Sandwich Isles Communication: Boondogglers

Perhaps you’ve noticed the “Universal Service Fee” on your telephone bill. This is a government-mandated subsidy to support phone access in rural areas. Fair enough, perhaps. Here in Hawaii, SandwichIsles Communications Company receives more than $16M dollar per year to service… are you ready? … 1,238 customers. That’s $13,345 annually per line. Thirteen thousand. Per line. Annually. That’s ten times the cost of giving each of those subscribers a satellite phone.

The same company recently received $500M to provide broadband to 5,400 homes. That’s $93,000 per home. All of those homes already have landlines and are eligible for DSL, which even including repeaters, would run around $600 per home.

This is the sort of thing which makes me shake my head at right-left polarization: getting worked up about theory when nonsense like this is par for the course.