- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - FairPoint Communications asked the Vermont Public Service Board to drop service quality standards that the company is required to meet for most of its telephone customers.

A settlement reached last year between the state and FairPoint to end an investigation into the company’s service delays stated that Vermont would support FairPoint’s petition to review service quality standards, Vermont Public Radio reported (https://bit.ly/1oOTlKc).

FairPoint President Beth Fastiggi said a better balance is needed between oversight from regulators and the company’s ability to compete against providers who aren’t held to the same standards.

“What we hope to accomplish in the new petition is to determine with the board how to best measure service quality to those customers who continue to rely on FairPoint for voice service, while recognizing that in many areas of the state, FairPoint does face real and stiff competition,” Fastiggi said.

Fairpoint officials said the standards should only apply to customers who have no alternative to the company’s phone service. The state disagrees, but conceded that other service quality standards should be removed.

Jim Porter, head of the Department of Public Service’s Telecommunications and Connectivity Division, estimated that as many as 80 percent of FairPoint landline customers have other options.

“The most important thing will be to have service quality metrics in place that will provide meaningful protections to the customers that receive it. Whether those are the same metrics or different metrics, I just don’t know at this point,” Porter said.

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Information from: WVPS-FM, https://www.vpr.net


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