US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will receive $17.3 million in new federal funding from the US Department of Commerce to expand high-speed internet access in Native Hawaiian communities.
“This funding will increase broadband internet access in Native Hawaiian communities across the state, helping families and small businesses get the high-speed internet they need and supporting the expansion of important services, including telehealth and remote learning,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee in a press release.
The funding comes from the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, which expands broadband access on Tribal lands.
It will include new broadband equipment and software, new computers and personal devices, support for increased remote learning, telehealth, and digital inclusion programs, and staff to ensure their successful implementation.
Funding will also support a DHHL survey of Native Hawaiian households, with the data gathered used to help develop a statewide collective broadband strategy.