Internet options expanding for Hawaiian homesteaders

HONOLULU — Residents of Hawaiian homelands may soon have more options for connecting to the internet.

That’s because the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is lifting a decades-old exclusivity clause allowed only one internet service provider option for Hawaiian homesteaders.

Hawaii Public Radio reported the clause made Sandwich Isles Communications the only telecom provider for Hawaiian homelands since 1995.

It’s a step toward increasing digital equity for Native Hawaiians, said department Deputy Director Tyler Iokepa Gomes.

Homesteaders have had no other internet options, even after Sandwich Isles ran into legal and financial trouble in 2015 and wasn’t able to provide needed upgrades in service.

The department will receive at least $90 million in federal funds to provide high-speed internet access to homesteaders.

Home lands residents can continue to remain with Sandwich Isles or choose from other providers including Hawaiian Telcom or Spectrum.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 was meant to provide economic self-sufficiency to Hawaiians by allowing them to use land to live on. Those with at least 50% Hawaiian blood quantum can apply for a 99-year lease for $1 a year.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.