Frontier's AT&T Connecticut deal gets state's regulatory approval

Frontier Communications cleared what is one of the final key hurdles in completing its $2 billion acquisition of AT&T's (NYSE: T) Connecticut operations when the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved the deal, reports The Hartford Courant.

PURA accepted an earlier settlement that Frontier reached with the Connecticut Attorney General in which it agreed to not increase the rates for basic primary residential service for 36 months. 

The service provider also agreed to invest $63 million over three years to improve Connecticut's broadband capabilities, including improving Internet speeds and extending U-verse broadband and video to 100,000 households.

This decision is important as PURA initially denied a settlement the telco reached with state officials in August. At that time, PURA said the settlement, which was jointly written by Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz, did not properly address the needs of Connecticut residents.

Earlier, the service provider received two key federal approvals from the FCC and the Justice Department. The acquisition also gained the support of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1298 President William Henderson III. Initially, Henderson opposed the sale because he said neither Frontier nor AT&T had issued a whole lot of information about their business plans.

PURA expects to finalize its decision on Oct. 15.

For more:
- The Hartford Courant has this article

Special report: Women in Wireline 2014: Leaders shaping telecom services, innovation, and policy

Related articles:
Frontier taps Edward O'Connor Jr. to lead Connecticut sales
Frontier's Jureller: We like acquisitions that help us scale
Connecticut regulators deny Frontier's AT&T wireline acquisition
Connecticut union boss backs AT&T-Frontier deal

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