In the wake of Frontier Communication's botched takeover of Verizon's assets in Florida, and a subsequent investigation by the state's attorney general into the topic, the telco announced that it is bringing on a new head of government and regulatory affairs for its Florida operations.
Sydney Ridley, formerly the right-hand woman of Florida Representative Dana D. Young (R-60th), will join the company, using her knowledge of the state budget and government connections to represent Frontier's interests.
“Our growing presence in Florida as a critical telecommunications provider as well as nationally makes it extremely important that our company’s positions are represented to policymakers and regulatory bodies in a thoughtful and professional manner, which I know Sydney will do,” Allison M. Ellis, Frontier’s senior vice president for regulatory affairs for the Southeast region, said in a personnel note.
Ridley will have her work cut out for her given the AG's investigation of Frontier. Frontier took over Verizon's landline, internet and cable TV service in several parts of Florida on April 1, but due to a problematic conversion process, over 40,000 customers were left without service.
Customers took to the company's Facebook page in droves to complain about the outages, poor service and billing issues they faced. The state Attorney General Pam Bondi got involved, and Melanie Williams, Frontier's top executive for Florida operations, made a rare public apology to its customers.
We “apologize to every Tampa Bay area customer who has experienced service disruptions,” she said, according to the personnel note.
But perhaps Ridley's connections in the state government will help counter some of the company's public relations troubles. Rep. Young said Ridley was her right arm for six years, “from the early days when I was a freshman member in the 11th floor Capitol Tower office, to the hustle and bustle of the House Majority office.”
Young was Deputy Majority Whip from 2011-2012, and Deputy Majority Leader from 2012-2014.
“[Ridley's] knowledge of the (state) budget is second to none,” Young said in a text message, according to the personnel note. “I will miss her terribly, but am very excited for her as she starts this new chapter in her professional life.”
- read the personnel note