FairPoint bought Verizon territories in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire last year, greatly expanding the size and scope of their ILEC operations. They bought 1.5 million Verizon access lines for about $2.3 billion. Like most acquisitions of this size, some technical glitches are bound to happen. Unfortunately for FairPoint, their Verizon transaction was no different. They’ve had some pretty well publicized glitches, including multiple delays in the official cutover and some email migration problems. FairPoint initially downplayed the issues, much to the chagrin of those suffering the problems. They’ve apparently turned over a new leaf. They’re issuing credits of $10 or more to those who have suffered issues. “We hope they understand it as a goodwill gesture. And we hope that they stick with us,” FairPoint spokeswoman Beth Fastiggi told the Burlington Free Press.
FairPoint is taking a lot of heat lately over the Verizon acquisition. Critics say their most recent earnings report reflects the fears of many – that FairPoint isn’t financially viable to absorb Verizon’s footprint. As evidence, they point to FairPoint’s recent request to delay some debt payments and their declining share price, which is trading below $1. FairPoint’s CEO Eugene B. Johnson is not worried – he recently purchased 200,000 shares of FairPoint stock to demonstrate his confidence. Stay tuned.