Illinois Backs Frontier-Verizon Landline Sale

Despite a judge’s recommendation in March that state regulators deny Verizon’s sale of landlines to Frontier Communications, the Illinois Commerce Commission gave the deal the go-ahead today. The vote was unanimous.

“Frontier strongly agrees with Governor Pat Quinn’s April 16th statement to the ICC that the state should promote and facilitate investments in technology and telecommunications progress that will create jobs in Illinois and will provide opportunities and access to our rural, low-income, and disadvantaged communities,” said Dan McCarthy, executive vice president and COO of Frontier. “Like Governor Quinn, Frontier believes that broadband network investments will hasten innovation in education, government, public safety, health care and economic and community development in the state.”

Eight states have now approved the sale. Only West Virginia and the FCC now stand in the way; however, the sale has been a contentious topic in West Virginia, where much of the opposition has focused its efforts. Backed by labor unions, thousands of people there have signed petitions against it. One of the biggest arguments has been that Frontier would have to shoulder too much debt to properly manage its network and customer-service obligations. Both companies have said that’s not true, and they expect to close the transaction soon.

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