FairPoint sues Level 3 for $6.2M in unpaid local network access charges

FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) is taking Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) to court over claims that the wholesale provider owes FairPoint $6.2 million in back charges for accessing its local network in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Last Monday, FairPoint's two New England-based units-- Vermont LLC and Northern New England Telephone Operations LLC--filed the suit against Level 3 in the U.S. District Court in Concord.

Level 3 would not elaborate on the suit.

As reported in a New Hampshire Business Review article, the suit seeks to settle a dispute over Level 3's refusal to pay for accessing its local networks in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

While FairPoint got a $600,000 payment, it maintains that Level 3 still owes $4.3 million for accessing its local network in New Hampshire, with the remaining $2.1 million owed from its Maine and Vermont territories.

In the suit, FairPoint said that "Level 3 has refused to accept FairPoint's analysis and, during the November 2010 time frame, decided to engage in 'self-help' by refusing to pay for most if not all of the invoices it received from FairPoint, rather than adhering to the dispute resolution terms set forth in the tariffs."

Earlier this year in May, FairPoint threatened to no longer procure service requests from Level 3 for any "new or modified services."

Later, the two service providers began a five-week negotiation process during which FairPoint said that "Level 3 did not negotiate in good faith" followed by a written demand letter on Oct. 18 before it filed a formal lawsuit on Oct. 24.

For more:
- New Hampshire Business Review has this article

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