Decisions not expected until next year on Verizon deal

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Decisions on Verizon’s bid to sell its northern New England phone network aren’t likely to come until the new year.

Utility regulators in Maine say they’ll take up several issues today as they consider the proposal to sell the network to FairPoint Communications.

But members of the Public Utilities Commission say they’ll defer final action until January.

That’s partly because the holidays are approaching. But the commissioners also have not had time to consider a proposed settlement reached among the two companies, consumer advocates and other parties in the case.

Regulators in Vermont and New Hampshire also will have to approve before the deal can go through.

Verizon wants to sell its landline telephone network to FairPoint in all three northern New England states.

Among the questions facing the Maine Public Utilities Commission is whether to grant a hearing sought by labor unions.

They want to weigh in on the proposed settlement.

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