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Maine Regulators Consider Fining FairPoint $500,000

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is considering a staff recommendation to fine FairPoint Communications for failing to meet the state’s telephone service quality metrics. 

According toa story by Maine Public Broadcasting, the company failed to meet the standards over a period of approximately 18 months.

According to the story, the company’s inability to clear telephone service problems within 24 hours was particularly troublesome.

FairPoint experienced similar problems in Vermont over the same period, and the Public Service Board opened an investigation into service quality issues and a failure of the state’s Emergency 911 system attributed in part to FairPoint equipment.

Eventually, Vermont regulators said they were satisfied the company had rectified the problems and they agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding in return for FairPoint’s commitment to apply for federal funds to improve internet service. No fines were levied.

Currently, the Public Service Board is considering a company request to drop telephone service quality standards for all Vermont FairPoint customers who have access to alternative wireline telephone service.

The company says service quality requirements would remain in place for those customers with no alternative to FairPoint telephone service, but it is asking regulators to extend the time necessary to perform repairs from 24 hours to 48 hours.  

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
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