Letter to the Editor: DHHL Should Object to Cable Settlement

May 19, 2020, 11:00 AM HST (Updated May 19, 2020, 9:25 AM)
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The following is an opinion piece submitted by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Pacific Media Group or Big Island Now. It has not been edited for content. 

“The creditors of Paniolo Cable Company, Sandwich Isles Communications, and Paniolo’s bankruptcy trustee reached a settlement agreement recently that preserves connectivity for homesteaders on Hawaiian homelands.

The agreement stipulates that Paniolo leases a maximum of two fiber pairs to Sandwich Isles Communications for statewide connectivity for $1 a year plus office, administrative and management costs.

SIC, or its successor in interest, can lease additional bandwidth at market rates if more capacity is needed. Sandwich Isles leased capacity from Hawaiian Telcom for inter-island connectivity pre-Paniolo for $1.9 million dollars a year.

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This tri-party agreement provides insufficient bandwidth for future growth on Hawaiian homelands. The homesteaders are already receiving shoddy service from SIC. This agreement, if executed, will continue that poor service going forward.

The only winners from this agreement are Paniolo’s creditors, who’ve agreed to this sweetheart deal. They’re able to auction the Paniolo asset without any significant liens or capacity constraints. I strongly urge the Department of Hawaiian Homelands object to this settlement agreement when it is reviewed by the bankruptcy judge on June 1, 2020.”

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