HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO THE HAWAII BROADBAND AND DIGITAL EQUITY OFFICE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
HAWAII BROADBAND AND DIGITAL EQUITY OFFICE
§ -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
"Broadband" means high-speed internet access that is always on, including mobile and fixed technologies.
"Department" means the department of business, economic development, and tourism.
"Digital equity" means a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in society, democracy, and economy.
"Office" means the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office.
§ -2 Hawaii broadband and digital equity office; establishment; state broadband coordinator. (a) There is established the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office within the department of business, economic development, and tourism.
(b) The director of business, economic development, and tourism shall appoint, exempt from chapter 76, a state broadband coordinator to head the office.
§ -3 Hawaii broadband and digital equity office; duties. In furtherance of the State's objectives and policies for the economy pursuant to section 226-10.5, the office shall:
(1) Develop and implement specific strategies and plans to aggressively increase broadband affordability, penetration, and competitive availability in the State;
(2) Support the efforts of both public and private entities in the State to enhance or facilitate the deployment of and access to competitively priced, advanced electronic communications services, including broadband and its products and services and internet access services of general application throughout the State;
(3) Promote the landing of trans-Pacific submarine cable, including the development of a carrier-neutral cable landing station and associated terrestrial connectivity to reduce barriers to fiber landing in Hawaii;
(4) Promote, advocate, and facilitate implementation of the findings and recommendations of the most current Hawaii broadband strategic plan;
(5) Support the findings of the community-based Broadband Hui as reflected in its digital equity declaration;
(6) Administer grant programs in support of broadband infrastructure, innovation, and the digital economy;
(7) Actively seek out funding from federal, private, and other public sources in furtherance of the office's duties pursuant to this chapter; and
(8) Provide a repository, aggregation point, and governance framework for broadband mapping and digital equity data from various sources including but not limited to digital literacy, telehealth, distance education, remote work, internet accessibility, and service coverage to support mapping, reporting, infrastructure deployment, and data-driven policy.
§ -4 Broadband planning and coordination; cooperation.
(a) The office shall:
(1) Seek input and the widest possible cooperation from public and private agencies and individuals to achieve the purposes of this chapter;
(2) Work closely with and assist the counties in the promotion of coordinated state and county broadband planning;
(3) Encourage every state department, county agency, and other public or private agencies and individuals involved in broadband programs to participate in the activities of the office and incorporate, to the extent feasible, the ideas and suggestions of the participants in the office's comprehensive planning goals;
(4) Monitor the broadband-based development efforts of other states and nations in areas such as business, education, and health;
(5) Advise the department on other states' best practices involving remote work promotion and policies and strategies related to making affordable broadband services available to every home and business in the State;
(6) Monitor broadband-related activities at the federal level;
(7) Encourage public-private partnerships to increase the deployment and adoption of broadband services and applications;
(8) Monitor regulatory and policy changes for potential impact on broadband deployment and sustainability in the State; and
(9) Advise the director of business, economic development, and tourism on broadband deployment."
SECTION 2. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2060.
Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office; Establishment
Establishes the Hawaii broadband and digital equity office within the department of business, economic development, and tourism. Effective 7/1/2060. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.