Fairpoint says NH Utility Commission to approve deal

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FairPoint Communications is reporting a major step forward in its plan to buy Verizon land telephone lines in northern New England.

In a news release sent out early this morning, the company says the staff of New Hampshire’s Public Utilities Commission is recommending the sale be approved.

Fairpoint said the Agreement in New Hampshire is basically the same as amended proposals approved in Maine and being considered in Vermont. The amended plan in the other states calls for a $235 million reduction in the purchase price and reduced dividend payouts that would free more money to pay off debt.

Fairpoint also said it committed to additional conditions in New Hampshire which address capital expenses, network and service quality improvement plans, broadband expansion and assurances of financial viability.

The recommendation now goes to the full Public Utilities Commission. The purchase must be approved in all three states to go into effect.

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