(BVIN) – Over $115 million in federal funds are on the way to Hawaiʻi, and will be used to improve broadband infrastructure and connectivity in Hawaiʻi.
From the State of Hawaiʻi:
The White House and U.S. Department of the Treasury conducted a joint news conference with Governor Josh Green, M.D., to announce the release of $115.5 million in American Rescue Plan’s Capital Project Funds to improve broadband in the State of Hawai‘i.
“The pandemic showed that there are access disparities in Hawai‘i, to affordable and reliable internet service,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “I thank President Biden and his administration for providing federal resources to help our state improve internet access for all residents. High-speed internet is critical for education, telehealth services, job opportunities, and information.”
University of Hawai‘i (UH) worked with the Department of Budget and Finance to submit a CPF grant plan to the U.S. Department of Treasury in Fall 2022 for review. Included in the plan are two programs to help develop broadband infrastructure and to provide broadband connectivity in state public housing facilities.
“UH has led in bringing broadband connectivity in Hawaiʻi for decades, from bringing the very first internet connections to Hawaiʻi, to making Hawaiʻi the first in the nation with fiber optic connectivity to every one of our public schools, public libraries and public higher education sites,” said UH President David Lassner. “We are incredibly proud to now be the only institution of higher education to lead these vital next steps of developing the broadband infrastructure so critical today to work, education, healthcare and economic vitality for our entire state.”
“This project funding will help us reinforce and strengthen Hawaiʻi’s aging broadband pipelines and provide the foundation for future decades that will see increasing demand for internet access,” said UH Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Garret Yoshimi.
“Connectivity is no longer a modern-day convenience, but instrumental in our daily lives, and we must secure internet access for all,” said Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke.
“As the most isolated populated place on the planet, we face unique communications challenges and rely on submarine cables to stay connected,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. “Improving our submarine cable infrastructure to ensure Hawai‘i remains connected to the world and everyone in the state can get reliable, high-speed internet has been a focus of mine, and this funding will help make that a reality.”