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Fairpoint May, May Not Meet Deployment Deadline
Plays coy with regulators over 83% DSL deployment obligation
by Karl Bode 06:31PM Thursday Dec 09 2010
We've well discussed how the Fairpoint disaster is as much the fault of incompetent regulators as it is Fairpoint. Regulators in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine completely ignored concerns that Verizon's sale of unwanted DSL and landline customers across New England to Fairpoint wasn't a good idea -- then when Fairpoint collapsed (at times completely unable to offer even 911 service) regulators allowed the company to essentially craft its own improvement timeline in private. Since then Fairpoint has missed reliability goals repeatedly, and the Maine Morning Sentinel notes the company is approaching a condition deadline requiring they deliver DSL to 83% of their customers by the end of this year:
quote:
FairPoint bought Verizon's landline business in 2008 and became Maine's largest phone company. As a condition of the controversial sale, FairPoint agreed to extend broadband service to 87 percent of its customers in five years. As interim steps, it must reach 85 percent by July of 2012 and 83 percent by the end of 2010. At a special meeting Tuesday, the Maine Public Utilities Commission tried to determine whether FairPoint is on track. Commissioners decided, after some debate, to give FairPoint another week to document its progress.
Fairpoint isn't saying how close they are to the 83% mark, and insists they won't actually know until December 31 (read: they aren't there yet, but hope a burst of effort will help them reach their goal at the last second). It's not possible for the press or public to verify details, given that as part of a deal approved by regulators, any information on the progress they're making is kept confidential. There's no doubt Fairpoint is working hard, but the deal saddled the company with so much Verizon debt expansion is difficult -- the precise thing regulators were warned about in advance.

And the Fairpoint circus continues....

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Dominokat
"Hi"
Premium
join:2002-08-06
Boothbay, ME
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Replaced lines

On my road, last month I was interrupted a few times by "Utility Workers Ahead" signs. Being a narrow road, they had to direct traffic. I could plainly see it was Fairpoint trucks and workers running a new cable line. One day as I was waiting in traffic, I asked what this was about. I was told they were replacing the line, to allow for "high speed internet"

So THEY ARE working on this goal.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5

Re: Replaced lines

Same here, and more importantly, my road. Not sure if it will make it to me though.
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Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: Replaced lines

So both of you are Fairpoint phone customers without DSL right now?

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

Re: Replaced lines

No, I am not a customer of fairpoint at all. Dumped Verizon landline service many moons ago and DSL is just down the road. So TW Cable, Voicepulse VOIP and cell phones for this house.
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Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

Re: Replaced lines

And Time Warner is your only choice?

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

Re: Replaced lines

said by Karl Bode:

And Time Warner is your only choice?

For me yes.
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pcme2000

join:2008-01-17
Bangor, ME

Re: Replaced lines

Actually you also have sati internet if you choose so Time warner is not your only choice.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

Re: Replaced lines

said by pcme2000:

Actually you also have sati internet if you choose so Time warner is not your only choice.

True...Id have to trim some trees though.
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cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8
Use satellite internet for a month and then tell me it's a choice. Sat internet is The. Last. Option. If you have any other means of getting to the internet, you will not willingly choose satellite.

(I don't know that I'd take sat over dialup.)
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH
as it is for more than 90% of the country.

RARPSL

join:1999-12-08
Suffern, NY

Re: Replaced lines

said by hottboiinnc:

as it is for more than 90% of the country.

I assume that you mean that for 90% of the country there is only one choice of Cable Company (ie: You have to deal with whoever has the Government Granted local monopoly or not get Cable service) not that 90% of the country has only TWC as their Cable Provider.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Replaced lines

one cable provider... and actually its illegal for the gov't to only allow 1 cable provider; the fact is it's not cost affective for anyone else to over build. RCN found that out. WOW is the only overbuilder that is still expanding.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

Re: Replaced lines

I'm looking @ WOW just because Comcrap has touched my last nerve. I've gotten mixed reviews from their customers here in Chi-town...what are they like by you?
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hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Replaced lines

WOW is like NO other company. Trust me...i've dealt with 3 service areas of TWC- WOH, MidOH, and NEO/WPA. Buckeye Cable (toledo) and WOW Cleveland. You can get ANYTHING with WOW pretty. WOW's actual company policy states that the company install techs MUST provide you with their company cell phone number incase if you have any questions or something isn't right you call them and they'll help with your problem and get someone to you that knows your setup. I havent had to use it but i tried my tech's number and he does answer it. Your company install tech also is normally the only tech you'll see install or provide you service at your home.

And they have the WOW refer a friend as well...not a bad deal...pay on time for 3 months; you and a friend both get $25 off your 4th bill. and no limits on how many you can get.... And if you're lucky like me (thank you UH!) you can get the VP of your region's email and cell phone number. any questions or problems you an email or call them directly. i have done it several times during the build out into my city. Great job Kirk!

