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EGeezer
zichrona livracha
Premium
join:2002-08-04
Midwest
kudos:8
reply to Name Game

Re: FCC eyes tax on Internet service

said by article :

... Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC's Universal Service Fund. ...

Yet we haven't seen any results from that fund.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Clearwire Wireless
·Time Warner Cable

2 recommendations

said by EGeezer:

said by article :

... Consumers already pay a fee on their landline and cellular phone bills to support the FCC's Universal Service Fund. ...

Yet we haven't seen any results from that fund.

Oh yes we have!
A local phone service provider has been tapping that gold mine for years.
"Sandwich Isles, which had been receiving about $830 per customer per month from the Universal Service Fund, would see that amount capped at $250 per line per month at the end of a three-year phase-in period, according to the FCC. Sandwich Isles filed for a waiver from the new regulations, but the FCC has not yet ruled on the request."
»www.staradvertiser.com/s?action=···60985425
$830 month for a land line, yikes!
There's a lot more to this than the link provides & more than I'm willing to go into this on a public forum, but there's something that smells about this.
I'd be leery of any FCC plan to administer even a dog house.


redxii
Premium,Mod
join:2001-02-26
Sherwood, MI
reply to EGeezer

I'm not sure if they consider satellite & 4G/LTE to be part of that 'plan'. I sure hope not, while cheaper to deploy, you can't download large files/stream videos without incurring hefty overages and are all-around really unreliable. There are games I want to buy but it would cost me dearly in overages. I wouldn't be able to play them anyway because the latency is unacceptable.

My best option is 3G, and Frontier decided to partner with Hughesnet instead of deploying DSL. The cable co wants $10000 to extend to my house.
--
Moe, I need your advice… See I've got this friend named Joey Joe-Joe... Junior... Shabadoo..



EGeezer
zichrona livracha
Premium
join:2002-08-04
Midwest
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Callcentric

1 recommendation

reply to Snowy

said by article :

... In a letter dated June 6, the FCC asked Sandwich Isles for more details on millions of dollars paid by the company to several of its affiliates, "each of which appears to be owned and/or operated by Mr. Hee, CEO of Sandwich Isles, or his family members," according to the letter. ...

I found a link to the whole Sandwich Isles article that doesn't require a login;
»www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-cutback-···9577.htm


Name Game
Premium
join:2002-07-07
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:7

1 recommendation

reply to Snowy

June 19, 2005
The federal government is on pace to pay Honolulu-based Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. $13,743 per customer this year for providing high-speed fiber-optic phone lines to families living on Hawaiian Home Lands. The Hawai'i subsidy — funded by a $2 fee attached to all phone bills — is 100 times higher than the average for rural telephone service on the Mainland.
Nextel Partners Inc. of Reston, Va. — using the same program that gives wireless phone companies a payout similar to the land-line subsidy — should get $13,389 this year for each wireless customer on Hawaiian Home Lands.

"It's definitely a lot of money," said John Cole, executive director of the state consumer advocacy office. "I would think there's other (cheaper) ways to do it. When you look at the amount, it does seem out of line with what it should be."

The money comes from the Universal Service Fund, a federal program designed to ensure that customers in high-cost rural areas have affordable phone service. In Hawai'i, the fund is financed by an 11.1 percent fee on interstate phone bills paid by Hawaiian Telcom, the state's main land-line phone provider, and a higher rate for local wireless customers. Hawai'i customers paid an average $2.04 per phone per month last year.

Sandwich Isles and Nextel Partners are on track to receive a combined $24.9 million in federal subsidies this year for providing service to a total of 1,823 customers on Hawaiian Home Lands.
The Hawaiian Home Lands are approximately 200,000 acres of property formerly owned by the Hawaiian monarchs and government that were ceded to the United States when Hawai'i was annexed as a territory in 1898. In 1921, the land was set aside for use by eligible Hawaiians. There are about 6,000 parcels of land leased to Hawaiians for residential use and about 18,000 Hawaiians on a waiting list for property.

The subsidies given Sandwich Isle and Nextel equate to an average of $13,642 per customer, or more than 100 times the $130-per-line average annual subsidy provided for rural communications projects nationwide, according to Federal Communications Commission records.

The cost might have been less if Sandwich Isles had opted for cheaper technologies such as satellite.

»the.honoluluadvertiser.com/artic···03p.html
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Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Clearwire Wireless
·Time Warner Cable

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to EGeezer

said by EGeezer:

I found a link to the whole Sandwich Isles article that doesn't require a login;
»www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-cutback-···9577.htm

Mahalo!
That link gets into what I wasn't able to address directly but...
"Albert Hee, president of Sandwich Isles, said the company will struggle without the full subsidy, and under the worst-case scenario may have to file for bankruptcy.
"There is a lot at stake here. We've put $400 million into capital investments for infrastructure in the state over the last 10 years," Hee said."


