Will reduce $1.7 billion in debt....
As had been expected, Fairpoint Communications has filed for bankruptcy after struggling with the debt incurred when they acquired Verizon's DSL and landline networks in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. In a prepared statement
, the company said the proceeding would reduce the company's debt load by $1.7 billion. "The day-to-day operations of our business will not be impacted by today’s actions," said David Hauser, Chairman and CEO of FairPoint. "We want to assure our customers, employees and vendors that we remain committed to continuing to provide reliable, uninterrupted service to all of our customers."
That's a tall order, given that Fairpoint wasn't even doing that before
they filed for Chapter 11. While the company had improved slightly in recent months, long hold times and slow repairs remain commonplace for many Fairpoint customers. Unions are being asked to make concession in recent weeks, despite having predicted problems before the Verizon deal was signed. In recent weeks they've been blaming Verizon for the collapse
, noting how the deal largely benefited Verizon's tax burden and debt load, but little else.
Plenty of blame is being heaped on regulators, who not only approved the deal, but allowed Fairpoint to dictate the pace and breadth of their recovery by submitting confidential service improvement plans they created, which are unreviewable by the public
. Governors of the three impacted states over the weekend sent Fairpoint's CEO a letter
urging the company to focus on improving service, as well as the company's financial fortunes.