The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking public comment on Hawaiian Telcom (HawTel’s) proposed purchase of Honolulu-based Wavecom Solutions for USD13 million. Wavecom, formerly known as Pacific Lightnet, currently serves more than 1,700 customers state-wide. In addition Wavecom provides communications services through an inter-island submarine system, the Hawaii Island Fiber Network (HIFN), which consists of approximately 400 miles of undersea fibre that connects the six major islands of Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii. Wavecom’s network also includes around 140 route miles of terrestrial fibre, which includes three SONET fibre rings on Oahu.
HawTel is the incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) or dominant local telephone company, serving the state of Hawaii. It is owned by Hawaiian Telcom Holdco, which was formed in 2005 by the Carlyle Group, following its purchase of the Hawaiian assets of Verizon Communications. HawTel officials said in their FCC application that gaining access to the 400-mile undersea cable network would allow the company to extend the reach of its next-generation broadband and video services beyond Oahu to the neighbouring islands. The move, it said, would ‘enhance’ HawTel’s ability to compete with Oceanic Time Warner, the predominant cable television provider in the state. The FCC’s deadline to file comments is 4 September.