Maine PUC determines FairPoint will meet its state broadband rollout goals

It appears that FairPoint (Other OTC: FRCMQ.PK) may be on its way to meeting 83 percent broadband access deployment goal in Maine, reported The Portland Press Herald.

This achievement was revealed during a recent meeting between the telco, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Public Advocates office on how to assess the ILEC's goals. Previously, FairPoint asked the Maine PUC to extend the deadline of the first phase of its broadband expansion plan from April to December.

With this goal in reach, the PUC determined it would not need to investigate FairPoint's progress.

Reaching the broadband penetration goal was one of the conditions that FairPoint had to agree to in order to gain PUC approval to purchase Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) New England wireline assets in 2008. FairPoint had to agree to not only make broadband available to 87 percent of its customers in five years after the deal was completed, but also reach interim goals of 85 percent penetration by July 2012 and 83 percent by the end of 2010.

But with this goal so close at hand, the Maine PUC's Commissioner Vendean Vafiades needs to ensure that the telco won't get distracted by focusing on expanding its broadband reach in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Despite its ongoing financial troubles, in October 2009 FairPoint spent $85 million to lay more than 368 miles of fiber and upgrade area Remote Terminal (RT) cabinets with new broadband electronic equipment in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

For more:
- The Portland Press Herald has this article

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