STAND. COM. REP. NO. 258-20
RE: H.B. No. 2264
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Economic Development & Business and Intrastate Commerce, to which was referred H.B. No. 2264 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO BROADBAND DEVELOPMENT,"
beg leave to report as follows:
(1) Establish an Executive Office on Broadband Development, Hawaii Broadband Advisory Council, and Hawaii Broadband Advisory Council Special Fund to promote statewide access to broadband services and support broadband infrastructure development in the State; and
(2) Appropriate funds for the Council to carry out its duties.
Your Committees received testimony in opposition to this measure from Keep Your Power; No Kohala CERT, Teens X2 Social, Temple of Healing & Education; We Are One, Inc.; Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens; and over one hundred individuals. Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism; Department of Budget and Finance; and The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.
Your Committees note that this measure is not connected to the use of 5G wireless technology and the intent is not to have your Committees facilitate 5G wireless technology through this measure. Instead, your Committees find that the emphasis and intent of this measure are to support broadband development through establishment of fiber optic cable, including cable landing infrastructure.
Your Committees further find that broadband development is essential to the economic development of Hawaii. With cable landing poised to reach Hawaii in the very near future, your Committees additionally find that submarine fiber optic cables may bypass Hawaii without government-funded support. Fiber optic cables will provide much needed high-speed Internet to communities around the Hawaiian islands, thus ensuring Hawaii remains relevant in an ever changing economic climate. Your Committees additionally find that fiber optic cables being necessary for advancing broadband in Hawaii have been found to be safe for both human and animal life and that such funding and has nothing to do with the promotion of wireless high frequency communication, known as 5G.
Your Committees have amended this measure by:
(1) Removing language that would have established the Executive Office on Broadband Development, Hawaii Broadband Advisory Council, and Hawaii Broadband Advisory Council Special Fund, and appropriated funds for the Council;
(2) Inserting language that appropriates an unspecified amount of general revenues of the State to the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism for cable landing infrastructure, cable stations; horizontal bores; conduits; backhaul; permitting; planning and design; and administrative support;
(3) Removing its repeal date; and
(4) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2112, to encourage further discussion.
Should your Committee on Finance decide to hear this measure, your Committees respectfully request that it consider appropriating $15,000,000 and requiring an additional amount of $3,000,000 from private and federal sources for cable landing infrastructure, for a total of $18,000,000.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Economic Development & Business and Intrastate Commerce that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2264, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2264, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Economic Development & Business and Intrastate Commerce,
TAKASHI OHNO, Chair
ANGUS L.K. McKELVEY, Chair