Hawaii’s Communications Commission

Governor Linda Lingle at the joint press conference with the Broadband Task Force announced the formation of the Hawaii Communications Commission. Moving through the House is HB1077: Establishes the Hawaii Communications Commission (HCC) in the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). Transfers functions relating to telecommunications from the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to the HCC. Also transfers functions relating to cable services from DCCA to HCC. The companion bill in the Senate is SB895. A third piece of legislation is HB984: Implements key recommendations of the Hawaii broadband task force by establishing the Hawaii communications commissioner (HCC) in the department of commerce and consumer affairs (DCCA). Transfers functions relating to telecommunications from the public utilities commission to the HCC and functions relating to cable services from DCCA to the HCC. Establishes a work group to develop procedures to streamline state and county broadband regulation, franchising, and permitting and report to the legislature. It will be interesting to see these bills move through this legislature. It seems timely and appropriate to establish this commission especially in light of the Federal Broadband Data Improvement Act signed into law by President Bush.