Services are cheap too...i have 1 digital box, plus other outlets and a cable modem (15/2) and pay about 101$ after taxes each month my price is locked until 2012 but right now all new sign ups are locked until 2013. I didn't pay any install or anything. Install also was in about 2 days. tech was on time and called before showing up.

WOW is a great bunch of people. but they have growing pains right now with bandwidth and node splitting but they're working through those issues. Just gotta let them work through them and you'll be fine.

Ben
Premium
join:2007-06-17
Glen Carbon, IL
said by hottboiinnc:

one cable provider... and actually its illegal for the gov't to only allow 1 cable provider; the fact is it's not cost affective for anyone else to over build. RCN found that out. WOW is the only overbuilder that is still expanding.

     Really?  I'm not saying you're wrong, though you're the only person I've seen who said that.  From what I've seen, I pretty much figured it was.  I've never seen a case where a user could choose from multiple cable companies.  Most people just seem to talk about "the cable company."

     If I'm not mistaken, cable companies get to have a right-of-way for their cables.  I'd assumed that it was only issued to one such company.  So, you're saying that no town can deny a second cable company from building their cable in the area, just that it's very uncommon?

     I have heard of a case where two phone companies covered some houses, but only in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  So some people could theoretically pay AT&T for POTS and have FIOS for Internet as well.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS

Re: Replaced lines

Any cable company can come in and build there network in an area...exclusivity in cable franchises are a thing of the past. Naturally few do it because it would be to huge of an investment for them to do so, and the return is to uncertain.

I know the uninformed on here like to cry foul over all of the "government granted monopolies!!!" but it simply isnt the case. it isnt the current cable companies fault that no other company chooses to overbuild either.
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hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Replaced lines

very true! very few areas have a choice really. we have 3 video providers here to choose from; TWC, WOW, and U-Verse. U-Verse is very very limited though- it's far more limited than WOW. You have the VARDs around and they are powered- but you can't get service; ATT won't even tell you when they'll be on for service. It's really a waste.

I left TWC for WOW and far better service. I'm glad I finally have a choice as far as leaving "we are king shit TWC" and went somewhere where the customer actually matters.

Dominokat
"Hi"
Premium
join:2002-08-06
Boothbay, ME
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
said by Karl Bode:

And Time Warner is your only choice?

At the moment, Timewarner is my only option for internt also. Until Fairpoint fires up the new line. Only THEN will I have another option.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: Replaced lines

same with the 98% of the rest of the country. nothing new really, sorry.

Vertigo1019

join:2010-11-11
Farmington, ME
I hope I get dsl before the end of the year.
Dial up connects at 4.8K to 12.6K where I live.

There was 3 Fairpoint trucks out down the road from me installing a dslam, Remote Terminal and a Digital phone thingy so I have hope that I may get high speed Internet.

I just hope they run the line to me cuase I live less then 2 miles from that remote terminal
cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:8

Re: Replaced lines

Don't hold your breath. If your line sucks that bad, DSL will be even worse. And I'd bet that DSLAM doesn't have the greatest of backhaul meaning it'll be "getto DSL" -- like bellsouth's rural deployments... 1.5/256 is all you get.
brainlessdog

join:2005-11-30
Portsmouth, NH

Re: Replaced lines

It is the new Vantage Point Network. It has speeds up to 15MPS.
cobo6

join:2002-02-18
Willingboro, NJ

tsk tsk tsk

This is what happens when the government don't listen to the people who said this way a bad deal.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

1 edit

Re: tsk tsk tsk

and FORCING VZ to keep those networks would have done what? allowed the customer to keep 911? maybe. but that doesn't stop VZ from just letting the networks rot and then filing with the PUCs that they're leaving the area and taking their equipment with them. And YES they can do that. only takes a 90day notice and VZ would be out of that area and nothing would have stopped them.

Fairpoint just needs to give up on DSL and start doing wireless to the customer. Saves $$$$$$.

timmyt

@comcast.net

fairpoints

i dont get it why did fairpoint get stuck with all these unfair conditions? Verizon was getting all sorts of tax payer subsidies and they were never required to meet the same requirements?

its ridiculous. I am at a loss to see why these regulators thing that dsl is some sort of enumerated constitutional right.
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: fairpoints

agree. no other companies have to meet these except if they merge /take over. i don't see T meeting anything like this. hell in Ohio T doesn't have any MTS anymore if a customer bundles any products with regular basic pots service. Yes Bundle CID or Internet and you LOSE the MTS completely. Gotta love regulation.

Dolgan
Premium
join:2005-10-01
Sun Prairie, WI
Reviews:
·Charter
quote:
i dont get it why did fairpoint get stuck with all these unfair conditions? Verizon was getting all sorts of tax payer subsidies and they were never required to meet the same requirements?

its ridiculous. I am at a loss to see why these regulators thing that dsl is some sort of enumerated constitutional right.
Fairpoint could have refused to complete the deal if they thought that they could not meet the conditions the PSCs were imposing to complete the deal. Furthermore, Verizon did have deployment deadlines as well--unsure if the deal sped up the time line. but Verizon would have faced fines if they did not meet their dates.

