May 28, 2024

To OUR Customers,

You have been receiving information from all fronts regarding what is happening with your phone and internet service. Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has just sent out a news release urging all Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc. (SIC) customer to switch carriers. We are not trying to persuade you on your actions. We simply want you to know what has transpired to bring us to this point.

Were SIC's assets recently auctioned?
  • Yes, bids were due to the federal government on May 13, 2024 and the auction was held on May 20, 2024.
Why were SIC assets auctioned?
  • 30 years ago DHHL asked a beneficiary to provide telephone service throughout Hawaiian Home Lands (HHL) after Hawaiian Telephone would not. Using the Federal programs that built telephone networks throughout the mainland, SIC borrowed $400M to build the network serving all of HHL. The federal program required the network to only serve HHL. It could not be used to compete against Hawaiian Telcom. DHHL issued a license to SIC with the condition that the network built on HHL under this license could only serve HHL. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) also limited SIC to HHL.
  • After SIC completed the network, including an interisland cable, Hawaiian Telcom wanted the network to better serve its customers throughout the state. DHHL refused to enforce the condition that the network could only be used to serve HHL; the PUC took action to break the condition; the federal government stopped providing funding to repay the loans; so SIC defaulted and the network is being sold.
What happened with the auction?
  • A condition of the auction is that the winning bidder continue to provide service to you.
  • Hawaiian Telcom's bid was reviewed and accepted by the government at the auction.
  • On May 22, 2024 the government submitted Hawaiian Telcom's bid to the Court for approval.
  • It was only then that SIC found out that Hawaiian Telcom's bid did not include continued service to you.
  • Waimana Enterprises, SIC's parent company, also bid to ensure SIC could continue to serve you.
Who will provide my telephone and internet service?
  • This remains unclear. Because Hawaiian Telcom's bid said they would not provide service and whoever does will have to lease the facilities Hawaiian Telcom purchased.
What do we do?
  • SIC is trying to find a way to continue to provide service to you, however, selecting Hawaiian Telcom's bid makes that impossible. DHHL, as a state agency, has a contract with SIC to provide service to its offices, so SIC must continue to do that. The government has scheduled a call on Tuesday, 5/28 to discuss this situation. We will keep you informed.