The newly released Hawaii Broadband Strategic Plan 2020 provides a fresh look at ways to strengthen Hawaii’s broadband infrastructure and programs at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is making clear how dependent Hawaii is on broadband connectivity for education, health, livelihood and economic prosperity.
The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT), with support from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) and the Office of Planning (OP), published the plan, which is an update to the original Hawaii Broadband Strategic Plan released in 2012.
The 45-page document provides information and a framework for the creation of policies and programs to address the challenges faced in meeting the state’s broadband goals.
Since the original plan was published in 2012, the broadband landscape has changed dramatically. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic shined a spotlight on Hawaii’s digital divide as stay-at-home orders required people to distance learn, seek healthcare and work from home.
“Broadband connectivity is the critical infrastructure that builds resilience and ties all of Hawaii’s residents to the global economy — from businesses in our urban centers to remote workers and content creators in our rural communities,” said Gov. David Ige. “Broadband and digital equity are the foundations upon which we can build a Hawaii for the future. I would like to extend my thanks to the many stakeholders who collaborated to create this new Broadband Strategic Plan.”
“Due to the pandemic, there is even greater recognition that Hawaii’s competitiveness in the global digital economy, educational exchange, and digital competency is reliant on broadband infrastructure,” said DBEDT Director Mike McCartney. “Hawaii’s link to the rest of the world relies on transpacific fiber optic cables. Broadband is how the Internet traffic flows throughout the entire state from interisland fiber, terrestrial fiber, wireless services and rural connectivity This will be fundamental for Hawaii’s economic diversification and expansion.”
Burt Lum, DBEDT’s Broadband Strategy Officer, said, “All of Hawaii’s residents need to benefit from broadband in order for the state to thrive in the 21st century. This plan seeks to outline the steps to achieve digital equity throughout the state of Hawaii.”
Download the Hawaii Broadband Strategic Plan Update: broadband.hawaii.gov/about.