Home Internet Governor declares emergency to avoid loss of phone, internet services for Hawaiian Home Lands households : Big Island Now

Governor declares emergency to avoid loss of phone, internet services for Hawaiian Home Lands households : Big Island Now

June 1, 2024, 6:11 AM HST

Hawai‘i Gov. Josh Green on Friday signed an emergency proclamation to avoid loss of telecommunications services for many Hawaiian Home Lands households across the state.

On May 30, Sandwich Isle Communications, a private company that provides phone and internet services to many customers on Hawaiian Home Lands, announced through an email to customers that services would cease on June 1.

The termination of services could leave approximately 1,500 households and several business, schools and other institutions on Hawaiian Home Lands without phone and/or internet services.

“We must ensure that our communities remain connected to critical services, including emergency medical, police and fire services” stated Gov. Green. “Providers carry a responsibility to maintain services for their customers.”

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“It is unacceptable that Sandwich Isles Communications is planning to disconnect the services that its customers depend on with so little notice,” said Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke. “We strongly urge Sandwich Isles Communications to transition Hawaiian Home Lands lessees to alternate service providers in an orderly and responsible process.”

The emergency proclamation directs all state agencies to assist in the effort keep continuity of service and orders telecommunication providers to prevent any disruption or interruption of telecommunication and broad and services.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands on Friday issued a statement expressing gratitude to Gov. Green for issuing the emergency proclamation.

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“This action will allow DHHL and other agencies to more rapidly assist affected households and businesses on Hawaiian Home Lands,” the department’s statement read. “The proclamation will allow DHHL to more swiftly procure technology, extend telecommunications infrastructure and work with alternate service providers to reestablish phone and internet service for the customers SIC [Sandwich Isles Communications] has disconnected.”

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands continues to urge Sandwich Isles Communications customers to immediately sign up for service with a new provider. Since May 24, the department has been posting updates and information about switching providers at dhhl.hawaii.gov/broadband/.

 

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