This summer two HBC board members are leaving Hana, and five others are elible for re-election. Please let us know if you would consider sharing your experience by serving on our board.
Last December, NextEra unveiled a $4 billion offer for Hawaiian Electric. The deal has been recently approved by Hawaiian Electric's shareholders, but has yet to pass various regulatory hurdles. NextEra operates in around half the states of the Union, has its business base in Florida, and claims to be the nation's largest generator of power from the wind and the sun. Maui Electric is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric, thus if the takeover goes ahead our power generator will become a part of the NextEra group.
Having the president of NextEra speaking at the luncheon is seen by our committee as a golden opportunity to leverage community support in exchange for NextEra bringing a "Smart Grid" to East Maui. Along with the energy efficient "Smart Grid" would come fiber-optic cable as part of the infrastructure. This could lead to East Maui having access to a publically held fiber-optic backbone creating competition for all telecommunication services. This would mean better service at less cost for all parts of East Maui near the electric grid. This is our long term goal.
The Hana Broadband Committee, in the short term, is still pushing Spectrum
Oceanic Time Warner Cable for better service. With the FCC's recent declaration that broadband is a utility the power of the PUC to regulate broadband service may be increased significantly. The PUC regulations covering telecommunications could be far stronger than what the DCCA or the FCC can impose. The FCC ruling had several limitations. Currently the PUC is in the process of evaluating how the FCC declaration affects the PUC's ability to regulate broadband. As soon as the PUC has established the limits of its regulatory power regarding broadband service standards we will pass that information on to the Hana community. For now we are asking that more locals seek credit when service is lost. It seems to us that if it were to cost OTWC more for the time that service was lost that there would be an incentive to bring service back as quickly as possible. This in turn would reduce lost time and revenue to the small businesses in Hana. You can request credit by calling Oceanic Time Warner Cable at 643-2100 or, if you have an online account, you can seek credit through their chat line.
Oceanic Time Warner's Maui cable franchise is now 18 months past its renewal date, once again on hold while Charter's bid for its parent company is processed.