PSC gives conditional nod to Fairpoint merger with Consolidated
Richard Moody is reporting in the Register-Star the state Public Service Commission Thu., Jun. 15, approved the merger of FairPoint Communications and Consolidated Communications. The approval was made on a conditional basis. Consolidated must now invest in network reliability and service quality improvements, follow through on construction as part of the New NY Broadband Program and expand its coverage area. In a public hearing held by the Commission in May, residents and local officials requested an upgraded wireline infrastructure, the offer of 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 at $14.99 a month for low-income homes, and a plan to reach higher speeds in the future. The Commission is also requiring Consolidated to maintain staffing for at least two years for New York workers who directly interact with customers. The company will also have to provide a $2 million letter of credit to be held until the company meets the Commission's conditions. In response to the PSC's decision, Hillsdale Town Supervisor Peter Cipkowski said that while the conditions set did not address everyone’s concerns, the terms of the merger showed the state is listening. “For people living in rural areas where they are underserved this shows we are moving in the right direction,” Cipkowski said. Read the full story in the Register-Star.