State News

FairPoint will seek deregulation under “reboot”

By Erin Mansfield,

The local president of FairPoint Communications says the new settlement with Vermont’s ratepayer advocates will be a win for customers and help the company “reboot.”

Beth Fastiggi, the Vermont president for FairPoint, said the company’s agreement to pour money into bringing broadband to 28,399 homes, issue retroactive credits to thousands of customers’ bills, and evaluate regulatory standards will be good for Vermonters.

The terms are part of the multifaceted settlement announced Tuesday, Aug. 18, that resolves the ongoing service quality investigation in front of the utility-regulating Public Service Board.

The investigation started in December, months after ratepayer advocates from the Public Service Department started warning FairPoint that its service in the state was inadequate.

FairPoint will issue 22,700 bill credits for customers who lost service between April 1, 2013 and Feb. 28, 2015. FairPoint must notify customers who are eligible for the credit and, within three months of the Public Service Board approving the settlement, clearly disclose on customers’ bills their policy–which is that they can receive bill credits for outages lasting more than 24 hours.

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