Verizon shareholders should be very happy with this, and all of the deals Verizon has made to shed territory since the merger of BA and GTE. VZ has recieved the benefit of at least 4 Reverse Morris Trusts...Hawaiian Tel, Fairpoint, Frontier, and their Yellow Pages. The monies gained helped to offset the cost of FIOS deployments. Also, VZ kept all of the backhauls in the areas they sold off.

This is a key point, as Verizon has control of the large pipes and can build out LTE Cell Towers faster than the debt ridden companies can upgrade their networks. VZ can then take the customers back from those they sold them to previously. Good business acumen on the part of Verizon. By the time they light LTE in these areas the customers will be starved for almost any other choice for broadband.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: fairpoints

said by Dolgan:

By the time they light LTE in these areas the customers will be starved for almost any other choice for broadband.

Except that many of the areas do in fact have cable broadband.

swintec
Premium,VIP
join:2003-12-19
Alfred, ME
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VoicePulse
·Sprint Mobile Br..
·RapidVPS
said by timmyt :

i dont get it why did fairpoint get stuck with all these unfair conditions? Verizon was getting all sorts of tax payer subsidies and they were never required to meet the same requirements?

its ridiculous. I am at a loss to see why these regulators thing that dsl is some sort of enumerated constitutional right.

DSL is not a regulated service like phone service is, so Maine (and I assume the other two states as well) could not force Verizon to have a certain percentage of users within DSL range. During the sale was when the PUC was able to place these types of conditions on Fairpoint. Heck at least they TRIED....but after all this time, I realyl do not believe anything Fairpoint says anymore.
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hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: fairpoints

you are correct. DSL is NOT Regulated. Internet in general is Not regulated unless its a leased line service: T1+.

I also NEVER seen any other provider being FORCED to build out DSL like Fairpoint is. At this point id just screw the copper and build out Wireless to these areas.

and as far as LTE in these areas? LMAO! Yah maybe in the next 5 years.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: fairpoints

You REALLY need to pull back on your posts a bit. You may have over looked the 3rd largest telephone operator in the United States known as Qwest. They had conditions placed on them by many states back in the early 2000's when they wanted to re-enter the long distance business.

Seriously, even Wiki requires some citation... I read quite a bit of your posts when you're SURE and ABSOLUTE in your information and as passionate as you are, it's hardly always accurate.

•••
ltt75

join:2001-01-22
Hollis, NH

caps?

Dont use fairpoint, but actually hoping they become an alternative choice to charter.

Wish they continued the fiber roll out started by vz and forget about dsl. There is a unfinished fiber terminal .25mile with fiber lines from my house I have to drive by everyday as a reminder.

Does fairpoint have download caps?

As I will probably be kicked out by charter in couple months

braynes
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Waterville, ME

At what speed

Fairpoint may make the commitment or not,still what are the giving 1.5/3(that turns out to be about 786k,yea.Fairpoint would do all of new england a favor and just go home.
bruce
hottboiinnc
ME

join:2003-10-15
Cleveland, OH

Re: At what speed

nothing says speed. It says DSL. so they can offer 768k and claim that's what the line can only handle and its offered. take it or leave it. they met their requirements.

braynes
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Waterville, ME

Re: At what speed

so what is the point,why waste the money for shit speeds,why install junk in the office,adsl2+. but lite.dmt right.
bruce
qworster

join:2001-11-25
Bryn Mawr, PA

Maybe they need to change their name...

To POORpoint, as they're not even providing fair service.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

This is a failure on those...

... who set the conditions that they want in order to approve these mergers.

I am not sure where these suits came from in life, but where I came from, if I wanted something and there was a condition to me getting something, I had to meet those conditions FIRST.

Consumers are treated differently in many cases. You want to buy a house, you must meet certain requirements AND conditions first. (financed that is)

MOST of us had parents that when you'd ask to go play with a friend, you'd be told "after you clean your room"...

I could come up with a million examples..

.. however, I only need to give one on these mergers that I don't agree with and that is they're only required, usually, to PROMISE to meet these conditions. So really, when they don't meet them, then what? You can't control time and space to ensure that they're just done. You can't fine them out of existence.. so really, all they can do is say they failed and then try again. This is known, and this is how it's done.

The bottom line is that when they make these conditions, such as build outs, etc, they should have to be done first BEFORE the sale is allowed to take place, or require a "bond" to protect the conditions.

WispGuy

@comcast.net

Fairpoint will set NH back another 5 years

Fairpoint installs a SLIC, and puts in cards for 25 subscribers on a road that has 200 houses. They can tell the state that 200 homes is "yourtown" NH has DSL coverage. Then they disappear. As they do so, they set an expectation that broadband is worth $19.95/month, dooming their more rural customers to NO broadband because the WISPS are driven out of business. Who wins here?? 25 customers in a town. The rest of you get screwed yet one more time by Fairpoint. Smarten up folks. Their business plan is to go bankrupt two more times, screw every vendor, most subscribers and walk away from the mess they are creating.

••••