FairPoint’s purchase of select Verizon assets in the northeast, including territories in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, cleared its remaining regulatory hurdles this week. The deal catapults North Carolina based Fairpoint into a top ten telecom carrier in the U.S. Fairpoint agreed to several regulatory mandates including expanding broadband to 75 percent of its telephone access lines within 18 months of closing the deal, 85 percent within two years and 95 percent within five years. The competitive implications of this transaction are somewhat unclear. Certainly Fairpoint will pay more attention to these markets than Verizon planned to, so I suspect FairPoint will be a more engaged competitor. FairPoint partners with DirecTV for the video portion of their triple play. As is the case with most transactions of this size, it will take some time for the dust to settle and the true competitive landscape to be defined.
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