2009 Year in review: FairPoint files for bankruptcy protection

FairPoint's troubles with the acquisition of Verizon's New England-region phone lines began not long after they flipped the switch from Verizon to take over the systems and they failed to transfer over 285,000 e-mail subscribers to the system.

What quickly followed was an ongoing grilling by the three New England states' separately and then together on why they could not resolve residential, business and even wholesale customer issues. Along with slapping the ILEC with fees, Vermont considered the idea of revoking its license to operate as a carrier in the state. To make matters worse, allegations emerged (that were later dismissed) that FairPoint faked its readiness. All of these operational issues combined with ongoing maintenance costs and fines took their toll on the ILEC and in October, FairPoint--similar to fellow ILEC Hawaiian Telcom (who bought out Verizon's lines in the region)--finally filed for Chapter 11 protection.

But now it appears that the service provider is trying to make some amends by not only appointing new executives to resolve issues, but launching a new PR/marketing campaign. And whether FairPoint rights the ship or is snapped up by another tier 2 ILEC in the tier 2 consolidation process, its problems should serve as a cautionary tale for any service provider trying to expand through a major acquisition.

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