$2.8 Million in Consumer Penalties Loom for Fairpoint
PUC Offers to Let Them Use Money for Broadband Expansion
Fairpoint Communications has accumulated a significant chunk of owed penalty payments stemming from their botched integration of Verizon DSL and landline networks in New England. With $2.8 million due all at once on June 1, the New Hampshire state Public Utilities Commission has stated their intention to allow the company to use the funds owed directly to consumers -- to instead be used for broadband expansion obligations
in the state. Not all state PUC Commissioners like the idea, Commissioner Michael Harrington highlighting that giving the funds to a company to re-invest in the network -- when regulators tend to fail at following up on where these funds (or any funds, frankly) actually go -- isn't a bright idea. "In my opinion, allowing FairPoint to keep the money and use it for unregulated capital investment sends the wrong message about the purpose of performance penalties," Harrington said.