A program funded by federal dollars is helping island residents get connected.
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides qualified households up to $30 a month off internet service bills, with a $75 discount for households on Hawaiian Home Lands. The program is made possible with funding from the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act that was passed in November 2021 by U.S. Congress.
More than 29,000 households throughout the state are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program, receiving a total of more than $7 million in benefits. It is estimated that more than 100,000 Hawai‘i households could qualify for the program.
Participation in the digital world continues to be a high priority following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Affordable Connectivity Program is helping build digital equity so Hawai‘i residents can work remotely, take classes online, receive telehealth consults, access government services and participate in more activities.
This is only possible with a reliable and stable broadband internet connection, a working device and the digital literacy skills to succeed. During a recent series of digital literacy classes offered by the Broadband Hui at the Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, kūpuna were able to learn about computer literacy and how to access the Affordable Connectivity Program application.
Thanks to a number of organizations that have offered their support, classes like those offered by the Broadband Hui are becoming the hub of technology learning and are instrumental in achieving the state’s digital equity goals.
“Grassroots efforts like these are building the momentum to bring us all into the 21st century,” Gov. David Ige said in a press release. “Whether it’s broadband affordability programs, access to devices, digital literacy instruction and, most importantly, the environment that builds confidence and dignity, this has the potential to help thousands of kamaʻaina gain access to the digital world.”
To see the full list of Affordable Connectivity Program eligibility details and participating Hawai‘i internet service providers, click here.