With an average download speed of 3.0 mbps, Hawaii was ranked 46th in 2009, which was little different to the previous year. This is despite almost two thirds of residents having a broadband service and less than 6% being on dial-up in 2007. The poor performance of the internet service can be partly put down to the remoteness and wide spread of the islands, which make communication a problem. This is illustrated by the fact that, although Hawaii's broadband connection to the world is by submarine fiber, all new fiber systems across the Pacific since 2001 have by-passed the islands.
The Hawaii Broadband Task Force was established in 2007 to determine the state's high speed internet capacity and assess its potential. Made up of industry representatives, including internet providers, and state and government representatives, it aimed to remove barriers to the adoption of broadband internet services, identify opportunities for increased deployment and enable the creation of new communication technologies.
The Task Force delivered interim and final reports in 2008. These proposed the creation of a Hawaii Communication Commission to make broadband available across the state by 2012. The Commission will be the single regulator for communication services, recognizing the convergence of voice, data and video through a combination of DSL, fiber optic cable and as wireless internet access.
Hawaii has sought federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A grant is being requested from the NTIA to expand broadband access on the islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. In December 2009, internet provider Sprint announced the launch of its 4G wifi service in Maui and Honolulu, offering download speeds up to ten times faster than its 3G service. ISP Verizon, however, has no plans to deploy here.
The newest of the fifty states, Hawaii is the only one made up entirely of islands and not located in North America. There are hundreds of islands in a volcanic chain spread over 1500 miles but only eight main ones. Barack Obama is the only US President to originate from here ... depending on who you believe ;)
Hawaii has a tropical climate with temperature and humidity moderated by trade winds. A large part of its economy is now based on tourism, while food exports include coffee, pineapples and sugar cane. The capital, and by far the largest city, is Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Next are Hilo, Kaneohe and Waipahu.
Cities in Hawaii likely to have, or soon to receive, fiber optic cable internet services include Honolulu, Hilo, Kaneohe and Waipahu. Locations in HI with highest population counts will be targeted first by providers, though relatively high speeds can be achieved with dial-up or DSL through companies such as Netzero and Charter Communications Cable.