A permanent deep ocean scientific research facility-the Hawaii-2 Observatory (H2O)-was installed on the retired HAW-2 commercial submarine telephone cable in September 1998. H2O consists of a seafloor submarine cable termination and junction box in 5000 m of water located halfway between Hawaii and California. The H2O infrastructure was installed from a large research vessel using the Jason ROV and standard over-the-side gear. The junction box provides two-way digital communication at variable data rates of up to 80 kbit/s using the RS-422 protocol and a total of 400 W of power for both junction box systems and user equipment. Instruments may be connected by an ROV to the junction box at 8 wet-mateable connectors. The H2O junction box is a “smart” design, which incorporates redundancy to protect against failure and allows full control of instrument functionality from shore. Initial instrumentation at the H2O site includes broad-band seismometer and hydrophone packages.