Residents Sought for Broadband Mapping Project

ʻAuamo Collaborative News Release

ʻAuamo Collaborative is hiring short-term data collectors to serve on a community outreach team for its Rural Broadband Mapping Project aimed at discovering broadband capabilities in the rural areas of Molokai, as well as Hawaii Island, Maui, Lanai and Kauai. Team members will be deployed in these regions to monitor quality of Internet coverage, ability to access broadband services, and gauge broadband utility.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed poor or non-existent broadband service in Hawaii’s rural areas and we need a better understanding of what connectivity exists in our communities,” said Brad Bennett, founder of ʻAuamo Collaborative. “The lack of access affects a families’ ability to obtain educational opportunities, telehealth services, and government assistance, made even more acute by pandemic restrictions that hinder people’s access to in-person services.”

Community Outreach Team members will be compensated $150 per day for up to 12 days, depending on the location. Interested applicants should send an email to kokua@auamocollaborative.org.

A recent statewide survey supported by Kamehameha Schools and conducted by Marzano Research reported that 34 percent of Native Hawaiians and 35 percent of non-Hawaiians experienced insufficient access to digital devices and Internet connectivity. This reflects deeper digital inequalities than previously indicated in sources like the 2019 American Community Survey data that found only 12 percent of Hawaii households lack internet access. For those households struggling economically, almost one in three have no internet service.

Results from the Rural Broadband Mapping Project will inform efforts towards creative solutions in creating community networks, advocacy for underserved communities, as well as providing a snapshot of what access is needed in certain communities.

To learn more visit auamocollaborative.org/rural-broadband.


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