Hawaiian Telcom's restructuring plan gets FCC approval

Hawaiian Telcom (HawTel) cleared its first hurdle in emerging from bankruptcy as the FCC approved its reorganization plan.

With the FCC's approval in place, the service provider, which filed for bankruptcy in December 2008, just needs to get the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approval. Last November, a federal judge approved HawTel's reorganization plan that cut its debt down from $1.15 billion to $300 million.

When it does come out of bankruptcy, HawTel plans to go public with plans to issue 10 million shares of common stock that will be distributed to its creditors.

Of course, not everyone is happy about the agreement, especially the state's only cable operator Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI), which argues that the telco will monopolize the state's telecom market. In a Star Advertiser article, the MSO claims that Hawaiian Telcom hasn't been cooperative in giving TWC access to aerial telephone poles, conduits and rights-of-way in a "reasonable and nondiscriminatory basis."

Like FairPoint Communications' New England operations and more recently Frontier's acquisition of Verizon's lines in 14 states, Hawaiian Telcom was bought up by the Carlyle Group in 2005 as one of several deals Verizon has made to offload non-core local access lines and businesses.

For more:
- the Star Advertiser has this article
- FierceCable article covers the issue

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Hawaiian Telcom has post-bankruptcy debt plan