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Business and Economy

FairPoint Could Face $500,000 Fine for Failing to Meet Service Standards

Pat Wellenbach
Associated Press
A FairPoint Communications sign stands outside the company headquarters in South Portland, Maine, Monday, Feb. 8, 2010.

A half-million dollar fine could be in the works for Maine telephone provider FairPoint Communications. Staff at the regulatory Public Utilities Commission are recommending the penalty for the company's failure to meet service quality benchmarks from the summer of 2014 through all of 2015.

Low points included what staff called "vastly" exceeding metrics for clearing network troubles in a day or less. Other failures included slow response times for service and installation requests.

Public advocate Tim Schneider says FairPoint needs to be held accountable. “This is what we had known all along, that landline service is not a competitive priority for FairPoint, and so they are not going to invest in it unless they are compelled to,” he says.

FairPoint has not responded to a request for comment today. In filings, the company variously blames the problems on cyber attacks, storms, and a union strike. The company ultimately claimed that some of the service  standards were unreasonable and unobtainable.

The recommended $500,000 penalty will now be considered by the full commission.