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Broadband Will Drive Innovation on Maui and Throughout the State

March 22, 2012
Governor Neil Abercrombie , The Maui Weekly

My Administration is working hard to ensure that the State of Hawai'i will be at the forefront of high-speed technology.

Through the Hawai'i Broadband Initiative, we are leveraging federal dollars to examine ways to enhance our statewide broadband network. The initiative launched last year to provide statewide access to affordable high speed Internet connectivity by 2018.

The primary goals are to:

ensure widespread access to world-class gigabit-per-second broadband service at affordable prices throughout Hawai'i, without leaving behind our underserved communities;

increase the use of high-speed broadband services and applications;

reduce Hawai'i's barriers to global participation by promoting greater trans-Pacific fiber connectivity; and

create a modern regulatory and permitting environment that advances investment in broadband infrastructure and services for the public.

Hawai'i and the U.S. as a whole currently lags behind the leading economies of the world that have identified advanced broadband as critical infrastructure for the future. This infrastructure is particularly critical for Hawai'i, which is physically isolated from the rest of the world and divided internally by our geography.

By taking steps to develop our broadband network, the state will have the competitive edge necessary to ensure a vibrant and sustainable economy with innovative industries that will create high-quality jobs and improve the quality of life for its citizens.

Specifically, high-speed broadband infrastructure and affordable broadband services are both key to the advancement of education, public safety, research, innovation, e-government services and economic development. Likewise, it is critical to the future of our state's healthcare system. The ability to move away from paper in favor of electronic communications will make our system more efficient and less costly for hospitals and state health programs. It will also ensure interconnectivity in the availability of your health history to medical professions, which can mean life or death in an emergency at home or when traveling.

Take part in this technological leap

In as little as 60 seconds, Maui residents can help by measuring the Internet speed in your area by visiting from your computer or Internet enabled device. Data collected from this test from individuals on Maui and throughout the state will help our broadband specialists map out our overall network coverage, providing an important baseline from which to identify and close gaps in service. This will ultimately improve connectivity across all of the Hawaiian Islands.

We are already well on our way, with more than 15,000 tests so far. Take the test often, at different times of day and from multiple locations--from your computer, Internet-enabled mobile phone, tablet and any other connected device. Share this email with your family and friends, and encourage them to take the test, too. It's important to collect as much data as possible on all islands in order to obtain the best, most complete picture of our existing coverage.



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