WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON THE DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LAND’S REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE ON WHETHER SANDWICH ISLES, INC.’S EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO SERVE THE HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS CONFLICTS WITH SECTION 253(a) OF THE COMMUNICATIONS ACT
WC Docket No. 10-90; CC Docket No. 96-45 Comment Date: February 20, 2017 Reply Comment Date: February 27, 2017
Public Notice from Federal Communications Commission, February 6, 2017
UPDATE February 14, 2017: Comment Deadline March 31, 2017
By this Public Notice, we request comment on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ (DHHL) request for guidance regarding Sandwich Isles, Inc.’s (Sandwich Isles) exclusive license and whether it conflicts with Section 253(a) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 253(a).
On Feb. 3, 2017, DHHL filed a letter with the Commission requesting guidance on whether terms of the exclusive license it provided “in perpetuity” to Waimana Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of Sandwich Isles, and a subsequent, partial assignment of that license directly to Sandwich Isles, to provide telecommunications services to the Hawaiian home lands conflicts with Section 253(a). 1 Section 253(a) states that, “[n]o State or local statute or regulation, or other State or local legal requirement, may prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service.”2
In the Sandwich Isles Improper Payments Order, the Commission concluded that Sandwich Isles improperly received payments of over $27,270,390 from the federal high-cost support mechanisms for repeated violations of the Commission’s rules.3
In light of these findings, the Commission directed the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) to seek comment on whether the Commission should terminate a previously granted study area boundary waiver providing Sandwich Isles status as an incumbent local exchange company for purposes of receiving high-cost support, which would make it ineligible to receive such support.4
In response to the Bureau’s Public Notice, the DHHL filed its letter requesting that any wrong doing on the part of Sandwich Isles not diminish the availability of universal service high-cost support to the Hawaiian home lands. 5 As part of DHHL’s comments regarding the availability of federal universal service support to the Hawaiian home lands, it requested guidance on whether the terms of the exclusive license it provided to Sandwich Isles conflicts with Section 253(a) of the Communications Act.
Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), or by filing paper copies. Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/
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