The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs recently kicked off a new Hawaii Broadband Map speed test campaign to measure the spread of new technology and high-speed broadband availability across the state.
Since the first campaign ran in the early part of 2012, there have been significant changes in both Hawaii wireline and wireless broadband services landscape.
One leading Internet service provider raised its standard service tier for its download speed from 10 to 15 megabits per second (Mbps). Two wireless companies launched "Long Term Evolution" (LTE) high-speed wireless service. LTE gives some wireless customers the potential for download speeds greater than 20 Mbps.
The purpose of this second speed test campaign is to gather information to learn how these changes have affected broadband services for Hawaii's residents.
Speed test data collected will assist in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s Hawaii Broadband Initiative to develop programs and strategies aimed at bridging service gaps and improving speeds throughout the state.
"Through the Hawaii Broadband Initiative, we are being proactive in shaping our future," Gov. Abercrombie said. "For a state as isolated as our own, high-speed Internet can be transformative, linking businesses and institutions, spurring economic innovation; and connecting families while giving our youth a competitive edge in an increasingly digital global marketplace."
In August 2012, the governor released $2.2 million in capital improvement project (CIP) funds for planning needed in the creation of privately managed, shared open-access submarine fiber-optic cable landing stations. The project will identify and rank potential sites, support environmental assessments, and complete pre-engineering studies of selected sites.
More recently, in June 2013, the governor signed into law Act 264 (House Bill 635, Relating to Broadband), which will advance the Hawaii Broadband Initiative by requiring the state and counties to take timely permitting and approval actions within 60 days (for conservation districts, the state must take action within 145 days).
"Act 264 is propelling our collaborative efforts forward by mandating a clear and decisive timeline in advancing ultra high-speed Internet access for all the people of Hawaii by 2018," the Gov. Abercrombie added.
Broadband speeds can vary depending on a variety of factors including day of week, time of day, and the conditions and bandwidth on the other end of the network connection. The state urges users to take the Hawaii Broadband Map Speed test several times on different days and at varying locations, including your home and work computers.