It's official - FairPoint has filed for bankruptcy protection. Here's the spin they're trying to put on it. Bottom line: Worse service, higher rates.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reaches Agreement with Bank Lenders –
Voluntary Chapter 11 Proceeding
Chapter 11 Filing Will Not Impact the Company’s Operations or
I've written a fair amount about how bad the FairPoint deal would be was, and is. But I'll hand it to the Concord Monitor, who not only were able to attend the tri-state grilling session, but also noticed a small detail that's going to blow up quickly.
FairPoint was able to convince state regulators in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont that broadband expansion was possible quickly, and that FairPoint would do it.
That's right, FairPoint problems were behind 911 call failures in Maine in April, May, and June and in New Hampshire in late June. (See "We Told You So," by Jeff Inglis, July 4.) Now Vermont has been struck, too, according to an Associated Press report, beautifully headlined, "Vt. 911 calls go to 'black hole.'"
How long will it be before no phone calls go through at all?
At least it's in New Hampshire this time. Last month I explained why the FairPoint takeover is so terrible, and explored all the things that are going wrong, including the painful - and dangerous - failures of the E-911 emergency phone system. (See "We Told You So," July 4.
But early last week, FairPoint customers in wide swaths of New Hampshire had no dial tone at all for something like 11 hours.
Tens of thousands of
FairPoint customers in Maine now have the option to become official
second-class citizens on the Internet, and the company is very proud, touting
the accomplishment in a press release (in PDF form here) and following it up with a cheery call
from a marketing person who couldn't answer any questions.