HONOLULU (KHON2) — Governor Josh Green, M.D. has announced that he has received $115.5 million from the Federal Government to use to improve broadband throughout the State of Hawaiʻi.
Gov. Green was joined by the White House and U.S. Department of the Treasury in a joint news conference.
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The monies are part of the 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 Gov. Green. “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.”
A CPF grant plan that was submitted to the U.S. Department of Treasury in Fall 2022 for review was created in collaboration between the University of Hawai‘i and the Department of Budget and Finance.
“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.
Two program goals of the submitted plan is 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,” added Lassner.
Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke weighed in on this big achievement.
“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. 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.
He went on to explain further.
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“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.”