Copps and Adelstein dissent in FCC's vote for Verizon-FairPoint sale

The decision by the majority of the Federal Communications Commission to endorse Verizon's proposed New England sale to FairPoint Communications is ill-advised and premature, coming even before final determinations have been made by regulators in both Vermont and New Hampshire.

The commission voted 3-2 to state that the sale "will 'unlikely' result in any anticompetitive behavior or hurt the public interest." This clears the way for Verizon to sell it's telephone operations in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont to financially unstable FairPoint Communcations. Commissioners Copps and Adelstein dissented.

According to Adelstein's dissenting opinion;

"The Commission has not grappled meaningfully with the question of whether this transaction truly satisfies that public interest standard.  Accordingly, I must dissent from this Order."

Copps, in his dissent, said

"Petitioners promise that they will invest in bringing broadband to these areas, increase jobs and increase quality of service.  In contrast, there is sizable information in the record to show that FairPoint may be limited by the terms of their agreement in its ability to deliver on its promises."

Despite this ruling by the FCC and the informal approval of regulators in Maine, all three states -- New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine -- must issue formal approval before the deal move forward.

Commissioners Copps and Adelstein should be commended for speaking up on behalf of people in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine who would suffer from this sale.

FCC Ruling on Verizon-FairPoint Deal Fails to Protect Interests of Consumers (CWA)

FCC OKs Verizon-Fairpoint Phone Deal (AP)

Commissioners Copps and Adelstein's dissenting opinions (FCC)

Morgan Stanley issues warning about FairPoint (Speed Matters)

The point? It's not fair. (Speed Matters)