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PSC seeks comment on Consolidated/Fairpoint cable merger

Jun 03, 2017 12:14 am
Richard Moody reports in the Register-Star that Columbia County officials and residents asked the Public Service Commission to require Consolidated Communications invest in the local broadband as a requirement of their acquisition of Fairpoint Communications May 31 at a public hearing at Columbia-Greene Community College. "We are now woefully underserved in land lines, cell phone service, and broadband. Fairpoint now serves part of our town," said Arthur McGuire, member of the Taghkanic Town Board and chairman of the broadband committee. "We ask the PSC and Consolidated Communications address and improve our service during the application process and after the transfer if it is approved." Hillsdale Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski said the 2,000 Fairpoint customers in his town deserve the same scrutiny as past mergers. "I am here tonight to ask you to do the same. Hold Consolidated to the same standards as those of other deals," Cipkowski said. That would include upgrading wireline infrastructure, offer high-speed internet service to all customers by 2020, meeting the state’s minimum requirement of 100 megabytes for $59.99 a month and 30 megabytes $14.99 a month for low-income homes, and submitting a plan to reach higher speeds. Comments are due to the PSC by June 5. All comments should refer to “17-C-0050, FairPoint Communications, Inc.” Go to http://www.dps.ny.gov, click on “Search,” enter the case number (17-C-0050), and then click on “Post Comments” at the top of the page; or e-mail comments to the Secretary to the Commission at secretary@dps.ny.gov. Alternatively, comments may be mailed or delivered to Hon. Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, Public Service Commission, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12223-1350. Toll-Free Opinion Line: You may call the Commission’s Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This number is set up to take comments about pending cases from in-state callers, 24 hours a day. Press "1" to leave comments, mentioning “Case 17-C-0050, FairPoint Communications, Inc.” Read the full story in the Register-Star.