That might start to make sense of the entire fiasco except:

"In a letter dated June 6, the FCC asked Sandwich Isles for more details on millions of dollars paid by the company to several of its affiliates, "each of which appears to be owned and/or operated by Mr. Hee, CEO of Sandwich Isles, or his family members," according to the letter."

Tossing out figures such as $400 million in capital investments isn't the same thing as $400 million in capital investments when they've been paid to family & friends.

gotta love a system that allows for this type of obvious conflict of interests.

EDIT to add: Keep in mind were talking a no-bidding process for letting out these contracts to himself & family members.


Snowy
Premium
join:2003-04-05
Kailua, HI
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Clearwire Wireless
·Time Warner Cable
reply to Name Game

said by Name Game:

June 19, 2005

The cost might have been less if Sandwich Isles had opted for cheaper technologies such as satellite.

»the.honoluluadvertiser.com/artic···03p.html

Yup, better believe it but the problem with satellite is that it didn't offer the double dealing business opportunities that were exploited.


Name Game
Premium
join:2002-07-07
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:7

2 recommendations

reply to Snowy

Yup..well we still must be the land of opportunity..looks like a few locked in the regulations to protect their little company..they must be making a bundle at the expense of the customers nationwide already.

Still...Great rates they have..

www.sandwichisles.com/policies/SIW%20rates.pdf
say they will go bankrupt..
»www.hawaiifreepress.com/Articles···tcy.aspx
Congressional report in 2009 claim it is abused and full of fraud..
»hawaiifreepress.com/main/Article···ers.aspx

Thanks for the eye opener.
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»www.gladiator-antivirus.com/


aussiedog

join:2007-01-10
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to Name Game

Just in passing: perfect video clip, Name Game.
--
If I can only find my keys...


Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to Name Game

The Sandwich Isle line runs on a little one lane, substandard, one mile long street one block mauka of my street and then on my street. On the little street there are 20 homes (no homes can be built on one side which abuts airport land). Only three of the 20 homes cannot get OTWC cable. (The homes that can get OTWC Road Runner are, in most instances, abutting a side street intersection and OTWC serves all the little one block side streets and several very expensive homes with big lots elected to tap into OTWC cable from the main street one street over and get their electricity that way also).

There are 3 lots near one end of the one mile street that were designated Hawaiian Homestead lots during Ben Cayetano's governorship and a few more at the far end of the street. Only ONE Hawaiian homestead home has been built on any of the lots and it was built about a year and one-half ago. It is next to a friend's home. My friend's home is one of the 3 homes on the street that cannot get OTWC cable (OTWC wants about $1200 to string a line from the main street through other people's property to her house on this back street one block from the main street. My friend feels that is too much to pay).

The irony here is that abutting her home's front yard is an ugly cage inside a fenced area that contains wiring, etc for the Sandwich Isles fiber optic cable that runs along that side of the street. The Hawaiian Homesteads home next to my friend's is the sole home on that street that gets fiber optic broadband for free. Yet, my friend (and the other two homes near the far end of the mile long street) cannot hook up to the line at ANY price. Their driveways were torn up for months when that cable was being laid underground and they had to put up with the mess yet they cannot pay Sandwich Isles to hook up to that cable. My friend has satellite TV and, finally, last year AT&T improved their cell service in our area so she could get broadband through her cell phone at slow speed and $75 a month charge. (DSL has never been, and never will be, available in this area of Hilo so that is not an option).

Sandwich Isles spent a fortune just running the cable underground from the end of this little substandard street, which acquired 6 Hawaiian Homestead lots during Cayetano's governorship, over to the main street and then underground for five miles out to our main shopping center and behind it where there is Hawaiian Homestead area. There is another Hawaiian Homesteads area (big one) a few miles from the little street so that is served by Sandwich Isles cable. But it was a lot of money spent, major disruption of traffic on a very heavily trafficked section of the Volcano Highway, for several months, to lay the cable out to Prince Kuhio Plaza and back of it to the houses there.

I think it terrible that my friend on the one mile street cannot hook into it for a reasonable monthly fee and have decent broadband. There is a great deal more to this major boondoggle paid for by all of us through the USF but I just wanted to mention this one little thing that I find sad as my friend deserves broadband ...good broadband...at a reasonable fee and there is the cable running under her driveway and the box next to her driveway yet she can't partake.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson