News Releases

July 15, 2009

Department files “Show Cause” Petition against FairPoint

Montpelier, Vermont – Today the Vermont Department of Public Service filed a “Show Cause” Petition with the Public Service Board, requesting an investigation to determine if FairPoint Communications is capable of continuing its telecommunications in the state. At stake is the company’s “Certificate of Public Good”, or CPG – which is their license to conduct business as a regulated utility in the state.

In 2008, FairPoint Communications purchased Verizon’s land-based business territories in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. As a condition of the sale, FairPoint agreed to maintain customer service while improving reliability and increasing broadband build out. Since the transaction, FairPoint has been unable to effectively manage the operations in any of the three states, resulting in tremendous problems for residential and business consumers.

“Today’s petition by the department is a necessary step to protect the interests of Vermonters,” said Stephen Wark, spokesman for the department of public service. “Our objective is clear – to ensure FairPoint honors it’s commitments to Vermont consumers. We are not willing to take a wait and see approach. We have given FairPoint an opportunity to improve and it just hasn’t done enough” Wark said.

On Thursday, July 9th, FairPoint publicly released a report that was supposed to accurately summarize its situation, and provide a plan for remediation. The report did neither.

“FairPoint released a report that was overly optimistic and incomplete; the report assumed only the best, and failed to provide a detailed plan on how it will get on track. We are therefore compelled to seek other avenues to get the answers we need,” Wark said.

The request for a “Show Cause” investigation is intended to determine if the company is capable of recovering from its current situation and continuing to conduct business in the state.

Source: Department of Public Service
Last Updated at: July 15, 2009 11:36:54