WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that Hawaii received its first “Internet for All” grants for deploying high-speed Internet networks and developing digital skills training programs under the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All initiative. Hawaii is receiving $5,570,883.00 in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden, to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed Internet service throughout the state.
"I appreciate Governor Ige for his determination in connecting all Hawaii residents to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service," said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. "These new funds will spur Hawaii's capacity to develop digital equity programs and ensure each household on every island has a reliable Internet connection."
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson announced the grants today alongside Hawaii Governor David Ige in a virtual press conference hosted by the Governor.
“Everyone in Hawai‘i should have access to high-speed internet,” said Senator Brian Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This funding will allow us to expand broadband infrastructure across the state and help make sure families and small businesses can get affordable, dependable broadband service.”
“The challenges we faced over the past few years showed how important it is to have reliable and affordable internet access is for all residents, whether they live in urban Honolulu or a rural part of a neighbor island,” said Governor David Ige. “This federal funding secured by my administration will allow the state to continue advancing digital literacy and broadband projects throughout the state in the years to come. I am especially pleased that this funding includes support for broadband access in Native Hawaiian communities through the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.”
“If we didn’t understand the critical and still-growing importance of Internet connectivity and broadband before COVID, the pandemic drove home how essential it is and how it can greatly improve tele-anything such as education, health, business and communities,” said Congressman Ed Case (HI-01). “That’s why I fought so hard in Congress for passage last year of our historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including the largest federal investment ever in broadband across our nation. Already our law has brought $994 million to Hawai’i for crucial infrastructure projects. These include a minimum of $100 million to help ensure high-speed Internet coverage across the islands, thus far enabling more than 35,000 households to improve access to the Internet through the Affordable Connectivity Program. These first grants under two other programs are but part of what I hope will be much more to come.”
All 50 U.S. states and six territories applied for planning grant funding for the Internet for All initiative's Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program and the Digital Equity Act program. Grant awards for all 56 eligible entities will be announced on a rolling basis.
About Hawaii’s Planning Grants
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program
The BEAD Program provides $42.45 billion to expand high-speed Internet access by funding planning, infrastructure deployment and adoption programs.
Hawaii will receive $5 million to fund various activities including:
- Identifying unserved and underserved households;
- Increasing capacity of the State Broadband Office;
- Engaging locally with the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism to better understand barriers to adoption for unserved and underserved communities.
The Digital Equity Act provides $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs to ensure that all people and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The first part of NTIA’s execution of the Digital Equity Act is to fund digital equity planning efforts.
Hawaii will receive $570,883.00 to fund various activities including:
- Development of the Digital Equity plan for Hawaii through the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism;
- Outreach with the State Broadband Office to stakeholders in unserved and underserved communities;
- Development of collaborative partnerships among stakeholders to achieve digital equity in Hawaii.
Internet for All
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable and reliable high-speed Internet access in communities across the U.S. NTIA recently launched a series of new high-speed Internet grant programs funded by the law that will build high-speed Internet infrastructure across the country, create more low-cost high-speed Internet service options, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities.
Additionally, the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Visit AffordableConnectivity.gov to learn more.
For more information on the Biden-Harris Administration’s high-speed Internet service programs, please visit InternetforAll.gov.