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News Release
 
Sale of Verizon to Frontier Communications Approved with Numerous Conditions
 
February 26, 2010 (2010-005) (UM-1431)
 
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611
John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
 
Salem, OR.  Today the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved, with 57 conditions aimed at protecting customers, the proposed sale of Verizon’s phone, internet service and cable television operations in Oregon to Connecticut-based Frontier Communications. The sale does not include Verizon’s wireless business.
 
“First and foremost we want to ensure that customers are not harmed by this transaction.  That’s why we are requiring more than 50 conditions, all aimed at making sure customers are not harmed by this sale,” Chairman Lee Beyer said. “In addition, we are requiring Frontier Communications to spend $25 million on expanding high-speed internet access to its Oregon customers by July 2013.”
 
Other conditions include:
  • Frontier will provide detailed financial reports to the Commission
  • Frontier will not change rates without Commission review
  • Customers will be held harmless from expenses related to the purchase
  • Frontier will provide quarterly reports on the expansion of broadband
  • Frontier will submit yearly service quality and consumer complaint data about its Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) broadband network
  • Frontier will conduct extensive testing to ensure customer services such as billing and filing new orders are not hurt by the transition to a new company
  • Customers of Verizon’s FIOS voice, data and video fiber service in Washington, Yamhill and Multnomah counties could opt out of long-term contracts if Frontier reduces internet speeds or drops channels
 
The Commission looked closely at a wide range of issues including acquisition due diligence, financial statements, credit ratings, cost of capital, engineering, service quality, customer support, and staffing.
 
Verizon and Frontier have similar transactions in 13 other states.  Frontier focuses on serving small towns and rural areas. 
 
Frontier currently has12,000 land lines in Oregon and serves the communities of Azalea, Canyonville, Cave Junction, Days Creek, Glendale, Myrtle Creek, O’Brien, Riddle, Selma,Wolf Creek and historically has a good record for service quality in Oregon. Frontier will acquire approximately 310,000 land line customers from Verizon.
 
The Commission reviewed the sale based on a “no harm” standard.
 
 
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