Thursday, January 10, 2008

FCC, Vermont and Maine OK Verizon / Fairpoint Deal

The state of Vermont has tentatively reached an agreement with Verizon and Fairpoint Communications on Fairpoint's $2.7 billion purchase of Verizon landlines in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. The Vermont proposal still has to be approved by the Vermont Public Service Board. According to an Associated Press article:

The proposal, which must be approved by the three-member Vermont Public Service Board, essentially mirrors a stipulation already reached by Maine regulators. It calls for a $235 million reduction in the purchase price, reduced dividend payouts that would free more money for debt service and some special accommodations for Vermont.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved the purchase last week with New Hampshire still awaiting approval. Perhaps jumping the gun, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 yesterday to approve the sale.

Here's a quote from a Burlington Free Press article written today:

Two FCC commissioners voted against approving the transaction. "If the seller is not committed to ubiquitous broadband deployment, then letting someone else with more commitment do the job makes sense. But if the buyer is shackled by the costs of the agreement, it becomes more difficult to see how the public interest is served," FCC Commissioner Michael Copps wrote in a dissenting opinion.

Commissioner Copps
has also questioned why the FCC is issuing a ruling before all three of the state's regulatory agencies have reached decisions.


Anonymous said...

Does not seem that the FCC has the interests of those whom would be using the services, or those employees whom are needed to keep it functioning in their best interest. Comm. Michael Capps pretty much says it all. Lets see what the PSC has to say. Wait.....Does that stand for PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION? or PREFER SPECIFIC CORPORATEDEALS?

Brad said...

I think this deal is a win-win situation for Verizon only!! All others are getting the short end of the stick bigtime!! I don't think the PUCs are making thier decisions based on what is good for the public. Thank you for your time.

Anonymous said...

it is great knowing that as my kids get older and compete for employment that those great people who are making those wonderful decisions for vermont and maine will keep their people in the dark ages thus helping so many others outside those state !!!!!!!! cant say enough thank you fcc on behalf of my family keep up the good work lol

Anonymous said...

So it looks like maine will be stuck with copper lines for the next 5 to 7 years, when others will be having fiber lines. It will seem like dial-up all over again...Great Idea....Foolish