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Hawaii’s Public Wi-Fi Revolution

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) announces that the first wave of free public WiFi hotspots offering one (1) hour of free service per device, per day are now active or underway at various locations on the islands of Kauai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu. wi-fi hotspots hawaii

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Under Decision and Order No. 366, which approved the transfer of Oceanic Time Warner Cable (OTWC) to Charter Communications, DCCA required Spectrum/OTWC to provide at least one thousand (1,000) new public WiFi access points (or hotspots) in its cable franchise areas throughout the state, within four (4) years of the close of the transaction, which occurred in May 2016. With respect to these hotspots, Spectrum/OTWC is required to deploy one hundred (100) in public parks, civic and other community centers, and other public open areas and gathering places as directed by DCCA, in consultation with Spectrum/OTWC.

While imposing this requirement, DCCA noted that free public WiFi hotspots greatly enhance access to public health, education, and other online services for those who lack internet access in their homes, live in unserved areas, or have other economic barriers to internet access. In addition, such hotspots may also benefit individuals by providing seamless access to internet services without impacting monthly data quotas for mobile phones and other devices.

“In recognition of the importance of public internet access for Hawaii residents, we have made it a priority to expand connectivity across the state—especially into our rural and underserved communities. It is our hope that this initiative will improve the quality of life for our residents and the general public,” said Governor David Y. Ige.

“We are committed to enhancing access to free public WiFi hotspots across the state,” added Catherine Awakuni Colón, DCCA Director. “In addition to the current rollout, we also negotiated a Public WiFi Partnership program to be deployed in the coming years as a condition of the Hawaiian Telcom-Cincinnati Bell transfer.”

To date, forty-four (44) of the one hundred (100) DCCA hotspots have been designated, with Hawaii Island locations identified and forthcoming.

The currently designated locations include: wi-fi hotspots hawaii

  • Numerous bus stops around the island of Kauai (active);
  • Business and community gathering places in Hana and Wailuku on the island of Maui (active);
  • Shared courtyards of the Department of Taxation and Department of Labor and Industrial Relations on Oahu (by fall 2018); and
  • Hard-to-serve public areas in Kalaupapa (active) and Kaunakakai (by fall 2018) on the island of Molokai.

Spectrum/OTWC to date has installed approximately 1,400 new hotspots in compliance with the state’s requirements.

In Hawaii, you’ll find such Wi-Fi services in various locations. For instance, the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport offers one hour of free Wi-Fi to travelers. Some shopping centers and cafes also provide similar services. Always look for official network names and avoid connecting to unsecured or suspicious networks.

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