Verizon, state near settlement on fines

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Vermont’s dominant local phone company will make customer refunds and network upgrades if a proposed agreement with state regulators wins final approval. The agreement settles $8 million in penalties the Department of Public Service issued against Verizon Vermont for service quality shortcomings in 2003.

The agreement calls for Verizon customers to receive one-time refunds of $6 each. It also calls for network upgrades focused mainly on Vermont communities that currently lack redundant networking. That means a single line cut would leave them without service, including the ability to place 911 emergency calls.

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