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What is the grand champion of waste in the charitable Universal Service fund?

Sandwich Isles Communications: Political Connections Pay Off
Special from Hawaii Free Press

By Andrew Walden, 6/4/2005

“In a little-noticed May 16 2005 ruling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted a waiver necessary to allow Sandwich Isles Communications to complete construction of its $500 million project to link 69 Hawaiian Homelands properties with a fiber optic communications network.

[snip] At an estimated cost of $500 million, is Sandwich Isles Communications were to serve all 20,000 DHHL lots, the cost would be $25,000 per lot. But DHHL has only about 5,400 lots occupied by leaseholders.

At current build-out rates it would be about 40 years until all 20,000 lots are filled. $500 million to wire 5,400 lots averages out to about $93,000 per lot — the construction cost of a house — just for high speed internet and phone service. Further, there is no reason to believe that all 5,400 DHHL leaseholders would want to pay Sandwich Isles Communication’s monthly fees for high speed internet service.

Many DHHL homesteaders already have land lines from Verizon. In the United States, about 33 percent of households have high speed internet connections.

If DHHL leaseholders have the same level of interest in high speed internet connections, Sandwich Isles Communications would serve about 1,800 lots at an average cost to the taxpayers of about $278,000 per lot. ”

So writes Andrew Walden.

and in another article:

“These figures compare unfavorably to the $600 or less setup cost of many commercially available high-speed satellite internet connections. Internet satellite providers’ monthly charges are competitive with those of Sandwich Isles Communications. With inexpensive, commercially available “VOIP” technology, high quality internet based telephone service can be included.

Satellite technology requires no digging to lay cables, thus minimizing environmental damage and disruption of Hawaiian sites. Unsurprisingly, Sandwich Isles is led by many politically connected directors and corporate officers.”

3 Responses to “$500 Million of USF Funds Approved by FCC for Fiber Network for Sandwich Isles Communications in Hawaii”

  1. on 02 Aug 2006 at 12:56 am Aaron Stene

    Thank you for blogging about this waste of taxpayer funds. I tried
    fighting this project from 2002 until 2004. But I gave up, as each
    time I would run into road blocks after road blocks.

  2. on 02 Aug 2006 at 1:01 am Aaron Stene

    Here is an article that gives more background on this project :


  3. on 02 Aug 2006 at 1:24 am Aaron Stene

    Here is an additional link about this this boondoggle project :


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