Governor Signs Bill To Expand Technology Capability In Hawai'i

Honolulu – Governor Neil Abercrombie this afternoon signed into law House Bill 1342, the first step in expanding broadband, or ultra high-speed Internet access, in Hawai’i. Broadband expansion would allow businesses, organizations, government, universities, colleges and citizens of Hawai’i to utilize internet services that require the transfer of large amounts of data that may not be technically feasible with Hawai’i’s current broadband connectivity.

“Expanding broadband is one of the keys to transforming Hawai’i’s economy for the 21st century,” said Governor Abercrombie. “Availability of broadband will change everything we do – from how we educate our children and deliver health care to the monitoring and control of our energy consumption.”

The key provisions of this act do the following:

  • Exempts broadband infrastructure improvements from state or county permitting requirements for five years.
  • Exempts telecommunications companies from replacing utility poles when installing or improving telecommunications cables.
  • Requires the Director of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to submit a report to the legislature by 2016 reviewing these exemptions and making recommendations

Today, Governor Abercrombie also signed the following bills into law:

  • Senate Bill 1383 directs the state income tax check off for repair and maintenance of schools to Hawai’i 3R’s (Repair, Remodel and Restore Hawai’i’s public schools), an initiative to bring resources together to address backlog in schools.
  • House Bill 1079 allows Department of Land and Natural Resources to charge fees for providing technical assistance on the creation of Habitat Conservation Plans.  These plans are necessary for mitigating our impact on endangered species
  • Senate Bill 1485 allows the Superintendent of Education to reconstitute a public school, except charter schools
  • Senate Bill 1069 strengthens laws against dogfighting and creates offense of cruelty to animals by fighting dogs in the second degree.

Governor Abercrombie continues to review legislative bills that he must either veto or sign into law by July 12, 2011.

For more information on these or all measures that have been signed into law, please visit http://capitol.hawaii.gov.

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