Kathleen Abernathy joins Frontier's regulatory team

Just as Frontier moves to become the largest rural telco with the acquisition of Verizon's rural lines, the ILEC has brought aboard former FCC commissioner Kathleen Abernathy as its new Executive Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs.

Abernathy--who served as an FCC commissioner from 2001 to 2005 under chairmen Michael Powell and Kevin Martin--last week left Frontier's board of directors, a position she has held since 2006. Subsequently, she will resign from the Washington, D.C. law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer, where she currently serves as a law partner, to join Frontier on March 1.  

Reporting to Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier's Chairman and CEO, Abernathy's regulatory experience will come in handy as the company morphs into a much larger service provider when it completes its acquisition of Verizon's rural lines.

"Frontier is in the process of a transformational transaction with Verizon Communications that will triple the size of the company and demands top-tier executive management," said Wilderotter in a release. "With Kathleen's appointment, we are assured of having on-board seasoned talent that will help guide the new Frontier."

While the deal has gotten the majority of state regulatory approvals (it still needs four other states and the FCC's approval), Frontier continues to face opposition from local politicians and unions. These groups fear that the acquisition will not only mean massive layoffs, but that Frontier will face similar operational issues that led FairPoint to declare bankruptcy.

For more:
- see the release here

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