FCC Moves to Revoke Sandwich Isles’ Commission Authorizations

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The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) is seeking comment on why the Commission should not initiate proceedings to revoke the authorizations it granted to Sandwich Isles Communications, a phone and broadband service provider to customers on Hawaiian Home Lands. In December, the FCC voted to take multiple actions against Sandwich Isles for violations and apparent violations related to Universal Service Fund (USF) support. Specifically, the FCC charged Sandwich Isles with violating the Commission’s accounting rules and procedures, as well as certifying inaccurate data used to obtain millions of dollars in improper high-cost support payments. The FCC has already ordered Sandwich Isles to refund over $27 million in improper payments of USF support. In addition, the Commission has proposed more than $49 million in fines against Sandwich Isles for apparent violations impacting the high-cost program. In light of Sandwich Isles’ misconduct and the demonstrated harm to the USF, the FCC is moving to revoke Sandwich Isles’ Commission authorizations. The Bureau is currently soliciting comment from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC), the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), and other interested stakeholders on this matter. The filing deadline for comments is March 16, 2017, and reply comments are due by March 31, 2017.

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