The state of Hawaii determined that Time Warner Cable has overcollected franchise fees from its customers on Oahu and has ordered a refund to subscribers.
The state audited fees collected by the operator from 1995-2002 and determined that internal accounting procedures led to the overpayment. The auditors -- Merina & Co. LLP and Public Knowledge Inc. -- determined that the operator had collected nearly $500,000 too much from consumers.
The government collects fees from the cable operator to support the island's access corporation and the public broadcaster. Another portion of the franchise fee is dedicated to administrative expenses for the government.
Because of the discrepancy found by the auditors, the access corporation and public broadcaster refunded a portion of support payments to Time Warner Cable last year, according to the docket of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Now, Time Warner has been ordered to give the money back to subscribers.
The refund is expected to be about $1.92 per household.
DCCA director mark Recktenwald said similar refunds may be ordered for neighbor islands. Time Warner also has operations on Maui, Kaui and Hawaii.