Frontier Communications announced on Friday that it has secured approval for its Chapter 11 restructuring plan from the New York Public Service Commission.
With New York checked off, Frontier said it has received regulatory approval, or "favorable determination," from 10 of the 25 states in its footprint. Those states include: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.
“I am pleased with our continued progress in receiving state approvals and appreciate the constructive engagement we have had with regulators across our service territories, including our most recent approval in New York,” said Frontier's Mark Nielsen, executive vice president and chief legal officer, in a statement. “We now await approval in just a few states, including our home State of Connecticut. Through this restructuring process, we are building a stronger financial foundation to provide a better experience for all our customers.”
Frontier is targeting early next year to exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Once it does so, Frontier "will move forward with enhanced financial flexibility to support continued investment in an improved customer experience and long-term growth."
“Frontier serves a critical function in providing essential telecommunications services to its customers across the U.S.," said USTelecom President and CEO Jonathan Spalter, in a statement. "We are pleased to see swift and substantial support for Frontier’s restructuring, which, upon completion, will enable it to further invest in its services to better meet customers’ needs.”
Frontier Communications filed for bankruptcy on April 14 to start a prearranged $10 billion debt-cutting proposal backed by its largest bondholders. In August, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved Frontier's plan for reorganization.
Last month, Frontier Communications received a judge's stamp of approval for its bankruptcy exit financing. In the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Robert Drain approved Frontier's bankruptcy exit financing after the motion was unopposed by other stakeholders,
Frontier had sought the court's approval for borrowing up to $5.9 billion across a term loan and new first-lien or second-lien notes to fund its emergence from bankruptcy. Frontier also sought to increase its debtor-in-possession (DIP) revolving credit facility from $460 million to $625 million, which was also approved by Judge Drain.
On Sept. 1, Frontier announced that former Verizon executive John Stratton will be executive chairman of its board once the company emerges from Chapter 11.
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission announced its list of 386 companies that have qualified to bid in the first auction for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), which included Frontier.
Beginning Oct. 29, the qualified vendors will compete against each other in Phase 1 of the auction to see who will be able to cash-in on the $16 billion, 10-year RDOF program that was designed to build and connect gigabit broadband speeds, along with enabling lower latency, in unserved rural areas.