Broadband’s ability to expand educational and employment opportunities is especially meaningful for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, a community that faces unique challenges in education and that suffers from a rate of unemployment much higher than the national average. Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) intends to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The project proposes to employ a combination of discounted broadband service and specialized computers, technology training from an online state-of-the art support center customized to the community’s needs, public access to videophones at anchor institutions from coast to coast, and a nationwide outreach initiative. Thousands will gain online access to all the Internet has to offer, including sign language interpreters, captioned video services, and other content and functionalities designed especially to advance their educational, employment, and healthcare interests.
|Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.
|Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
|Broadband Data & Development
|University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development
|University of Hawaii System, Access for All
|Public Computer Centers
|University of Hawaii System, Ke Ala ‘Ike
State Broadband Capacity Building:
This funding will support a broadband capacity building planning committee to augment the data findings and infrastructure analysis detailed in the broadband plan developed in the first year of the project. The committee will monitor: (1) Broadband developments in other states and nations; (2) Best practices involving telework and affordable broadband pricing within Hawaii; (3) Broadband activities at the federal level; and (4) Regulation and policy developments. The committee will advise and assist other agencies, prioritize implementation, and recommend programs to establish affordable service to unserved and underserved communities. Also the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will establish a working group to develop a report by January 1, 2011 regarding procedures to promote flexible, timely and responsible access to public rights-of-way and other permitting functions.
This funding will support the creation of a Technical Assistance Committee, which will serve as a public-private organization assisted by the University of Hawaii and the Pacific Disaster Center. The Committee’s establishment follows the recommendation of the final report of the Hawaii Broadband Task Force. The committee will support local technology planning teams to coordinate resources, planning efforts, promote broadband awareness and adoption, provide technical expertise to local institutions, non-profits and governments, and develop or sustain deployment and adoption related initiatives. The committee will negotiate discounts with equipment manufacturers to support computer access by underserved Hawaii residents.
Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:
This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.
As part of a longstanding project to connect essential community anchor institutions across the country, and facilitate closer collaboration and long-term benefits for education, research, healthcare, public safety, and government services, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) proposes a comprehensive 50-state network benefitting approximately 121,000 community anchors. The project proposes a large-scale, public-private partnership to interconnect more than 30 existing research and education networks, creating a dedicated 100-200 Gbps nationwide fiber backbone with 3.2 terabits per second (TBps) total capacity that would enable advanced networking features such as IPv6 and video multicasting. The project plans to connect community anchors across all disciplines into virtual communities with shared goals and objectives, including colleges, universities, libraries, major veterans and other health care facilities, and public safety entities, with additional benefits to tribes, vulnerable populations, and government entities.
The University of Hawaii System, in partnership with the Hawaii State Public Library System, the Hawaii State Department of Education, and the State of Hawaii Executive Branch, proposes to provide 693 new public access broadband-connected computers in over 60 public facilities including every public library and community college and their remote education centers on the six major islands of the state of Hawaii. The project will serve vulnerable populations by increasing capacity and usage at public computer centers, including facilities at community colleges not previously open to non-students and facilities which have experienced long wait times and bandwidth constraints due to increased demand for broadband access.
Given Hawaii’s challenging topography, most community-serving institutions in the state rely on slow copper-based Internet service and face limited broadband availability. As a result, critical challenges exist in providing broadband-based services, especially in remote sections areas such as Hana on Maui and the islands of Molokai and Lanai. The University of Hawaii System is proposing to address this concern by expanding and enhancing a statewide fiber network to bring high-speed middle-mile service to the market and reliable connectivity to schools, libraries, and other community anchor institutions. The Ke Ala ‘Ike ( “pathway to knowledge”) project intends to deploy and enhance direct fiber optic connectivity to all community colleges and their remote distance learning centers, all public K-12 schools including public charter schools, and all public libraries on six islands. The project plans to provide 10 Gbps connectivity to institutions of higher education, 1 Gbps connectivity to K-12 schools and libraries, and backbone infrastructure to Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the Big Island with 10 Gbps-capacity inter-island circuits.
ZeroDivide’s Generation ZD Digital Literacy Program proposes a major regional training and broadband access program for low-income youth in communities across several Western states that will encourage the development of a new generation of broadband users. The project plans to enhance broadband services and outreach in Humboldt and San Benito counties and San Juan Bautista, California; Salt Lake City, Utah; Maui County, Hawaii; King, Snohomish, Skagit Island and Pierce counties, Washington; Multnomah and Washington counties and Portland, Oregon; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. It will also provide sustainable skills training, skill-sharing, and workforce development programs for the North Coast region of California, including for youth from the Native American Table Bluff Wiyot Tribe, Karuk Tribe, and Hoopa Valley Tribe.