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Media Contact: 
Mark Wigfield, (202) 418-0253
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
For Immediate Release
Commission Concludes the Company Obtained Improper Reimbursements
from the Universal Service Fund High-Cost Program 
WASHINGTON, December 5, 2016 – The Federal Communications Commission today voted to take 
multiple actions against Sandwich Isles Communications, which provides phone and broadband service to 
customers on Hawaiian Home Lands, for violations and apparent violations related to Universal Service 
Fund (USF) support. As a result, the company will be required to repay over $27 million in improper 
payments of universal service support. In addition, following an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement 
Bureau, the Commission has proposed more than $49 million in fines against the company for apparent 
violations of rules relating to the high-cost program.
“Accounting and accountability go hand in hand,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc.  
“We take our duty seriously to ensure that providers submit true and accurate data to support their 
requests for federal funds.  Any company that fails to do so will be held accountable.” 
Sandwich Isles has ongoing obligations to its customers, under both the Communications Act and 
Commission rules, to continue to provide interstate telecommunications services and may not discontinue 
service without the Commission’s express authorization. 
The first order issued by the FCC requires Sandwich Isles to refund $27,270,390 in improper payments of 
universal service support. This order concludes that the company violated the Commission’s high-cost 
program rules. The USF high-cost program is designed to ensure that consumers in rural and other high-
cost areas have access to modern communications networks.  The order acts on the findings from a 
Universal Service Administrative Company investigation.    
Second, following an investigation by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau’s Universal Service Fund Strike 
Force, the Commission has announced a proposed fine of $49,598,448 on Sandwich Isles, its parent 
company Waimana Enterprises, and its former controlling owner Albert Hee for apparent violations 
impacting the high-cost program. Sandwich Isles is charged with violating the Commission’s accounting 
rules and methods, and submitting and certifying inaccurate data used to obtain millions of dollars in 
improper high-cost support payments. This is the Commission’s first enforcement action in the high-cost 
In addition, the Commission modified a previous agency ruling regarding payments made by Sandwich 
Isles for use of a submarine cable built and operated by its own corporate affiliate, Paniolo LLC.  This 
order directs the National Exchange Carrier Association to no longer allow the company’s inclusion of 
excessive expenses in its revenue requirement.  
A proposed fine, formally called a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, details the Commission’s 
allegations of unlawful conduct and proposes a monetary forfeiture for such conduct. The description of 
today’s action and the apparent violations are allegations, and the parties will have a chance to respond 
before any final action is taken.  Members of the public who have information related to this matter may 
provide it at
The Commission adopted the Order (FCC 16-167) on December 5, 2016. Commissioners Clyburn and 
Pai issuing a joint statement; Commissioner O’Rielly approving in part and concurring in part.
The Commission adopted the Memorandum Opinion and Order (FCC 16-166) on December 5, 2016. 
Commissioner O’Rielly approving in part and concurring in part.
The Commission adopted the Notice of Apparent Liability (FCC 16-165) on December 5, 2016. 
Commissioner O’Rielly approving in part and concurring in part.
The Order is available here:
The Memorandum Opinion and Order is available here:
The Notice of Apparent Liability is available here:
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official 
action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974)