(11/17/2009)
West Virginia's public utility consumer agency wants the state to reject Frontier Communications' plan to purchase more than 600,000 telephone land lines from Verizon.

The Public Service Commission's Consumer Advocate Division said that Frontier doesn't have the financial resources to fix Verizon's "sub-standard" land-line network.

Verizon has suffered from neglect for years in West Virginia, the company is the object of thousands of consumer complaints.

"We've got lots of issues with this...It's not in the best interest of telephone customers in West Virginia. There's no way you can approve a plan like this when the company making the acquisition doesn't know how it's going to serve all its customers" said Byron Harris, who heads the consumer office.

The Consumer Advocate Division filed 300 pages of testimony yesterday, recommending that the three-member Public Service Commission vote against the $8.6 billion deal in which Stamford, Connecticut-based Frontier would purchase Verizon's land-line business in West Virginia and 13 other states.

Harris said yesterday that Frontier has based its future business model on overly optimistic assumptions.

He says the company doesn't have a plan to deal with multiple risks that threaten Frontier's financial health, and, consequently, customer service.


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