Despite its distant location, Hawaii hovers right in the middle ground in comparison to other states’ internet connectivity, ranking 27th on the USA’s state broadband access meter. With average statewide download speeds of 102.6 Mbps, Hawaii’s residents have fairly even access to high-speed internet coverage, though the best coverage is found on the island of Honolulu. Over half (51.8%) of Hawaiians have access to fiber-optic internet services, which is more than double the national average.
The Digital Divide in Hawaii
While far removed from the mainland, the islands of Hawaii experience relatively accessible internet services, both in terms of availability and affordability. Still, there exists a digital divide between Hawaiians who have access to high-speed, low-priced internet and those for whom such technological services are still out of reach.
For example, even with 43 internet providers in Hawaii, there remain 22,000 residents who do not have any wired internet providers offering service at their address and another 91,000 have only one wired provider available at their residence. While a 96.9% majority of the population has access to a wired broadband service with download speeds of 25mbps or faster, 44,000 people living on the islands do not have a wired connection capable of such speeds.
At 51.3%, over half of Hawaii’s population has access to what is considered a ‘low-priced’ ($60 per month or less) internet plan, according to the latest affordability data. This figure is just shy of the national average of 51.5% of consumers who have the same available to them.
When it comes to broadband availability, speed, and price, the top five most well-connected cities in Hawaii are Honolulu, Wailuku, Haleiwa, Kaneohe, and Kaaawa, with the former ranking as the best in the state.
From 2010 to 2015, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) in Hawaii was awarded over $4.3 million in federal grants to fund the Hawaii Broadband Mapping Project, which aimed to collect and map data on the state’s broadband landscape. In 2012, the DCCA created a state Broadband Strategic Plan to further expand and improve Hawaii’s connectivity.
Nearly $34 million more in federal infrastructure grants have also gone toward expanding broadband infrastructure throughout the islands.
The above data is pulled from both public and private datasets. Learn more about our data here.