About the Hawaii Broadband Map Project
"As we renew our schools and highways, we'll also renew our information superhighway. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption. Here, in the country that invented the Internet, every child should have the chance to get online, and they'll get that chance when I'm President – because that's how we'll strengthen America's competitiveness in the world." President-elect Barack Obama
On Feb. 13, 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a direct response to the economic crisis; the Recovery Act has three immediate goals: (1) create new jobs and save existing ones; (2) spur economic activity and invest in long-term growth; and (3) foster unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in government spending.
The U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) launched the State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) program in 2009. The SBDD program implements the joint purposes of the Recovery Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act, which envisioned a comprehensive program, led by state entities or non-profit organizations working at their direction, to facilitate the integration of broadband and information technology into state and local economies. Economic development, energy efficiency, and advances in education and health care rely not only on broadband infrastructure, but also on the knowledge and tools to leverage that infrastructure.
Since accurate data is critical for broadband planning, another purpose of the SBDD program is to assist states in gathering data twice a year on the availability, speed, and location of broadband services, as well as the broadband services that community institutions, such as schools, libraries and hospitals, use. This data will be used to update a public searchable, interactive national broadband map.
"Broadband matters because broadband communications have become the great economic engine of our time. Broadband deployment drives opportunities for business, education, and healthcare. It provides widespread access to information that can change the way we communicate with one another and improve the quality of our lives. This is why our discussion today is not about pipes and providers. It is about people; our citizens stand to gain the most from universal broadband adoption. By some estimates, universal broadband adoption would add $500 billion to the U.S. economy and create more than a million new jobs. Add to this hundreds of millions of dollars in savings through e-government and telemedicine initiatives and untold riches we can reap by tapping the genius of web-based entrepreneurs in every corner of this country. The case for better broadband is clear."Senator Daniel K. Inouye
In 2010, the State of Hawaii's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) was awarded a grant to assist the State in gathering and verifying data on the availability, speed, location, and technology type of broadband services. The data collected and compiled will also be used to develop publicly available state-wide broadband maps and to inform the comprehensive, interactive, and searchable broadband map. This activity is to be conducted on a semi-annual basis between 2010 and 2014, with the data to be presented in a clear and accessible format to the public, government, and the research community. To facilitate the Hawaii Broadband Map Initiative, DCAA has teamed with University of Hawaii’s Pacific Disaster Center.
The Hawaii Broadband Map Initiative will result in a comprehensive statewide broadband inventory, a publicly available interactive Hawaii Broadband Map, and the contribution of the Hawaii's data to the national broadband map. Consumers in the State of Hawaii can access an interactive online map to identify the availability, speed and location of broadband services in the State of Hawaii. In addition, consumers can help improve the data by testing their broadband connection.