Frontier gets Texas PUC approval for Verizon wireline asset purchase

Frontier has cleared another hurdle in its path to complete its acquisition of Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) wireline assets in California, Florida and Texas as the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved the transfer of Verizon's Southwest division's CLEC certificate to Frontier.

Following the FCC's recent approval of the deal, the PUC approval is the only state regulatory approval that Frontier needed in Texas.

Kathleen Abernathy, executive vice president of external affairs for Frontier, said in a release that it anticipates "that the transaction will close at the end of the first quarter of 2016."

Abernathy added that Frontier continues to "participate in the regulatory review process in California."

California remains a new potential source of controversy for Frontier and Verizon. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) recently voted 4-to-1 to examine the physical condition of AT&T and Verizon's copper networks in the state citing instances of substandard service quality.

Frontier said that it is satisfied with the Verizon assets in California and is ready to integrate the assets into its fold once the deal is completed. 

"Frontier's head of engineering and dozens of other Frontier employees have reviewed data and examined many parts of the Verizon network," Abernathy said in an e-mail to FierceTelecom. "Based on our review we are excited about the FiOS infrastructure and the service and speeds it offers to consumers.  

Abernathy added that "in some of the more rural, high cost parts of the network, we will be using Connect America Funds (CAF) and our shareholder dollars to expand broadband and enhance the California customer experience."

In related news, Frontier is planning to raise $6.6 billion in bonds to back its purchase the Verizon wireline assets.

An unidentified source told Bloomberg that Frontier could sell the notes in up to three pieces. The person added that Frontier plans to complete the sale by Sept. 15 or 16.

For more:
- see the release
- Bloomberg has this article

Editor's Corner: Does Verizon's CAF-II refusal mean another wireline asset sale is coming?

Related articles:
AT&T, Verizon face California PUC scrutiny over copper networks
Frontier gets FCC approval of 3-state Verizon wireline deal
Frontier: soon-to-be-acquired Verizon wireline assets see $1.45B revenue climb
Verizon passes on $144M in CAF II funding as wireline asset sale rumors swirl
Frontier will use CAF II funding to expand broadband in acquired Verizon territories

This article was updated on Sept. 15 with additional information from Frontier. 

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