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.

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