As part of national Digital Inclusion Week, the Hawaii Broadband Hui is putting on a series of events meant to help bring awareness to the divide in broadband access and equity felt in the state.
Those events include panel discussions, digital literacy trainings, computer donations and more through Friday. Gov. David Ige has recognized the week locally.
“Bridging the digital divide is as crucial as it’s ever been as our residents continue to navigate the digital world through this pandemic,” said Burt Lum, broadband strategy officer, for the state’s Broadband & Digital Equity Office. “We’re looking forward to this milestone week to advance digital access, literacy, and livelihood and to kick off programs that aim to close the digital divide and achieve digital equity across Hawaii.”
At 11 a.m. Tuesday, the East-West Center’s Pacific Islands Development Program and the Broadband Hui are putting on a virtual panel titled “Digital Inclusion: Equity Starts Local.” It will include a discussion on what community stakeholders are doing to achieve digital equity. Lum is one of the moderators. The four panelists are David Miyashiro of Hawaii Kids CAN; Brad Bennett of Auamo Collaborative; Kelley Withy of Hawaii State Rural Health Association; and Kaʻala Souza of the Workforce Resilience Initiative.
Meanwhile, the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit program is ongoing, providing some families with the opportunity to be credited $50 off monthly internet bills, or $75 per month in the case of families on Hawaiian Home Lands.