Universal Service Fund - High Cost
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: February 1, 2013
WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON SANDWICH ISLES
COMMUNICATIONS, INC.’S PETITION TO WAIVE THE STUDY AREA BOUNDARY
FREEZE AND OTHER HIGH-COST UNIVERSAL SERVICE RULES
CC Docket No. 96-45
Comment Date: March 4, 2013
Reply Comment Date: March 19, 2013
Communications, Inc. (SIC) seeking waiver of several high-cost universal service rules, including the
study area boundary freeze codified in part 36 of the Commission’s rules.1 First, SIC seeks a waiver of
the definition of “study area” contained in part 36 of the Commission’s rules, and requests that its current
study area be modified to include all of the Hawaiian Home Lands (HHL).2 Second, SIC seeks a waiver
of section 69.3(e)(11) of the Commission’s rules, relating to its participation in the National Exchange
Carrier Association (NECA) common line tariff.3 Third, SIC requests a waiver of section 69.605(c) to the
extent necessary for SIC to remain an average schedule company after the acquisition of any lines and
exchanges.4 Finally, SIC seeks a waiver of sections 36.611, 36.612, 54.301(b), 54.314(d), 54.903(a)(3),
69.2 and 69.3 of the Commission’s rules, which would allow it to immediately receive federal high-cost
universal service support for any lines acquired from other carriers in the HHL based on projected costs,
until actual data become available for the acquired lines.5
1 Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc. Petition for Waiver of the Definition of “Study Area” Contained in Part 36,
Appendix-Glossary of the Commission’s Rules, CC Docket No. 96-45 (filed Nov. 29, 2012) (Petition); see also 47
C.F.R. Part 36 App. (defining “study area”). Effective November 15, 1984, the Commission froze all study area
boundaries to prevent incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) from establishing separate study areas made up
only of high-cost exchanges to maximize their receipt of high-cost universal service support. See MTS and WATS
Market Structure, Amendment of Part 67 of the Commission’s Rules and Establishment of a Joint Board, CC Docket
Nos. 78-72, 80-286, Decision and Order, 50 Fed. Reg. 939 (1985) (Part 67 Order). A carrier must therefore apply
to the Commission for a waiver of the study area boundary freeze if it wishes to transfer or acquire additional
2 Petition at 1; 47 C.F.R. Part 36, App.
3 Petition at 1; 47 C.F.R. § 69.3(e)(11).
4 Petition at 1; 47 C.F.R. § 69.605(c).
5 Petition at 1-2; 47 C.F.R. §§ 36.611, 36.612, 54.301(b), 54.314(d), 54.903(a)(3), 69.2, 69.3.
SIC also requests that this waiver Petition be processed via the new streamlined study area waiver
rules adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order.6 However, we find that streamlined treatment is not
appropriate in this instance. In the USF/ICC Transformation Order, the Commission streamlined its rules
governing study area waiver requests, creating a method similar to the Bureau’s processing of routine
section 214 transfer of control applications.7 Under the revised process, if the Bureau concludes that a
petition is appropriate for streamlined treatment, the petition will be deemed granted 60 days after the
reply comment due date unless the Bureau issues a public notice stating otherwise.8 Most petitions for
study area waiver are routine in nature and are granted as filed without modification. The Commission’s
new streamlined procedures were created to specifically address such routine study area waivers.9
However, if the Bureau has concerns with any aspect of a petition for study area waiver or related
waivers, it may find that such petition is inappropriate for streamlined treatment and that it should be
subject to further analysis and review.10
Issues raised in the Petition, including SIC’s purported exclusive license to serve all of the HHL
and its assertions that it is now the carrier of last resort in the HHL as a result of the purported exclusive
license, are also relevant to Hawaiian Telcom Communications, Inc.’s pending application for review of
the Bureau’s partial grant of SIC’s earlier study area waiver request in 2005.11 The exclusive license
matter is also at issue in SIC’s petition for a ten year waiver of section 54.302 of the Commission rules,
which is currently under consideration by the Bureau.12 Granting the Petition via the streamlined process,
without fully evaluating this issue, could affect these proceedings and the Commission’s ability to address
this issue on the merits. For these reasons, the Bureau finds that the Petition is inappropriate for
streamlined treatment, and should be subject to further analysis and review. Accordingly, the Bureau will
issue an order either granting or denying the Petition after considering the record, including the record
received in response to this public notice.
Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission’s rules, interested parties may file
comments on or before the dates indicated above.13 Comments may be filed using the Commission’s
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).14
6 Connect America Fund et al., WC Docket No. 10-90 et al., Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 17663, 17763, paras. 266-67 (2011) (USF/ICC Transformation Order), pets. for review
pending sub nom. In re: FCC, No. 11-9900 (10th Cir. filed Dec. 18, 2011).
7 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17763, paras. 266-67.
8 See id.; 47 C.F.R. § 36.4.
9 See USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17763, para 266.
10 See id. at para. 267; see also 47 C.F.R. § 36.4(a).
11 See Petition at 4; Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc., Petition for Waiver of the Definition of “Study Area”
Contained in Part 36, Appendix-Glossary and Sections 36.611 and 69.2(hh) of the Commission’s Rules, CC Docket
No. 96-45, Order, 20 FCC Rcd 8999 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2005), application for review pending, Hawaiian Telcom
Communications, Inc. Application for Review, CC Docket No. 96-45 (filed June 15, 2005).
12 Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc. Petition for Waiver of Section 54.302 of the Commission’s Rules, WC
Docket No. 10-90 and WT Docket No. 10-208 (filed Dec. 30, 2011); 47 C.F.R. § 54.302.
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419.
14 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, 13
FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).
Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the
Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and one copy of each
filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by
first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the
Commission’s Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission’s Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries
must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.
Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority
Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington DC 20554.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty).
In addition, we request that one copy of each pleading be sent to each of the following:
(1) Abdel Eqab, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, 445 12th
Street, SW, Room 5-B431, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail: Abdel-Hamid.Eqab@fcc.gov; and
(2) Charles Tyler, Telecommunications Access Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, 445 12th
Street, SW, Room 5-A452, Washington, DC 20554; e-mail: Charles.Tyler@fcc.gov.
The proceeding this Notice initiates shall be treated as a “permit-but-disclose” proceeding in
accordance with the Commission’s ex parte rules.15 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a
copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two
business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies).
Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation
must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte
presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the
presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments
already reflected in the presenter’s written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the
presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or
other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission
staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed
15 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200 et seq.
consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has
made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing
oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment
filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt,
searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission’s ex
For further information, please contact Abdel Eqab, Telecommunications Access Policy Division,
Wireline Competition Bureau at (202) 418-7400 or TTY (202) 418-0484.
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