New Hampshire Gives Thumbs-Up to FairPoint Reorg

The week after Vermont regulators turned down FairPoint Communications bankruptcy reorganization proposal, New Hampshire utilities commissioners have approved the rural LECs plan.

New Hampshire officials further commended FairPoint for its steady progress in bettering its provisioning and customer service. And regulators were particularly struck by FairPoints secured lenders agreement to cut the companys debt by $1.7 billion. Vermont, too, had noted those improvements but said consenting to the reorganization now would be imprudent because so much work remains on the operations and financial sides.

Still, its unclear whether FairPoint will be able to forge ahead on the reorganization, since Vermont has rejected the proposal; Maine and New Hampshire have agreed to it.

FairPoint became insolvent in October 2009 after taking on billions in debt to buy Verizon Communications Inc. landlines. And once the systems switchover took place, FairPoint suffered service outages and billing errors problems that contributed to FairPoints already unsteady financial situation. The operator owns more than 1.6 million lines in New England alone.


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