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FCC approves Frontier acquisition of Verizon wireline assets in California, Florida, and Texas

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved Frontier Communications’ acquisition of Verizon’s local wireline, broadband, and video operations in California, Florida, and Texas. The FCC found that the transfer of ownership is “likely to result in public interest benefits of increased investment in the local networks facilities and broadband services,” and therefore imposed no conditions on the sale.

Prior to the FCC’s approval, Frontier committed to bring high-speed Internet at 25/2 Mbps speeds  to 750,000 additional households over the next five years. Over the last five years, the company increased broadband access for 85 percent of the households in its then-newly acquired property areas.

In addition, Frontier will use  money it recently accepted from the FCC’s Connect America Fund to build broadband to an additional 77,000 households and build broadband to 100,000 California households currently without broadband. Altogether Frontier committed to expand broadband to 477,000 households in California.

In its Order, the FCC noted that Frontier is more likely to invest in broadband expansion and service upgrades in the acquired territories than Verizon would have. The FCC also acknowledged support from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) for the deal which the union said would promote good jobs, broadband expansion, and service improvements.

Before the sale was approved, Frontier reached agreements with CWA in California and Texas. The company agreed to extend current collective bargaining agreements, add more than 200 new union jobs in California, Texas, and Missouri, and has committed to employ a 100% US-based workforce.

Letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (Frontier Communications, Aug. 11, 2015)

CWA, consumer groups raise concerns about Verizon landline sale in California, Texas, Florida (Speed Matters, Apr. 18, 2015)

CWA, Frontier Communications reach agreement (Speed Matters, Aug. 2, 2015)