rollman, Department of Information Technology, 768-7658

Gregg Hirata, Mayor’s Office, 523-4051

Thursday, June 22, 2006

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