State Regulators Approve New Oversight Plan For FairPoint

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(Host) State regulators have approved a new oversight plan for FairPoint Communications, the region’s dominant land-line phone company.

The Public Service Board has reduced some of the potential penalties FairPoint could face for service quality problems. The board order is also designed to give FairPoint more flexibility to compete with cable companies and other telecommunications providers.

James Porter is director of telecommunications for the Department of Public Service, the state agency that represents ratepayers.

(Porter) "There’s still regulatory oversight over the company for the protection of the consumers which is always one of our top priorities. However, we felt with FairPoint it was probably time to give them some relaxation somewhat into the pricing of their services to make them more flexible where they could compete with others offering provide like services."

(Host) In its order, the PSB said many rural customers still rely on the land line phone service. So the board limited how much FairPoint can raise its basic rates.

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