Water Surrounding ClearCom's Broadband Plan Is a Bit Murky

HB 2267 "RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE REVENUE BONDS TO ASSIST CLEARCOM, INC., IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE IN HAWAII," already has 21 co-sponsors (just shy of half of the representatives in the House) and is currently being heard in committee this morning. Who is ClearCom, Inc.? And why should the state set give them $100 million to improve the state's fiber optic network that also allots for the construction of a hydropower plant?

ClearCom is affiliate company of Sandwich Isles Communications, Inc. (SIC), which provides telephone service to Hawaiian Home Lands. According to Brandon Roberts's 2008 report in the Molokai Dispatch, ClearCom built a telecom network which involved drilling beneath Molokai's southern fringing reef. However, the project wasn't just water under the bridge.

After assuring the community that no Molokai water would be used, ClearCom consumed up to 44,000 gallons of Homesteader's drinking water everyday of drilling to make a special mixture of mud to push the undersea drill.

The bill notes that fiber optic cables can be installed in abandon water mains, which appears logical enough. Yet given the experience by Molokai residence and current issues with the state watershed and waste water systems, is this the best use of funds?