H.B. NO.














relating to broadband service infrastructure.





SECTION 1. Section 206S-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended as follows:

1. By adding a new definition to be appropriately inserted and to read:

""Broadband equity" means a condition in which all residents are able to access, adopt, and use affordable, high-speed, and reliable broadband that meets their needs."

2. By amending the definition of "digital equity" to read:

""Digital equity" means a condition in which broadband equity is achieved and all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in society, democracy, and the economy."

SECTION 2. Section 206S-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"206S‑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 shared access cable station and associated terrestrial connectivity to reduce barriers to fiber landing in Hawaii;

(4) Promote, advocate, and facilitate the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Hawaii broadband task force established by Act 2, First Special Session Laws of Hawaii 2007, and the 2020 Hawaii Broadband Strategic Plan;

(5) Support the findings of the community-based Broadband Hui as reflected in its digital equity declaration;

(6) Administer and coordinate federal and state grant programs in support of broadband infrastructure, innovation, digital equity, and the digital economy;

(7) Actively seek out funding from public and private sources in furtherance of the office's duties pursuant to this section; and

(8) Provide a repository, aggregation point, and governance framework for broadband mapping and digital equity data from various sources, including digital literacy, telehealth, distance education, remote work, internet accessibility, and service coverage to support mapping, reporting, infrastructure deployment, and data-driven policy."

SECTION 3. Section 206S-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(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 digital equity 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 digital equity and 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 digital equity and broadband deployment and sustainability in the State; and

(9) Advise the director of business, economic development, and tourism on digital equity and broadband deployment."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office; Digital Equity; Broadband Equity



Defines broadband equity. Clarifies the Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office's duties to promote and support digital equity and broadband deployment.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.