ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
NO. 2020 – 31
AFFIRMING THE WORK OF THE BROADBAND HUI TO FURTHER DIGITAL EQUITY ACROSS HAWAIʻI
WHEREAS, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hawaiʻi residents, including Native Hawaiians, already lacked access to information technology capacity, especially our low-income families and those in rural communities, such as Molokaʻi, Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, parts of Maui and Lānaʻi, Waiʻanae on Oʻahu, and especially rural Hawaiian homesteads; and
WHEREAS, according to U.S. Census data estimates from the 2019 American Community Survey roughly 20.1% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are without internet access and out of 465,299 Hawaiʻi households, 55,000 households do not have an internet subscription and 32,641 of households have no computing device (e.g. desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone); and
WHEREAS, broadband access has been an issue in Homesteads, such that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands applied for and was granted by the Federal Communications Commission three of five applications for unassigned spectrum in response to a Rural Tribal Priority Window and now the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has permission to utilize a portion of the 2.5 GHz band to deliver wireless broadband to rural homestead communities on Kauaʻi and in Maui county (FCC Grants DHHL Use of Neighbor Island Spectrum, DHHL, October 26, 2020); and
WHEREAS, the lack of internet connections for Native Hawaiian families in West Oʻahu was partly addressed by the “WiFi on Wheels” initiative of Kamehameha Schools, Partners in Development Foundation, and HawaiiKidsCAN as an ad-hoc measure but the need still persists (KS partnership connects West O‘ahu haumāna to high-speed internet Kamehameha Schools, October 45, 2020); and
WHEREAS, the Broadband Hui is a coalition of over 100 organizations including governmental entities, schools, service providers, non-profits, Native Hawaiian serving organizations, and other stakeholders under the leadership of Burt Lum, Strategy Officer for the Hawaiʻi Broadband Initiative at the State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; and
WHEREAS, the Broadband Hui organized in March 2020 to address growing concerns over digital equity heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, according to the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, “Digital Equity” is a condition in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy; and
WHEREAS, the Broadband Hui has come to define “Digital Equity” for Hawaiʻi as the condition in which every Hawaiʻi resident, from keiki to kūpuna, has the information technology capacity needed to fully participate in our society, democracy, and economy, including civics, social and cultural activities, employment, lifelong learning, and access to essential services such as health, education, and government programs; and
WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for furthering digital equity across Hawaiʻi.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 61st Annual Convention held online, in the malama of Makali‘i and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu, this 22nd day of November 2020, affirming the work of the Broadband Hui to further digital equity across Hawaiʻi; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to the Hawaiʻi Congressional Delegation, the Strategy Officer for the Hawaiʻi Broadband Initiative at the State of Hawaiʻi, Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned herby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Makaliʻi and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu on the 22nd day of November 2020, at the 61st Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held online.
Hailama V.K.K. Farden, President